Onam Sadya - A Festive Indulgence

Delhi Food Walk
Multi - Purpose Hall, Sector 4, Near Gole Market, Opposite Metro - Politican Hotel, New Delhi - 9

"First of all, I would like to convey my special Thanks to Delhi Food Walk, Mr Anubhav Sapra and Mr Mathew, for the warm hospitality and creating such a delightful platform where people from different Cultures can gather and share their views and socialize".

Onam (Malayalam), an ancient Hindu festival which is celebrated by the people of Kerela and also in our modern times. It falls during August - September and signifies Kerela's rice harvest festival. Festive rituals, Traditional Cuisine, Dance and Music mark the harvest festival of the state.

Delhi Food Walk, as many of us know, is a walk through the lanes of the city, savouring over Multi - Cuisines. An initiative that connects all Foodies and lets them share their views, food secrets with the people around. With a prior mail booking of the number of seats, I had my first walk with DFW for Onam Sadya which was marvelous. Here is how it started:

The Invitation





 This was given to us once we paid a sum of  Rupees 200/- as our participation to the food activity.







The entrance of the hall was decorated with strings of  flowers and leaves and had a beautiful Rangoli, a decoration using Rose and Marigold petals, outlined by leaves and few Lotus buds placed in the middle, when you step inside.

The Entrance
Flower Rangoli
































The Feast - Tables were placed latitude wise with chairs all around. For those who were not able to find seat/s around the table , had to sit and wait. However, Mr Mathew made everyone comfortable. The tables were covered by white sheet and the sheet was then covered by a running paper roll. [Paper roll because its an helpful exercise for the person who has to pick up everyone's plates at the end of the meal]

Plantain

Huge plantain leaves were placed on the table in front of us all. The leaf was our plate. Very soon, people started serving us. The feast usually has more than 13 to 15 Curries , with traditional Pickle, Pappar (those crispy things you get at Indian restaurants) and a sweet dish called "Payasum" which is made of Milk and Jaggery.












A Classic Onam Sadya
We were served the following :-

1. Rice, 2. Sambhar, 3. Rasam, 4. Avial (mix vegetable)
5. Puliserry (vegetable made with curd as the base)
6. Kalan, 7. Olan, 8. Erissery (made by Pumpkin) 9. Neyu
10. Khichadi, 11. Pachadi, 12. Pappar, 13. Banana
14. Toran, 15. Banana Chips, 16. Gur Chips, 17. Parripu ( Daal)
18. Inchi Kari, 19. Payasum.




I recall my Grand mother once mentioned , any meal eaten by using your fingers, will always fill your stomach well than eating with the help of spoon / fork. Now I understand why she said so. A sumptuous meal. Every bite was divine. My encounter of Onam Sadya for the first time was outstanding.  











Authentic Vegetarian

Veg Gulati
8 Pandara Road Market
New Delhi, India

The Entrance
Delhi has a huge Vegetarian community that is not comfortable dining in a restaurant that serves Non - Vegetarian food too.
"So Veg Gulati is the Vegetarian brother of Gulati".
Nestled within a quiet section of Pandara Market, situated is Veg Gulati, which serves special and authentic Indian Delights.




The menu is vast. For a moment you will forget that it has only Vegetarian dishes. I was there with my close knitted family members. We were lucky that there was no waiting and were brought to the first table of the restaurant by Mr. Kamal, who was in-charge of looking after us. He gave full attention to every detail and was friendly.

On the left was a wall that was decorated with "Mor (Peacock) Pankh (feather). Peacock feather is usually signified religiously to Lord Krishna. It was noticed once we were all seated and comfortable.

Mor Pankh









Food -

The starters were spectacular. We ordered. Paneer Aachari, Matar Kebab, Aam Panna, Sweet and Salty Lemonade.

The Aachari Paneer was excellent. Paneer was very soft and they used the right quantity of the Aachar (Pickle) Masala (spices), making it tangy and aromatic. 



Paneer Aachari
Have you ever eaten Matar Kebabs? Seriously speaking from experience, normally one gets green kebabs made of spinach. But these were made from Matar (Peas) like literally! Though they were a little bland, so if you add some Green chutney, it tastes better. 


Matar Kebab
Ah, talk about the Aam Panna. We wanted Aam Panna with sugar-free. Mr Kamal apologised for the inconvienence and said that though they do not provide sugar-free, he ensured that he would get the Aam Panna made with less sugar. And as promised by him, our ordered Aam Panna was delicious. Also, the lemonade was prepared well.

Aam Panna
Main Course - Dal Makhani , Malai Kofta, Breads (Amritsari Lachhedar Parantha, Buttered Nan, Lachha Parantha and Kadak Tandoori Roti)

Dal Makhani was presentable. Mr Kamal asked the waiter to serve us. He then came to our table and said, "if any food item is not up-to your taste, he would return it to the kitchen and ask the chef to customize the dish according to our preference and taste". But we enjoyed the authentic taste the chef had prepared. A little ginger was added too. Different and unique.

Dal Makhani
Malai Kofta was average. Though this was my first try. The Koftas were very soft and creamy. The curry had a tablespoon of cream and was perfectly made from Grinded Cashewnuts.

Malai Kofta
Breads - Very soft and filling.

Breads
Overall Experience - Thank you Mr Kamal for making our dinner experience enjoyable, comfortable and meeting all our demands (except for the sugar-free, which I think was not such a big deal) 
Thank you Veg Gulati for such a sumptuous dinner experience. I will make sure that my friends get to know about how authentic and good Indian food Veg Gulati serves. The staff is knowledgeable to suggest best dishes according to taste. They have an amazing in depth knowledge about the food served, and about combinations that would go together. The service and hospitality was immaculate. Also, They have an eye on every table and act accordingly. 


Rating - 5 / 5








Thadi at Hauz Khas

Thadi
Hauz Khas Village
New Delhi, India


Lake View
Hauz (water – tank) Khas (royal ) – “The Royal Tank”.  Located in South Delhi, this place traces back to the 13th Century, houses a water tank. A mosque, a tomb and pavilions built around an urbanized village. I am talking about the Sultanate reign. Then in the 80’s , Hauz Khas Village was developed as an upper class for commercial as well as for the residential area in the metropolis of South Delhi, India. It has now become an expensive tourist attraction with numerious art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. The lake looks very beautiful with Ducks quacking.
“It is said you are not a true Delhiite if you haven’t visited the Hauz Khas Village”
I happened to have “Thadi” in my wishlist from a long time. And one afternoon just decided to visit the place. Though when you reach the village, it is a big hassle to find parking. Anyhow we found a good space to park and then walked our way towards the village. You know you are in Hauz Khas when you spot youth roaming hand in hand with their girl / boy friends, hippies, college goers etc.
We had to ask our way around to reach. It goes a long dark passage with iron stairs to finally reach your destination “Thadi”.


View from Thadi

A gang of people of around 5- 6 of them and with their Guitar, too were looking for Thadi and they came followed us. The first impression that came to mind after seeing them was that they must have come post college hours to grab a bite.
When you enter the restaurant this is the first thing you notice.

Graffiti


I belong to an artistic family. There is suffient amount of art in my blood to understand paintings and anything “Art” related. This Graffiti wall caught my attention. Funny images of a woman with an Octopus and Sun surrounding it made me get real close to the wall to enjoy the designs.
 It became difficult to decide whether to be seated indoors or outdoors and enjoy the view of the Lake. Do not expect a huge dining area. It just has 3 to 4 Gadda’s on the floor to eat the Indian style. A glass square table outside on the terrace with 2 to 3 stools to sit. It was humid. So after clicking a few pictures, before the sun set, we sat outdoors and then shifted indoors in the air conditioner.
Keep in mind not to keep high expectations for Thadi. They opened this place maybe to turn a residential property to a commercial restro. The inside room has a counter from where you place your orders. The good thing about the place so far, was that one can connect ones ipod, phone to select the song you wish to hear while enjoying conversation and food with your group of friends.

Food -

We ordered some Mojito’s (mocktail) , Cheese herbed toasts and Chicken Maggi and Chicken Pasta.

Mojito – Blue , Classic and Italian Smooch. I had the Italian Smooch. It was a little too sweet for me so I had to ask them to put a little extra lemon juice.

Mojito's

Soon the toasts and the Chicken Maggi arrived. Steaming hot and the view of cheese dripping from the Toast made us even more hungry. The minute the dish landed on the table, within seconds, we grabbed our bites. But Alas! The toasts failed to meet its taste. It was merely cheese and sprinkled with Chilly flakes on the top. Bad, is the word. I was not able to take another bite. Yet, somehow we finished them. But our expectations for the Maggi and the Pasta literally dropped.

Cheese Toast

We kept moving to and fro to the terrace and the air conditioning room. The group of people who entered with us had started playing their Guitar and singing. They played my favourite song “Teri Galliyan” from the recent movie “Ek Villain”. The air became musical with some scenic beauty and light conversations covered the entire evening.
Maggi and Pasta were served soon. Due to the time we were at Thadi , we were so hungry that we missed clicking pictures. Everyone with their forks were ready to dive in and eat.  So the overall experience of the food was very average.


Rating:-
The mocktail – 2.5 / 5
Toasts – 1 / 5
Chicken Maggi – 3 / 5
Chicken Pasta – 3 / 5
Overall, it was a wonderful evening. I can GaGa over Hauz Khas among friends. Everyday there are atleast 2 to 3 new restaurants at HK and now I will make sure to keep exploring new ones.

Tip: When you are at Thadi, make sure you do not keep high expectations for a large dining area. It’s a small place for college students to hang around during / post college hours. Also , keep in mind the manager here is a little moody. So even if it is a Saturday evening and you wish to sit here for a longer duration, you’d be asked to pay your bill and leave, since they can close at 7:30pm.







The HRC Delight

 
The Stage
 Hard Rock Cafe
 M 110 1st Floor, DLF Place Mall, Saket , New  Delhi , India

 “Awesome is the word that best describes this    cafe. With Live Music, Karaoke Nights,  Concerts and Amazing Menu”.









Let me begin step by step.

One can easily spot the place as it has a huge logo. At the entrance is the International souvenir shop. Dont expect to get cheap prices. The name of the cafe justifies itself when you step inside, There are huge musical instruments mounted on the walls. No wall is lonely. Bob Marley photo’s and all those musicians and singers have their pictures with wonderful taglines. A perfect theme with a high wooden stage and seating area all around.

Picture of a Singer

Ambience
The staff greets you at the entrance and looks after your requirements till you leave the cafe. Hospitality is at the top always. They introduce themselves and then cater to all your orders. The little gestures they make with their smiles, makes the environment light and joyful and comfortable. I was here with my cousin younger brother, sister and a friend. We had fooled our brother that HRC only allows a couple entry, and he has no other option but to go with us. Poor brother, still unaware of the truth! And I dont even feel bad about it. Naive, yep, thats me.

Food - 
We ordered the signature dish of HRC. 
“JumboCombo Its a must, must , must have”. On a big round plate are onion rings, baked cheese toasts, cheese and corn stuffed balls with their respective sauces. On the middle of this plate is a round glass with a tangy dip. The dip is cooked using lots of cabbage, black olives and small tomatoes like fruit and mayo. Surrounding the sauce are long thin spring rolls. If you miss the JumboCombo, you haven’t really had a Rockin’ experience.
Jumbo Combo

The next dish that came was “Noodles with Prawns.” I am not much of a Prawn fan. I will need someone who could company me to get the hang / the taste of prawns. This dish was enjoyed by my sister and her friend. Meanwhile, my brother and I enjoyed clicking pictures of the Cafe and our Conversations.

Noodles with Prawns

We also ordered “Chicken Wings”. This dish is served with two sauces and serves 3 big pieces on lettuce. The chicken wings are deep fried and has lots of butter which makes it crispy as well as juicy at the same time!

Chicken Wings

Overall Experience :- A value for money!
Rating :-  5 / 5