Monday, 12 December 2016

The Bong Connection @Pet Puraan, Gurgaon

Like Jean Anthelme would have put it "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are."
And there ain't any living being who loves good food more than a Bengali

In my few years of work and travel, I have met many many Bengalis and believe me that even a metro, non- Bengali type Bengali, who lives in a city outside West Bengal (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai..), would surprise you with her love for FOOD. 

What I love the most of Bengali food tradition is the central idea that good food doesn't need an occasion. Good food is an occasion itself ! I am sure, right now when you are reading this blog, there must be at least 50 feasts going on in and around Bengal.

While Bengalis love to eat, surprisingly there are very few Bengali cuisine restaurants in Delhi-NCR (and maybe in other cities as well). Apart from a handful like Oh! Calcutta in Nehru Place, Bong Appetit in Qutub Institutional Area, etc, which are a little on the expensive side, I couldnt find myself a good Bengali Meal. Alas ! 

Until very recently I came across Pet Puraan by Arghyadip Datta at DLF Phase 4 Gurgaon. Well, its a takeaway-cum-delivery kitchen which serves Bengali cuisine right at your doorstep. 
So, out of curiosity and hope, I rushed to place my first order at Pet Puraan.


Pet Puraan, DLF Phase 4 Menu
Unlike other restaurants, Pet Puraan doesn't have a 4-page z-fold over-hyped menu card. The menu is quite simple and to-the-point. (I kinda personally like people to keep things simple and focus on their expertise, rather than showing off 100 odd dishes with 50 letter-long names and overly complex definitions)     
Yeah so, while the menu is short, I think it can be improved to make it a little more accommodating to multiple customer segments.
But nonetheless, the items are priced quite competitively.

So the dishes I tried:

Mutton Kasha


Mutton Kasha (pronounces as 'Kausha') is an authentic Bengali Mutton dish which goat meat and potatoes cooked in a thick spicy-sweet-tangy onion-ginger-garlic gravy with tomatoes & curd in mustard oil.
I must tell you, the Kasha was simply Brilliant ! From the moment I opened the box until I licked off the entire gravy from the foil, my colleagues just couldn't stop praising.
Well.... Mutton Kasha was an instant hit. 
Get a good recipe here: Mutton Kasha
  • Portion size: Sufficient for 2 
  • Mutton pieces: 4
  • Spice level: 2.5/5
  • Recommended combination : Mutton Kasha with Bengali style Laccha Paratha/ Luchi

Next up: Bengal-style Mutton Biryani  

One of my colleagues in office had once told me the story behind the famous Bengali Mutton Biryani & why do they put aloo/potato in it.
Well, it started when the 10th & last nawab of Awadh- Wajid Ali Shah came to Kolkata - Metiabruz over 150 years ago,  he had nothing left with him except Awadh's entertainers, dancers & kitchen secrets. The British had taken away his riches and wealth.   
With limited means and resources, Wajid Shah was to feed his troop on what was their staple- Biryani. 
Now, around the same time, Potatoes had been recently introduced by the British in North India. This made potatoes a great substitute to meat in the Biryani (As they added volume & carbohydrates at lower price). 
This is how the Awadhi Biryani + PotatoesMustard Oil transformed into a delicious recipe of Bengali Biryani. 

Yeah, so the Pet Puraan Mutton Biryani was no exception. Loaded with juicy mutton pieces and succulent whole potatoes, 1 plate biryani is a wholesome meal in itself.

  • Portion size: Sufficient for 1 if eating only Biryani
  • Mutton pieces: 2 big pieces
  • Spice level: 2.5/5
  • Recommended combination : Mutton Biryani with boiled egg

Now comes my favourite part of the order- the Phirni !

Did you think its a Rajasthani Dessert? Well, this Phirni by Pet Puraan is definitely a Bong one. With ample amount of Kesar and dry fruit seasoning, the phirni was a DELIGHT. 
I think at a price of Rs 50, its a steal. 

Well, there is more to try on the menu... So I am gonna be back with more reviews on this bong dong @Pet Puraan

Till then, Bhoga !

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

In love with Majnu !

As a strong believer of the natural healing power of food, I had to start my first blog ever by writing on the place which most closely resembles 'Mcleod Ganj' - Majnu Ka Tila near ISBT Kashmiri Gate.

Majnu Ka Tila (MKT as most would call it) is a small Tibetan colony which was established around 1960 to accommodate refugees from the 1959 Tibetan uprising. The place in itself possesses an aura that soothes an impatient traveler and wanderer like me. Bustling with hotels, guest houses, cafes, restaurants, art shops and flee markets, the place makes you feel like a tourist !

This traditional Tibeten restaurant creates sumptuous meals which make you feel incredible!
Well, since it was just the 2 of us, we made sure we try the following signature dishes before getting too full :
The traditional must-have Veg Momos

Yeah, we tried Veg momos first. WHY? Because chicken momos to me form a biased opinion since Chicken makes the momos soft. It is the vegetable momos which tells if the shell and the filling are cooked enough.
So the veg momos were an absolute delight. Soft casing of the momos, filled with aptly cooked stuffing.
Interestingly, the momos sauce wasn't a hot-bed of chilies (unlike what the local roadside vendors would give you). So, you can enjoy the momos with the dip, without having to worry about calling the fire brigade!

Another wonderful dish was the Thentuk

So whats the difference between Thukpa & Thentuk?
While thukpa is a soup with flat noodles, the thentuk has pulled noodles or bite sized pieces of a flat noodles. Both the soups are made with a hearty meat stock alongside refreshing green vegetables as well as some freshly made noodles.

The Ama Special Thukpa

Ama Special Thukpa
This Thukpa is unlike you would have ever tasted. The fresh taste of coconut milk makes the Thukpa quite refreshing, giving it a coastal twist.
I think it was a very smart idea to add coconut milk to an otherwise bland Thukpa.

2. Dolma House

This place is extremely busy and packed almost all the time. Well, that says a lot about how good the food would be. 
What we ordered:
a) Grapes Bubble Tea with Grape Jelly 
b) Mutton Shapta
c) Steamed Tingmo (Steamed bun)
d) Fried Tingmo (Fried bun)

Mutton Shapta & Fried Tingmo

Mutton Shapta

Is basically stir-fried mutton in spicy sauce. Very interesting flavours of onions, tomatoes and ginger. What's different about this? Well, the mutton is sliced! The thin mutton slices soak the flavours really well and are easy to have with the steam buns (Tingmo).
You can find a really good recipe of Shapta at the FoodSweety blog.

The Bubble tea, is basically ice-tea with grape flavour and grape flavoured jelly pieces at the bottom. Must try on a balmy sunny afternoon !

AdviceAvoid ordering Fried Tingmo (Fried bun) at this place- its too oily and hard. Therefore defeats the purpose of accompanying another dish. 
Instead, the steamed Tingmo is something you may really like. The sweetness of the steamed bun, will complement the spiciness of the gravy dishes.

Hope you found this blog useful. 

I will write more about MKT in my following pages. Till then, Cheers !