Ever since I was little, I’ve preferred North Indian food due to my upbringing in the national capital region. There’s something so delicious about even a simple, well-prepared daal or those scrumptious chaats that make snacktime fun. So when I was invited to the launch Made in Punjab, the latest venture from the renowned Zorawar Kalra, I was definitely interested in experiencing how Punjabi cuisine would be reimagined. Here’s what my experience tasting from the menu was like.
Located on the 2nd floor of UB City, Lavelle Road, Made in Punjab greets one with plus interiors and an expansive buffet area with a well-stocked bar. The place seems to be geared towards fine dining with family or friends – it’s ideal for when you’re in a group. The staff consists of friendly folks who know their dishes pretty well.
I started with a ‘Vojito-Mojito’ – a slightly sweeter version of the mojitos I’ve tried before, but refreshing nevertheless. As I waited for the appetizers, I went through the menu which had a sizeable selection for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, including a section for Punjabi-fied Chinese food.
I started with the ‘Popeye Paaji ki chaat’, the name being because it’s essentially crispy spinach with chaat spices and garnishings, with lashings of green chutney and sweet chutney, with dollops of mashed sweet potato. A curious yet absolutely delicious combination. The sweet potato didn’t overpower the taste of the spices despite it being there in addition to the sweet chutney. One bite and I was transported back home to Delhi, nearly made me emotional 😛 seriously, where do I find proper Delhi-style chaat anywhere in Bangalore?! Nothing came close so far, but this nailed it.
Next up was of course, a paneer dish but this one had a twist. Paneer chunks grilled with lots of spices and coated with crushed papad. The combination had punch and crunch too. Highly recommended.
I hear that the kebabs are very well made here, for the non-vegetarians. You can order individually or as a platter.
I never thought broccoli could taste this good, but the Broccoli Badam was just delicious – though the richness of the gravy it was coated in could have been balanced with a little more spice since the sweetness of the almonds was overwhelming the taste.
…And the award for the most fun dish pun goes to – Khumbkaran. (for the unacquainted, khumb is mushroom in Hindi, and well, Kumbhkaran was Ravan’s gluttonous, sleep-loving brother) Succulent mushroom combined with a rich tomato sauce and grilled to perfection.
A special mention to the Lassi. This one wasn’t just malai mar ke, it was so rich and thick that I never could make out whether the level of my glass went up or down when I drank it. Had a slight mango taste to it though they swore it was kesar.
Now for the main course, by which time yours truly was already puffing and panting from two things – being already partially full, and from the spices that were oh so satisfying. The sarson da swag (yes, really) was cooked to perfection and tempered with spices and dollops of white butter that make one weak in the knees. The maa ki daal definitely made me think of mom and days of yore when daal, roti and salad were staple dinner. The paneer Burrraaahh (forgot how many ‘a’s and ‘h’s) was made in a rich, tomato gravy that shahi paneer usually is known for but had its own twist in the way the spices were added. I was in heaven. Add to that soft naans and laccha paranthas and it was just bliss.
By this time, when we felt we truly couldn’t possibly have any more, in came the dessert. The word jalebi conjures up childhood memories of a certain ad but also of delicious squiggles dripping in sugar syrup and served with thick, creamy rabri. Surprisingly non-sticky, the jalebis melted in the mouth though the rabri could have been thicker.
The Stuffed Gulab Jamun (stuffed with chocolate, you see) consisted of two very fat, very soft gulab jamuns with generous garnishings of pista-badam. While the chocolate filling was a nice touch, the overall super-sweetness of the gulab jamun in general made the chocolate flavour get a bit lost. But a suitable ending to a meal fit for a queen or king.
So if you’re ever around, do drop in to Made in Punjab. Make sure you’d skipped breakfast, and just enjoy a meal of epic proportions – as generous as Punjabis themselves and more delectable than what you’d have ever have tasted.
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