Food Coma with Seek Sherpa

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How fitting is it that the next post after fitness is on a food tour!!!

Seek Sherpa has been conducting food tours on Saturdays where their regular patrons are invited to evaluate the tour and the Sherpa. I couldn’t go last weekend because of work. But this weekend I didn’t make any plans hoping they would invite me again. As it happens, today’s tour was to Andhra Bhawan and Bengal Bhawan with Sherpa Arjun.

KC and I have been regulars to Andhra Bhawan for a few years now. I like how cheap, efficient and great the food is. I am a fan of South Indian food. I prefer South Indian non veg over North Indian anyday. And it is sad how there are such few places which offer regional cuisines. Like, I only know 2 places which satisfy my craving for South Indian non veg in Gurgaon – Coco Palm and Zambar. And if I want to try out Bihari food, I know only Potbelly Cafe in Delhi. The only place for Marathi food in Gurgaon is a stall at Ambience Mall.

The good thing about Delhi is that there are places like Delhi Haat and Bhawans where you can get all cuisines. I wish the premium and mid range hotels would have more regional cuisines. Like Cyber Hub is filled with duds offering dudder (that’s not a word, I know) food.

Anyway… we arrived at 12.30 pm which is the perfect time because it gets crowded after 1 pm. There were 8 of us and a table had been booked. Arjun is a student of economics with a passion for food. He ordered veg thali, mutton fry, chicken fry and fish curry for all of us. He then talked about Andhra cuisine and Andhra Bhawan…

– Many Bhawans have rented out their canteens to caterers or restaurants… but not Andhra Bhawan and that is why it is so popular.

– If you have eaten Andhra food you know it is cooked with curry leaves and pepper. That is why it is so spicy

– The biryani served on Sundays is not the Hyderabadi biryani but something else altogether. I love the biryani

– Our food was a mix of flavours… while the aloo sabji was sort of bland and creamy, the mutton/chicken fry were spicy and the fish curry was sour and spicy at the same time.

After the meal we headed to Bengal Bhawan which is on Hailey Road, few minutes from Modern School, Barakhamba. I have eaten Bengali food but wondered what the big deal is about. The biryani is not spicy and filled with masala like Hyderabadi biryani, the fish is ok kinds and everything else is mediocre.

Arjun ordered Macheri Paturi, prawn malai masala, mutton biryani, luchis and mishti doi/rosogollas. Bengal Bhawan canteen is managed by Bijoli Grill which is a famous catering company in Kolkata and I think they have restaurants too. This is not the best Bengali food in town but it is decent enough. For the best food you should head to Chittranjan Park.

The discussion over food revolved around around different kinds of river water fish, Bengalis and their love for food etc etc.

I had a taste of everything :

– The macheri paturi was ok. The fish was not melt in your mouth

– I don’t eat prawns but tasted the gravy of the prawn malai masala and it was sweet and delicious

– Mutton biryani was yum

– I skipped the desserts but had a taste of KC’s rosogollas… and these are the best ones I have ever eaten. Soft.. luscious… melt in your mouth

Worth a try. All this food cost us Rs 550/head. How cool is that???

Seek Sherpa will roll out a food tour of Bhawans in Delhi soon. Please do not miss it.

This is what Andhra Bhawan looks like. Don’t go expecting something fabulous. After all, the thali costs 200 bucks/head.

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The unlimited veg thali – brinjal chutney, beans sabji, aloo sabji, toor daal, curd, rice halwa, puris, papad, rice, sambhar, rasam and steamed rice.

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Luchis at Bijoli Grill

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Mutton Biryani

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Prawns malai masala

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Fish steamed in a banana leaf and covered with mustard paste

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Rosogolla

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I was amazed by Arjun’s knowledge. I don’t know half as much about Sindhi cuisine. Time to change that?


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