Friday, December 30, 2016

' A three-course Norwegian meal' by K.J.S. Chatrath

I know this does not really fall under 'Indian restaurants worldwide' but since it deals with food, I am putting it in this blog.

Take a look at  a three-course Norwegian meal which I had two months back in Norway.

 The starter or the 'Entree'- lightly marinated salmon with lemon cream. That rectangular thin strip is the salmon! Of course the Americans call the main dish as 'Entree', and pray who can stop them from saying so?

 The main dish - something like an aloo tikee with peanuts. It was as bland as anything can be. Dont miss those three brown things- those are boiled potatoes in jackets!

The dessert was as tasty as it was good looking.

I am not a big eater, but still I was hungry at the end of this good looking meal. 

My take- Indian cuisine is the best in the world.

Say with pride that Indian food is the best in the world. 

गर्व से कहो की भारतीय खाना दुनिया में सब से अच्छा है! 
जय हिन्द!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

'Tabbakh restaurant, Bhopal India' by K.J.S.Chatrath

While visiting Bhopal earlier this year I had an excellent Chicken Biryani at a restaurant opposite the entrance to the Taj-ul-Masjid. Last week I visited Bhopal again and went to the same restaurant around lunch time.

A tough looking Afghan with a lathi in his hand opened the door for me.

When a waiter came to take my order, I asked him first to explain the meaning of 'Tabbakh'. He explained that it was an arabic word meaning 'cook'. I accepted that and placed order for 'Chicken Stew' and tandoori roti.

Chicken Stew did not find a place in their menu, but was served after a wait of about 15 minutes.

Chicken Stew

Tandoori roti was good but made of 'maida' and not atta. 

Th very first bite showed the excellent quality of the dish. It had a liberal presence of garlic, ginger and oil, besides well cooked chicken pieces and other masalas (spices). The quantity served was generous.

And thn I ordered 'Phirni'. It tasted very good and was not too sweet.

And then the bill arrived- Rs.180 for the Chicken Stew, Rs.24 for two rotis and Rs.40 for the 'Phirni'. I added 10% as tip and left the restaurant in a happy mood.

P.S. Those who are fussy about their cholestorol levels, may better avoid.... 

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Monday, November 28, 2016

'Makki Di Roti Tey Sarson Da Saag' by K.J.S.Chatrath

Now is the season to enjoy one of Punjab's hot favourites- Makki Di Roti + Sarson Da Saag मक्की दी रोटी तेय सरसों दा  साग ...What this photo misses is a big dollop of home made butter.

Watch Gurdas Mann sing about Apna Punjab..

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

'Govinda Restaurant, Budapest, Hungary' by K.J.S.Chatrath

 Govinda Restaurant, Budapest, Hungary:

The history of the restaurant goes back to 1996 when the unique Indian vegetarian restaurant, Govinda opened. After 6 years of successful work the restaurant moved to Vigyázó Ferenc street in the 5th district of Budapest, where former Gandhi restaurant was. Here we can serve our guests in a bigger place, with more varieties of food and more quickly.
From our counter our visitors can choose from 20 kinds of warm food, from the salad counter many delicious salads. Moreover we can serve you our own special (alcohol free) drinks and sweets. Every day we offer you new and new meals so you cannot get bored with them. According to the needs we can have smaller programs (with 20-50 people) in the restaurant but we can cook for bigger programs also (for 50-150 people).

No smoking or drinking  alcohol is permitted in  this restaurant. .

+36 1 473-13-10

Opening hours:
Mo - Fr: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sa: 12 a.m. – 9 p.m., Su: Closed


Budapest 1051 Vigyázó Ferenc utca 4.

 Note: I have not tried food in Govinda, as yet. ....K.J.S.Chatrath

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

'Fooding around in Mysore, India' by K.J.S.Chatrath

English has become so easy, thanks to Americans. Just add  'ing' to a noun and it becomes a verb. 'Food' - 'fooding'. The purists, of course, call it the murder of English language. Anyway, lets go back to food. And reach Mysore, the lovely city of Karnataka. It is well connected with various modes of transport- including the railways.

Yes, Indian Railways is one of my favourite modes of travel in India- travelling by air comes last, when there is no other alternative. On reaching Mysore station one comes out of the building and keeps visiting the Railways Museum there for another day.

From station one goes towards the Jawagal Srinath  Circle. It is gratifying to see a living legend being honoured by his home town. From the Circle take a left turn. It is a busy road with shops on both sides of the road.

Taking the left side of the road and after about 15 shops one spots a modest signboard 'Dosa Point'.

On getting in, one is welcomed by a receptionist-cum-cashier and a menu board mentioning the price of each snack. This photo was taken in 2013 so one presumes that the prices would have got revised upwards by now.

Order a butter-masala-dosa and see the same being prepared in front of you by an apron clad handsome young man.

And the dosa that one gets is just incredible. I rate it as the best dosa that I have had visiting town after town in South India for years.

The vadas are not to be missed either.

Next day I tried a 'thali meal' at a slightly upmarket restaurant. It was just OK...OK. I wish the fancy restaurants would spend more energies in improving the standard of food that they serve rather than worrying too much about making the place look beautiful. I for one, go to a restaurant to have good food and not to appreciate the so called ambience - which works out to electrical fittings and fancy dresses of the bearers. But I am always shouted down by my friends on this.

  Mysore has good availability of excellent fruits too.

Just a few kilometers out of Mysore town, I had a plate of standard Idli-Vada in a roadside restaurant on the road towards Gomateshwara. The idlis were soft and fluffy, vada crisp and piping hot and the two chutneys  as sweet and spicy as I love them to be. 

Yes, I am planning another leisurely trip across various towns of Karnataka this winter to try out new 'fooding' places. Want to come?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

'Best chicken-curry in the world at Kake Da Hotel, Connaught Circus, New Delhi' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

Kake Da Hotel, in Connaught Circus, New delhi is said to have been established in 1931. I have no reason to check the year. I have been frequenting this restaurant since 1960- the last time I went there was on 24th May 2016. I picked up their brief menu to share it with all.

I have no idea weather they really use 'desi-ghee' or not. In any case I do not like the taste and smell of Desi Ghee (Yes, yes, I am a Punjabi).

I have tried various of their dishes but have got stuck on chicken curry and tandoori roti. Believe you me, it is the tastiest and the best that I have had anywhere in India or abroad.

Do give it a try if you love good food.

Give it a miss if you are too fussy about cleanliness and  so called 'ambience'.

Now they have opened two branches also- in Rajouri Garden and in Panchsheel Enclave. Take a look at their website at :

Disclaimer: I have never had any complimentary or discounted food at this or any other restaurant in my life.

……     …..
May I invite you to visit my websites & blogs?

Monday, May 2, 2016

'Hotel Samjhana at Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh, India' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

I have just completed an 11 day road trip Guwahati-Bomdila-Tawang-Kaziranga-Shillong-Guwahati. The trip was organised by Isha Tours of Mumbai ( The group consisted of 41 participants and two tour leaders- Ms. Geetanjali Mane and Mr. Amit Thot. The present write up is not about this trip in general but about a lunch we had on 20th April at at Dirang, neear bommdilla in Arunachal Pradesh.

We reached this roadside restaurant at past 3 pm and were surprised to find its 50 odd seats full and people waiting. After a short wait we were adjusted on different tables. The first dish to arrive was salad +chutney. Both were good looking and tasty.

And then came the 'Thali' meal. It had a small serving of kabuli chana, an equally small serving of one of the most watery 'daals' I have had in my life. Besides there was a smattering of cabbage, karela and boiled and mashed potato sabzi (?). The roti was white and perhaps of maida if not a mixture of atta and maida. Every item was tasty- yes, even the watery daal!
That is me with some fellow participants from the Group. What really impressed every one was that the place seemed to be owned and run by ladies. There were half a dozen or so young ladies flying from one table tyo another to the kitchen and back. Their speed and alertness would put any McDonald's restaurant anywhere in the world to shame. Bravo young ladies!

It was only when  I came out of the restaurant  after finishing my meal that I took the above photo. I did not notice then the sign 'Hindu Hotel' painted on the front.

I used to hear that prior to the 1947 partition there used to be restaurants labelled 'Hindu Hotels' and 'Muslim Hotels' and on railway stations there used to be two types of water- 'Hindu water' and 'Muslim water'.

But seeing such a sign in 2016 really distressed me.

कोई 'होटल समझाना' वालों को समझाए !


May I invite you to visit my websites & blogs?

Friday, April 8, 2016

'36 Ballygunj Place, Kolkata' by K.J.S.Chatrath

In 1967, I went to join the Mussoorie IAS Academy to join the service. It looks like yesterday, but it was almost 50 years back. The officer trainees were called 'Probationers' and two had to share a room. The room allocation had a method in pairing of the allottees. Persons coming from the same state and going to the same state were not put together. The idea was to inculcate an all India outlook.

I was extremely lucky to have got Gauri Shankar Ghosh as my room partner. He belonged to West Bengal and was allotted Gujarat cadre. I, a Punjabi coming from Delhi, was alotted Orissa. The same system of integrating officers and cadres with a healthy mix of insiders and outsiders.

Gauri and I got along very well and became very good friends. Once out of the Academy we went our ways. I went to Orissa. He went to Gujarat and soon, because of his brilliant work, went to the UN and was much in demand amongst various UN Agencies.

Last year we were able to re-discover each other electronically. He stays in NOIDA and I am in Panchkula. We were keen to meet. The occasion came when early this year I decided to go on a touristy visit to Kolkata. Gauri too was in Kolkata that time where he had gone to look after his old mother. He hosted me as if the entire Kolkata belonged to him. I also had the privilege of meeting his lady wife- Chanda, an extremely graceful and gracious lady.
On the very first evening he took me to a classy Bengali food restaurant called 6 Ballygunge Place, said to be famous for genuine Bengali cuisine . The place is an old house refurbished but retaining its Bengali character.
Take a look at the ambience of different rooms:

This, I guess is the depiction of a typically erudite Bengali bhadralok.

A graceful Bengali lady.

Colourful wall hangings with Bengali motifs. 

Having seen and photographed the place, we sat down for a nice Bengali dinner and soon the menu arrived.

The starter was a salty mango drink with pakoras.

Chicken, fish and potal stuffed with paneer. All superb.

No explanation is required.

And no Bengali meal is complete without 'mishti dohi'.

Thank you Gauri and Chanda for a memorable truly Bengali meal.
6, Ballygunge Place, Kolkata, West Bengal 700019
Phone:033 2460 3922