Saturday, 24 September 2016

Dhaba at The Claridges #sikandalouscuisine

The making of Dhaba - some interesting facts that went unknown and some useful tips to make those delectable Galati Kababs too - Executive Chef Sahil Sabhlok generously throws in tips on how to ' finish ' kababs infusing them with further flavors - read on and enjoy it in his voice and words !
Rashmi Khanna's dream of bringing the best of the dhaba's of North India to Delhi under one roof took a lot of research and over 200 visits visits to various dhabas , tasting the food with cooks from the hotel and bringing some of the dhaba cooks to cook in the kitchens of The Claridges . They worked with the same ingredients , but not with the same results , till one dhaba cook pointed out that he couldn't work standing ! So the kitchen was modified , and in his familiar position he rolled out what he did from his own Dhaba !
A special mention to chef de partie Karan Singh and demi chef Bhagwat Singh , the custodians of Dhaba's signature dishes who have ensured that authenticity and quality were never compromised .Today Dhaba celebrates 30 glorious years , with a menu that remains 85% the same as it did 30 years ago .Unfortunately the prices did change with times !
A makeover some years ago saw this iconic restaurant renovated now better lit with more comfortable seating , a different but still ' dhaba ' look and yes that truck never got towed away fortunately and still forms the backdrop of their kitchen and very much a part of the restaurant .
Lets talk food , my favourite topic . Galati Kababs which won many new fans at Top Chef Awards that were hosted by the Claridges were as always delectable. Mutton Seekh Kababs and Chicken Tikkas are special here - cooked in the tandoor , ' finished ' on a pan , in the case of seekhs with some gravy while the chicken tikkas get their special flavours and hint of sour with javatri ilachi , nimbu juice and no doubt some secret ingredients !
Chicken Tikka Capsicum came in a copper tiffin box with ajwain paratha , this to my mind could have done with some more defining flavours. Dhaba Mutton Curry - an honest no fuss curry cooked with stock was divine . I didn't think I would , but I loved the Tomato Paneer - one of the best I have eaten. Dal Fry , again couldn't have been better. Desserts again are superb here , and close to my Punju Palate . A must order Malpua with a Malai Kulfi hit all the right spots. Orange Goli and Kala Khatta , the perfect sweets to walk out with after this exceedingly satisfying meal. Take a big bow Sahil , the meal was a perfect 10 .
Atul Sikand
Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine

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