The complete Indian menu: Dig into cuisine from all states across the country
We're all united in our love for food. This August 15, show your patriotism by digging into cuisine from across the country
Kodi Vepudu or Andhra Chicken Fry
Kodi Vepudu is a regional preparation, which is tasteful because of its simplicity. As executive chef Michael Mesquita told us what makes it truly special is the addition of coconut and poppy seeds. "The simple flavours fall in place so beautifully that every household in Andhra enjoys this regional favourite," he said. It's the added coconut that gives it an edge. The method is simple. Make a fine powder of the garam masala, marinate the chicken with it and set aside for 15 minutes. Cook the chicken on a low flame, till it is tender. These easy steps ensure that the flavours remain simple, yet bountiful.
Where: The Union Bar & Eating House, Sector 17, Vashi
Price: Rs 325
Home chef Rushina Ghildiyal, says the chainsoo is a concept more than it's a dish. Uttarakhand — both the Garhwal and Kumaon regions — consumes dal more than any other region and so have multiple variants of the same. In fact, she says, the urad is so well used that her father-in-law talks of a bell tower in his village which was cemented with the help of urad dal. This particular dish consists of dry roasting urad dal, grinding it and then cooking with spices. The grinding gives it a texture that's not common to dals and is also not seen anywhere else in the country. That it creates a larger volume than any other process also means that it's more filling.
Where: At Ghildiyal's pop-ups (follow @RushinaMG)
Price: Rs 1,000-Rs 1,800
Pork Bowl Ghost
The hero of this dish is the Assamese Ghost Chilli, also known as bhut jolokia — one of the hottest peppers in the world. Don't be intimidated, though. Chef Kelvin Cheung says, "The fermented paste we make from the chilli is spicy, yet so addictive that you can't help but take another bite." The pork is slowly braised with the chillies, soy sauce and fresh garlic. This is partly the chef's family recipe, and partly inspired by a grandmother he had cooked with during an expedition to Assam. Traditionally, the dish is only eaten during special occasions, since pork is expensive.
Where: Bastian, Linking Road, Bandra West
Price: Rs 600
What better way to get an authentic taste of Awadhi cuisine than to sample Raan-E-Qudussi, a secret ancestral recipe that's been handed down for generations chef Abdul Quddus' family. As chef de cuisine, Quddus (in pic) has now introduced the dish as part of the new menu at Saffron.
The raan, or mutton leg, is a labour of love and is prepared over two days, starting with an overnight marinade of spices. This is followed by slow cooking in a clay pot with khus root, curd and other seasonings. The mutton is then skewered and cooked once more in the tandoor, before it is finally served.
Where: Saffron, JW Marriott, Juhu
Price: Rs 1,795 plus taxes
With salmon fillets simmered in a spiced tomato and seasoned onion gravy, this fragrant dish is a Patiala special. According to Copper Chimney's culinary director Shikha Nath, it's the precise proportion of onions and tomatoes used in the preparation that makes it delicious. "The gravy is slow-cooked, and is an original recipe from our founder JK Kapur. We have been using this for the past 46 years," she adds.
Where: Worli, KG, BKC, Thane outlets
Price: Rs 425-Rs 625
Chef Anindya Chatterjee says growing up in Pune, the soul of his food has always been Maharashtrian. Which is why, when working the menu of Kettlery, he decided to include the Pandhra Rassa from Kolhapur. While the dish is typically eaten with lamb stock in coconut milk and garam masala, Chatterjee felt that it could be reinvented as a vegan soup. This version also has almond milk, and, he says, is 80 per cent close to the meat dish. Plus, it's healthy.
Where: Kettlery Tea Bar & Kitchen, 1, 2nd Floor, Horizon, 37 Juhu Beach, Juhu
Price: Rs 250
Pattice is a dish that is consumed on days when people observe fasts as per the Hindu calendar, especially during the holy month of Shravan. You first boil purple yam (known as kand or ratalu) which is a tuberous root vegetable. A sweet and mildly spiced filling of grated coconut, raisins, peanuts and cashew nuts is prepared and the filling is stuffed into the purple yam. Then, slightly flatten it and deep fry. It's usually served with sweetened curd or a peanut-coriander chutney.
Where: The Bombay Havelli (next to Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri), Opera House; fourth floor, Atria mall, Worli
Price: Rs 220
Litti Express, a 30-seater Bihari restaurant near Millat Nagar in Andheri West, is where you need to head for a taste of sattu sharbat. While carts selling the drink are a ubiquitous sight in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, it's not so the case in the city. "That's the reason we introduced it, because Mumbaikars are not aware of this indigenous superfood," says owner Ashish Parasher. It's prepared with roasted gram flour, black chickpea flour and jaggery. "It's filling and full of nutrients. We serve the savoury and sweet version, depending on your preference," he adds.
Where: Litti Express, E-5 & 6, Green Park, Next to Windermere Building, Oshiwara, Andheri West
Price: Rs 100
Bhunja Shakharkand or roasted sweet potato holds all the robust flavours and rustic style of the Haryanvi cuisine. "The sweet potato is slowly roasted overnight, along with whole onions, on the dying embers of a wood fire," says Milan Gupta, head chef at Taftoon. The caramelisation of the onion beautifully compliments the sweet potato. Like shakharkand, pomegranate too grows abundantly in the state, and is just as much the hero in this dish. Anardana is added to a special mix of spices, lending a tangy taste to the sweet potato. The final flourishes are amaranth leaves — another common Haryanvi produce — a long a spiced hung curd dressing.
Where: Taftoon Bar and Kitchen, Naman Centre, BKC
Price: Rs 319 plus taxes
To make the Chikvi, only local Tripura ingredients are used. Residents commonly consume pork and one of their favourites to make with the meat is Chikvi, which is a fragrant stir fry of bamboo shoots and sliced pork. The pork and bamboo shoots, cooked in a blend of soaked green papaya seeds, green chillies, ginger, turmeric, rice flour and fresh lime leaves, is succulent in flavour.
Where: The Westin Mumbai
Garden City, Goregaon East
Price: Rs 900 to Rs 1,000
We all know of the layered cake – Bebinca as the dessert from the sunshine state. Lady Baga at Lower Parel offers a dessert that is a classic Portuguese preparation. The dessert is rather simple and comprises layers of crumble, condensed milk, and whipped cream. The textures and simplicity of the dish make it extremely special, as does the fact that it can be made from just three ingredients. All you need is tea biscuit crumbs, cream and reduced milk layered and served chilled.
Where: Lady Baga, Kamala Mills
Price: Rs 300 plus taxes
Jaee Ki Khichdi
Nishek Jain, the owner of 29 says the dish is common in both the Kumaon Valley as well as the Himachals. A pahadi dish, it's easy to make. Jaee is the local term for oats. Boiled with moong daal and spiced with local herbs in ghee, it's garnished with poppy seeds locally known as jakhiya. While they don't add flavour to the dish, they bring an aroma and are commonly used in local dishes. The local version, says Jain, also comes with options of shredded cucumber or shredded radish leaves (palak).
Where: 29 (outlets in Malad, Kemps Corner and Thane)
Price: Rs 295 - Rs 325
The most famous dish from the region has to be Litti Chokha and home chef Dolly Singh makes an authentic version at her delivery kitchen. The Litti is made with sattu (roasted gram flour) while Chokha is a mash made up of roasted potato, tomato and brinjal. Back in Bihar it's cooked on the ashes of cow dung cake, known as goitha. While the preparation finds its roots during the war period when they could cook this dish using minimum utensils the techniques are still being followed in the state.
Where: Dolly Singh's Takeaway
Kitchen, Khar West
Price: Rs 1200+ for an 8-course meal
Jammu and Kashmir
Mumbai might not have a winter to gloat about, but that shouldn't you stop from tucking into mutton yakhni, which is relished by Kashmiris during snowfall. Available at Navi Mumbai's Kashmiri restaurant, Shikara, the dish is prepared in curd along with spices. "Not only is it tasty, but also provides nutritional value to the body and keeps it warm, which is why Kashmiris love it in winter. The infusion of spices with a dash of ghee is soothing to the palate," says owner Ashok Mehra.
Where: Shikara Restaurant, Sanpada, Navi Mumbai
Price: Rs 500
According to chef Madhusudhan Prasad of South High, this variety of kebab is Telangana's answer to Lucknow's melt-in-the-mouth galoutis. "While setting up the restaurant, we made several trips to the state to understand the cuisine. And this kebab, which is a street food, won hands down because of its popularity," he says. Made with well-pounded minced meat and chef's special garam masala, what sets the Telangana kebab from the North Indian variety is the use of curry leaves. "We use kadi patta powder and pure ghee, which makes it rich and sumptuous," he adds.
Where: South High, Ground Floor, Trade Tower, B-Wing, Kamala Mills, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel
Price: Rs 405
Home chef Gitika Saikia is known for her Seven Sister Popups where she hosts meals that include dishes from the North East based on the festivals and weather. The
must-try dish she recommends from Arunachal Pradesh is a Tupula Bhaat. This preparation is quintessential to the Singpho tribe of state. It's also known as Singpho Lahi Saul and is wrapped in Kou Paat (leaf) and steamed. It is best paired with chutney and pork dishes and is usually served on the same leaf that is used to steam the rice, just the way the tribe eats it.
Where: Seven Sisters pop-up by Gitika Saikia of Gitikas Pakghor
Price: Rs 1,000 onward
If there's anything that comes second to momos in terms of popularity, it's the thupka. A comforting broth that originated in the eastern part of Tibet, it is largely consumed in the eastern part of India, including Sikkim. According to chef Sunny Punjabi of BKC's Dishkiyaoon, the best part about the thupka is that it can be made with whatever fresh ingredients available. "Vegetables, chillies and meat go into it, and some stock for the base of soup. It can be tweaked for both vegetarians and meat lovers. It's generally considered a poor man's food so people prepare it with the previous day's leftovers as well," he says.
Where: Dishkiyaaon, The Capital, Block G1, Bandra Kurla Complex Road, G Block BKC, Bandra Kurla Complex
Price: Rs 299-Rs 399
Chicken 65 is one dish that resonates with most non-vegetarians in India when they're looking to eat something spicy and satiating. Originating from Tamil Nadu, Chicken 65 has found many different variations of recipes and cooking methods. The chicken is usually marinated with fine Indian spices along with garlic and ginger. It is then stir-fried along with curry leaves in a sauce with punchy flavours to give it a fine and smooth glaze. While traditionally Chicken 65 is made with bones, the version BKC Dive serves it boneless for easier consumption.
Where: BKC Dive, Pinnacle
Corporate Park, BKC
Price: Rs 315
Bondas with Mysore Masala
Kunal Patkar, the chef at Lower Parel's Farzi Cafe, is as fond of street food as the next person. In Mumbai, his favourite is the Mysore masala dosa, with the spiced mix of beetroot, carrot and capsicum. So, while he picked the bondas from Hyderabad, he ensured that they were tossed in the Mysore spices. At the cafe it is served with coconut and peanut kut and malgapodi.
Where: Farzi Cafe (Kamala Mills, High Street Phoenix and Oberoi Mall)
Price: Rs 325
Malabar Buffalo Fry
Chef Vinod Garde, corporate chef of Sid Hospitality at Pot Pourri, prepares the beef in the signature Kerala style where he roasts it with a mix of spices, fresh coconut slices and herbs. The recipe is easy to nail, he tells us. "We first marinade the beef cubes with spices and vinegar for 30 minutes and then pressure cooker till it whistles. It is then sautéd in coconut oil and curry leaves till it turns black in colour. It never fails to appeal to your senses with its mouth-watering aroma," he explains.
Where: Pot Pourri, Cubic Mall, Vasant Vihar Complex, Chembur East
Price: Rs 380+
Chingri Malai/Malay Curry
Beloved as it is among Bengalis, Chingri malai curry is a misnomer; the theory goes that this is more likely a Malay curry. Coconut milk is not a commonly used ingredient in the Bengali cuisine and was more likely passed on by travelling traders. The dish is a heavenly marriage of prawn and coconut milk, enveloped in the flavours of spices and onion paste fried in mustard oil, followed by ginger garlic paste and green chillis for a mild hint of heat. Vegetarians, too, can enjoy this party favourite, says home chef Rhea Dalal, who offers a malai paneer version as well.
Where: Euphorhea Kitchen; orders to be placed a day in advance
Price: Rs 400
Buff Hawaijar Thongba
Home chef Alistair Lethorn who runs Aal's Kitchen out of his Madh Island home, might be known for his out-and-out Naga dishes, but there's a lot more to his repertoire. The Buff Hawaijar Thongba is one such dish. "I source the smoked buff from Manipur and then cook in hawaijar or fermented soya beans and awa fadigom (cilantro leaves) which gives it the very special pungent flavour. In fact, it's this combination that makes this dish a special across the state," he says, adding that the Manipuri spices can be sourced from stores in Khar.
Where: Raheja Exotica, Madh Island
Price: On request
Bombay Canteen is known to highlight lesser known dishes from across the country and one such dish is from Nagaland called the Naga Galho. Galho is essentially a porridge made with Naga sticky rice, a local herb called Gajo, and Kezai Dui, an indigenous salt which helps retain the colour of the greens being boiled. It is typically served with a host of different accompaniments depending on the occasion or the tribe.
Where: Bombay Canteen, Kamala Mills, Lower Parel
Price: Rs 650
Misa Maach Poora
Misa Mach Poora is a luscious gourmet dinner in Mizoram. Here, shrimps are marinated in a spice mix of peppercorns and coriander. It is then wrapped in banana leaves and roasted over charcoal. It is special to Mizoram because of the dual cooking styles involved in its preparation. Prawns are blanched in pepper corn water and then braised inside a banana leaf with mustard oil. You can try it at Mondo Fine Dine which is launching a Northeastern menu this month.
Where: Shop No. 1, Omkareshwar, New Link Road, Kandarpada, Dahisar West
Price: Rs 650+
Chef James Biaca who runs Pali Hill's Kofuku and has good reason to make Jadoh a chef's special at this restaurant. Indigenous to Meghalaya, it is the signature dish of Khasi cuisine. The rice is traditionally soaked in pork blood and cooked with the meat.
"Apart from its rich flavours, it is also known for its unique colour. After blending chillies, onions, ginger, turmeric, black pepper and bay leaves, we add pieces of fried pork along with red rice. The addition of turmeric imparts a rich yellow colour in addition to the red. If you are adventurous and love pork, this dish is a must try," he says.
Where: Kofuku, 6th floor, Suburbia Mall, Above Shoppers Stop, Linking Road, Bandra West
Price: On request
Ker Sangri, a preparation of panchkuti, which comprises five different dehydrated vegetables like ker, sangri, kumthia, gunda and babul fhali, is only available in Rajasthan. It is known for its earthy and rustic flavours and is presented proudly by the maharajs (chefs) of Rajasthan. "Ker Sangri comes in the same category as other signature Rajasthani dishes such as dal dhokli, gatte ki sabzi and ringna no olo," says Rumi Ranji, partner at Golden Star Thali. It is prepared by soaking all the vegetables overnight.
"Your first heat oil in a thick pan, saute ginger garlic paste with some cumin (jeera); then add sliced and translucent fried onions along with red chilli powder, turmeric, aamchur powder and salt. To create a thick base, beaten yoghurt is blended, and it's served with coriander leaves as garnish," he explains. At the restaurant, it is served few times in a month, and daily with the unlimited thali during the ongoing Dehati Rasoi Utsav, a traditional food festival held every August.
Where: Golden Star Thali, opposite Charni Road Station, Charni Road East
Price: Rs 450 for 500 gm (served along with four bajra rotlas)
Kali masi in spicy gravy
Home chef Anuradha Joshi Medhora, who often hosts pop ups to popularise regional cuisine, has been experimenting extensively with Kadaknath, an Indian breed of chicken local to Jhabua and Dhar districts of eastern Madhya Pradesh. Locally called Kalimasi — the fowl with black flesh — the Kadaknath is considered a premium breed. "It's either made in spicy curry or is an adaptation of the 'shikar' or hunting recipes as the meat is very gamey. I've done a spicy version, which is a hunting recipe of ghee, chilli and salt and another in green fresh spices," she says.
Where: Charoli Food pop-ups
Price: Rs 2,800 for two
Odia cuisine uses less oil in cooking and is very nutritional and full of flavours. With the combination of lentils and vegetables, Dalma is packed with proteins, vitamins and minerals making it a very healthy dish also referred to as the king of all vegetarian recipes in Odisha. This toor daal dish also contains chopped vegetables like green papaya, unripe banana, eggplant, pumpkin, gourd, drumsticks etc. It is garnished with turmeric, mustard seeds, and punch phutana (cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and onion seeds).
Where: Star Anise Kitchen, Kurla West
Price: Rs 270 portion along with steamed rice (must be pre-ordered)
Moong dal ka chilla
The moong ka chilla, which is loaded with
vitamins and minerals, is a great source of protein. It's a combination of soaked moong which is pureed with seasoning, and additions can be made according to one's liking. Executive chef Amit Bajaj suggests that these can range from caramelised onions to sun-dried tomatoes or even olives and jalapenos. It's a healthy option to replace the usual besan chilla, and is perfect for breakfast or a snack.
Where: Glocal Junction, Mouya Bluemoon Building, Veera Desai Industrial Estate, Andheri West
Price: Rs 325
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Guide Awards: Lesser known Irani Cafes In Mumbai - Cafe Colony