We all have tried Tandoori Chicken but one variant of this dish which became very famous in old Delhi is Aslam Butter Chicken from the Jama Masjid area. In Kolkata, only a couple of places re-creates this magic. Dilli 6 is one such preparation where chicken grilled inside tandoor tossed with secret spices, sour cream or maybe hung curd and with an overdose of melted butter. Finished with a dash of lime juice and chopped coriander leaves. It is finger-licking good, inspired by a famous old Delhi style street food.
From the old Delhi let me transport you to the narrow alleys of Karachi for Mutton Bhuna Kabab. Mutton pieces medium well done inside tandoor mixed with a host of spices along with natural tenderizer papaya paste. Perfectly charred edges giving it the rustic feel and subtle smoky flavour goes perfectly with my favourite poison.
Another tandoor preparation I tried lately was Chicken Kali Mirch Kabab. Soft melt-in-mouth tikkas seared in tandoor with coarsely grind peppercorns gives a burst of flavours. For someone who can control their spice intake will prefer to have more punch of the pepper.
The biryani is must in the mains and a greedy gourmet like me not settle for one. Mutton Biryani is a phenomenal combination of chunky mutton pieces with fragrant long grain basmati rice and aromatic spices, is irresistible. The rice grains are the long and best quality. The dum pukht technique allows the aromatic juices from the mutton to ooze into the rice and potato. The biryani is prepared with sunflower oil to keep it non-greasy and light. I would prefer the mutton a little softer. Recently, they have introduced another biryani variant or rather a spicy version of Chicken Tikka Biryani. It’s an amalgamation of two of our favourite preparations: boneless chicken tikka and spicy Hyderabadi biryani together make a delectable one. Not a great lover of spicy biryani but this one made me change my mind, a perfect balance of best of both the worlds.
On the side menu, one of the dishes that bring a smile to my face is Chicken Pasanda. The dish is prepared from marinated shredded chicken with creamy white gravy. The gravy gets its consistency from caramelized onion, cashew paste, chana dal powder, yoghurt and full cream.
Amount of spice is limited to only ginger-garlic paste and a dash of shah rich (white pepper) and cinnamon. Those who love it a little more spicy can add diced green chilli and some chilli oil on the top.
The epitome of gluttony is addressed by their claimed signature dish Mutton Hanglabari. This is their take on Bengali cult classic kosha mangsho prepared by using closely guarded family old recipes.
The trick of this sauteed meat gravy preparation is patience and accurate measurement of a long list of spices starting from marination till the desired consistency of the gravy and dark colour is achieved. Still, the texture of the meat failed to impress me due to its chewiness.
In dessert, there is no other option other than Firni. Tough the pudding was a decent one I will prefer to see them adding more options in this category.
Must try: Dilli 6, Mutton Bhuna Kabab, Chicken Pasanda and Chicken Tikka Biryani