Friday, February 21, 2014

War of Gujarati thalis - Thackers Vs Samrat

Sometime in August last year I visited a restaurant which is now my new favourite for vegetarian, especially Gujarati food. Thackers, at Girgaon Chowpatty a favourite among the Gujaratis living around that area. In a true foodie/Gujarati spirit, the locals queue up at Thackers for lunch/dinner every weekend. The restaurant serves an a la carte menu of Gujarati delicacies along with Continental and Indian dishes but is more famous for its Thali.

A short drive away from Thackers is Samrat restaurant located near Churchgate Station. This too, like Thackers is popular among those who love Gujarati food. Apart from traditional Gujarati thali restaurant also serves regular Indian and Continental food.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Litti Chokha - The Bihari staple

In winters, strolling on the streets of a small town in Bihar or eastern UP, you'll find a bunch of people huddled around fire roasting littis. The staple from Bihar, litti chokha is one of the most rustic dishes of India. Traditionally the sattu (whole Bengal gram flour) stuffed littis (dough balls) are roasted on dried cow-dung cakes (gobar ke uple) and are eaten with chokha - mashed roasted brinjal mixed with spices. In some homes chana dal and yogurt topped with jaggery is also served along. Another favourite accompaniment with litti is spicy mutton curry cooked in a handi (earthen pot). Sadly, the dish never made to the menu of a main stream restaurant serving Indian food. While we have places serving dal-bati-choorma litti-chokha has mostly gone unnoticed. However, I won't delve into that issue here and will give you the recipe which is really close to my heart. I learnt it from my mom who started making it on cow dung cakes (gobar ke uple) and slowly moved on to gas oven for more practical reasons.

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