More than four decades old legacy now have a new face. Renovated India Restaurant at the old dock area of Kidderpore has now turned into a multi-story Mughlai food durbar with grandeur of Arabian architecture. From their vast menu selected few items which dragged our attention.
In starters we opted for Mutton Galawti Kebab and India Special Cheese Kebab.
Mutton Galawti Kebab has many tales about its origin but legend goes that one of the Lucknowi Nawabs had lost most of his dentures due to old age, but his penchant for kebabs were far from dying. So for their toothless Nawab, the seasoned khansamas came up with a popular variant which needed no chewing yet had the same rich flavours and taste of a kebab. Our experience with the Mutton Galawti Kebab was no different. The sign of that perfect galawti kebab is the crispy thin outer layer and inside butter soft minced meat melts inside mouth. The best way to enjoy this irresistible dish is with Lucknowi paratha accompanying the dish. I must say in my lifetime till as long as I remember this is the best galawti kebab I have ever tasted!
India Special Cheese Kebab is cheese layered chicken kebab is one of the specialties of the house. The spice mixed and pre-marinated thigh chicken pieces sewer inside tandoor (clay oven) and finished baking with melted cheddar cheese on the top. Oh my! this is one hell of a filling dish.
In the main role, among biryanis in the list the trio of Kacchi, Awadhi and Daryabadi will make you confuse which one to order. But I wanted to try three of them and were presented to us on the table.
Mutton Kacchi Biryani involves cooking the pre-marinated raw meat with spices and half-cooked basmati rice together in layers on dum. Aromatic soft tender chunks of meat and rice infused with flavours of spices with topping of dry fruits make this preparation a class apart. No one in the city can prepare better kaachi biriyani!
Daryabadi Biryani is a pattern of kacchi biryani but only difference is how it is being served. The biryani is served with extra pieces of mutton and egg. But the same cooking process with little bit more dry fruits. No difference in taste.
Mutton Awadhi Biryani is on the contrary a variant of pakki biryani. Here meat is first cooked along with spices and rice is cooked separately. Then they are combined into layers and steamed for some time on dum inside clay handi. To retain the flavour the biryani is kept sealed inside clay pot till this is served on table. Enjoy that deep breadth you take along with the aromatic steam which hits on your face the moment the handi is open.
With biryani, the side kicks are must. What can be better than Chicken Afghani and Tawa Chicken to fit this role. Chicken Afghani, we have generally came across creamy textured white gravy but here this is red gravy of julienne chicken pieces mixed with cashew paste, onion chunks with infusion of special herbs. Of course topped with dollop of butter. Tawa Chicken is so similar in looks and taste to the Afghani variant only difference is the chicken cut. Here it is in chunks in comparison to the latter. The side dish failed to impress me to that extent and I found few dishes along with biryani are given different names but actually at the core same dish with different names. Marketing gimmicks! The bottom line, India Restaurant has thoroughly impressed us with its food, royal ambiance and courtesy.
Must try: Mutton Galawti Kebab, India Special Cheese Kebab, Mutton Kacchi Biryani and Mutton Awadhi Biryani