Would you eat at a restaurant offering "1 Bowel of Sambar" or an "Anguish Burger"? The British left us the English language and its been murdered by many but probably the restaurant industry has really killed it over and over again. I am not sure why this happens but its very common to find typos in the menus of Indian restaurants all over the world and some of its makes for very funny reading. In this article we present some funny ones that we have come across like
Whats the funniest you have come across? Please share it with us or leave it in the comments section.
We have been asked the question, "What is Indian Food like?" many times and I have always struggled to answer this question because there is no easy answer. India is a vast and diverse country and each state is a country in itself in terms of its food, dress, language etc. You can eat Momo's from the North East, Sambhar in the South, Dhokla in the East and Dum Aloo in the North and they are all unique and fascinating. The North has Mughal influences while the East has Chinese influences, all making for a great dining experience. With the recent economic growth in India, many of these dishes are now available in the big cities. However, its probably best to travel to the respective states to savour the real taste.
We recently came across this India Food Map that lists some of the Must Try dishes in each of India's states and it answers tha question "What is Indian Food like?". Now I can send anyone who has this question to this map. Click on the Read More link below to see a larger image of the map.
If you happen to live in the Dallas Forth Worth metroplex, there is no shortage of Indian and Pakistani restaurants. With over a 100 desi restaurants, there are many favorites. In this article, we will be exploring the topic of who serves the best biryani in Dallas. Having lived in this area for over 4 years, we have sampled biryanis are many restaurants and have come to the conclusion that the following places serve the best biryanis in town.
BBQ Tonite - BBQ Tonite is a Pakistani restaurant located in Carrollton just of the Bush turnpike. BBQ Tonite is located in a quiet strip mall and is easy to pass by. In our opinion they have the best biryani in Dallas. The biryani is always fresh and they use very good tender Halal meat. Their portions are generous with lot of meat. The biryanis are also flavorful but not very hot. They are reasonably priced at around $7-9/plate. If you like a good Pakistani biryani, then BBQ Tonite is highly recommended.
Al Markaz - also located off the Bush Turnpike is Al Markaz. Al Markaz is probably the most popular biryani place in Carrollton town judging by crowds on the weekend. Their biryanis are also very flavorful with good tender meat. After having sampled both Al Markaz and BBQ Tonite, we feel that the portions at Al Markaz are smaller and they put in less meat as well.
Paradise Biryani Pointe - Paradise opened sometime in 2010 in Irving and served Hyderabadi food including the popular Hyderabadi biryani. With time, the popularity of this place has grown a lot and is the best Hyderabadi biryani in town. The biryani is on the expensive side compared to the other restaurants in Irving but its still very popular because of the great taste. On weekends, you can see the biryanis flying out of the door. The demand is so high that after 11 PM, they shut down the restaurant and serve only biryanis for the late night movie and party crowd.
Spice N Rice Indian Tiffin - located in the India Bazaar strip mall in Valley Ranch, Spice N Rice is a little hole in the wall restaurant. If you are vegetarian, we highly recommend their veg biryani. At around $4-5/plate, its an amazing deal. Their food in general is quite good and very reasonable rates. Verdict - For us, we love BBQ Tonite and they remain our favorite restaurant for Biryanis in the Dallas metroplex. A few new restaurants have opened up in the city like Ziyaafat and Mughlai that we have not sampled yet. Perhaps our opinion will change.
What is your favorite biryani joint in Dallas?
The aspiring MasterChefs better gear up to cook something divine to appease those trained taste buds! Vikas Khanna will start his journey as a judge on MasterChef India 2 soon alongside Ajay Chopra and Kunal Kapoor - resident chefs from the first season. Besides these, the show will be replete with multiple celebrity guests and glamorous offsite locations.
This year in July, Vikas cooked a Saatvik meal for the Dharmic Seva Conference for Hindu American Seva Charities at the White House. Vikas started his own catering business, Lawrence Gardens, at the age of 17. He is the Executive Chef of Junoon Restaurant, a project written about widely in the New York press. He has authored several books including The Spice Story of India, Modern Indian Cooking and Flavours First that released on 15th August, 2011.
MasterChef India changed many lives in Season 1 and showed India how a mundane activity like cooking can be a ticket to fame and success. Themed "Ab Badlo India, Apne Khaane ka Andaaz", the season aims to bring a change in the way India perceives food. Vikas Khanna’s gastronomic philosophy is delivering innovative & luxurious meals, laying special emphasis on ingredients, taste, flavours and textures, which have won him many hearts.
The season begins on Star Plus on Saturday Oct 22nd. Star Plus may be available in your country. Check here for more information on Indian Television stations around the world.
|Over the last couple of years, we have come across 3 Indian dishes have been deemed to be the most expensive Indian dish in their own "class". We thought it would be a good idea to showcase all the 3 dishes in one article. |
1. World's Most Expensive Curry - Samundari Khazana ($4000)
On the top of the list would be the Samundari Khazana (Treasure from the Sea) which was was created and served at the Bombay Brasserie in upmarket London. The dish was launched to mark the release of the Slumdog Millionaire DVD. The dish was a mix of caviar, sea snails, a whole lobster and even edible gold. You can see the dish being prepared at served here.
2. World's Most Expensive Chutney - Chutney for Heros ($600)
Coming in at No 2, is Chutney for Heroes from the Bindi Restaurant in London. Priced at almost $600 for a 190 ml jar, the chutney contains saffron and 23ct Edible Gold and organic produces to complement a mixture of spices to provide a mouth watering chutney. For more details visit the website.
3. World's Most Expensive Butter Chicken - Anaarkali ($150)
Coming in at No 3 and seeming relatively cheap compared to the first two, is Anaarkali Butter Chicken. The Anaarkali Butter chicken is a labor of love for the chef who took almost 2 years to come up with what he felt was the best butter chicken in the world. Using special ingredients, the dish is delivered to your doorstep in a ready-to-heat container. For more details, you can read an older post we had on this dish.
Are these genuine efforts or marketing stunts? With the Samundari Khazana and Chutney, its probably a stunt to drive some attention to their restaurant. I love Indian food (did I have to mention that) and it takes me more than a couple of tries at a dish before we keep ordering it so I would never ever try my hand (and wallet) at this, unless someone else was paying for it. There are plenty of local Indian restaurants that offer wonderful tasty food and I would much rather sample those.
Would you or have you tried any of these dishes or do you know of other expensive Indian dishes? Please share with us.
Have you wondered, "Where does the word tandoori come from"? or have you tried making Tandoori chicken or Naan at ome and wondered, "Why does it not taste like it does in the restaurant?. The reason is because the restaurants would prepare the tandoori items and various breads in a tandoor. The tandoor is currently a very important fixture in many Indian restaurants around the world. The word tandoori is the adjective meaning "pertaining to the tandoor" and is used to describe a dish cooked in a tandoor.
A tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven used in cooking and baking. The
tandoor is used for cooking in Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the
Transcaucasus, the Balkans, the Middle East, Central Asia as well as
India and Bangladesh. The heat for a tandoor was traditionally
generated by a charcoal fire or wood fire, burning within the tandoor
itself, thus exposing the food to both live-fire, radiant heat cooking,
and hot-air, convection cooking. Temperatures in a tandoor can
approach 480Ã‚Â°C (900Ã‚Â°F), and it is common for tandoor ovens to remain
lit for long periods of time to maintain the high cooking temperature.
Some modern day tandoors use electricity or gas instead of charcoal.
The tandoor is used for cooking certain types of Afghan, Pakistani and Indian, foods such as tandoori chicken,chicken tikka and bread varieties like tandoori roti and naan. The tandoor is basically used to cook meat while Hindus and Sikhs of India are mostly vegeatarian so it was popularised during Muslim reign in South Asia. It is thought to have travelled to Central Asia and the Middle East along with the Roma people, who originated amongst the Thar Desert tribes.
The tandoor is also known by other names -
- In India, the tandoor is also known by the name of bhatti. The Bhatti tribe of the Thar Desert of northwestern India and eastern Pakistan developed the Bhatti in their desert abode, and thus it gained the name.
- In Armenia, It is known as a tonir which is a widely used method of cooking barbecue and lavash bread.
- In Georgia it is called a tone and is used for bread and kebab.
In the images below, you can see the chef cooking some kababs in the tandoor and also you can see him bake the Naan bread in the oven. The dough is kneaded and then the dough is stuck to the walls of the Tandoor where it gets baked to for the Naan.
* Images Courtesy of India Jewel Restaurant in Prague - http://www.indianjewel.cz/
On our trip to India this year, we got the opportunity to take some pictures of the local markets in Hyderabad. For those living outside India, the closest experience you may have are visits to Farmer's markets. The street markets are typically by the side of the road and can sometimes stretch out for a long distance. Each vendor either has a little shop or their own little cart on which they sell their wares. In most cases they specialize in one item or a group of items such as certain fruits or certain vegetables. You can find stores selling clothes, vessels, bangles and other household things.
The day begins early for the vendors as they shop for their goods at the wholesale markets. Around 9-10 AM, while the home makers are getting ready for their day ahead, the vendors make their way to the market. By around 11 AM, the vendors have arrived and are ready for a long day ahead. As the morning unfolds, the hustle and bustle begins to grow with the housewives arriving to do their shopping. The late mornings are very busy with the morning shoppers and there is a bit of slowdown during the afternoon which is usually the time for a little siesta. By 5-6 PM, the markets are bustling again as those returning home spend time at the markets. The vendors typically close shop by 9-10 PM and go home ready to plan their next day.
What the pictures do not convey is the hustle, bustle and the bargaining that goes on in these markets. The vendor is usually calling out to customers, the customers are haggling for the best prices. The smells of street food, fresh vegetables and fruits, the noise, the crowd is something to be experienced not seen via a picture. We hope that the little slide show below helps you get a feel for the Street Markets in India.
|On our trip to India this year, I was introduced to the Tunday kabab which is apparently a specialty of Lucknow. Lucknow is famous for its kababs and if the Tunday kabab is one of the more famous ones from there, it was hard not to go try it out. The Tunday kabab is a a flat pattie like kabab which is really soft and succulent. It is so soft its difficult to hold it in your fingers as it just falls apart. |
We got to sample this at the Tunday Kababi Restaurant in Bangalore, which is a branch of the restaurant from Lucknow. The kababs are created into patties and fried in a shallow pool of oil, as you can see in the pictures. They are usually cooked on a large pan in large groups of 25+ patties.
While eating at the restaurant we found an interesting story behind the origin of the Tunday Kabab. The story goes as follows - There was once a Nawab (royal family member) who really loved to have kababs, but as age caught up with him, he lost his teeth and was unable to enjoy the kababs. He apparently setup a contest that whoever created the softest and most succulent kababs would enjoy royal patronage henceforth.
The secret recipe was created by Haji Murad Ali, who apparently had only one hand. In India, a person with a leg disability is called Langdey, while a person with a hand disability is called Tunday, hence the name Tunday Kabab. The secret recipe apparently has 160 spices (who knew there were 160 spices out there) including Sandalwood. The recipe is a family secret and is passed down to the generations by the ladies of the house.
Verdict : The kabab is definitely very tasty, soft and succulent but it was almost too soft for me. It was like eating a kheema curry than a kebab. For now, I would probably prefer a sheek kabab over this, but someday in the future when I am older and toothless, maybe I will appreciate this kebab a little more.
A chef with one arm, a toothless royal and a legendary kebab. Who could have dreamt that? Almost fictional huh?
Tunday Kababs are available at
479 5th Block, KHB Colony (near Krishna Temple)
Phone - 97315 53030.
A very commonly made statement is that Indian Food is unhealty. In our opinion, making a blanket statement like that gives Indian food a bad rap. Indian food just like any other food can be prepared in a healthy way and an unhealthy way. You can have a Subway Sandwich for about 250 calories or a couple of KFC Double Downs for over 1000 calories. Its really in how the food is prepared, what ingredients are used and what portions you consume.
The primary reason this impression about Indian food exists is because many restaurants and folks use ingredients like Clarified butter, cream and such, in order to get the best taste. With slightly different ingredients and a small sacrifice in taste, you can still enjoy healthy Indian food.
The second reason is that most Indian restaurants offer a buffet and people just eat more than needed (from appetizers to desert) and then blame it on Indian food. If you chose reasonable portions, you would be fine. Here are some tips on what you can order at an Indian restaurant is you are watching what you eat.
Most Important Tip
If you are a fan of Indian food, then you must try Indian sweets. Indian sweets, known as mithai are made with sugar, milk and condensed milk, and cooked by frying. The bases of the sweets and other ingredients vary by region. Gulab Jamun, Ragoola, Kaju Rolls, Kaju Barfi, Cham Cham, Sandesh...the list goes on and on.
Indian bakeries on the other hand offer cakes that are popular in India such as cakes with pista or eggless cakes.
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First, a very big Thank You to everyone who participated in the content. We ran the contest for 1 month and in that time we managed to add 200 fans. The winner was selected today. You can see the pictures below. We had a lot of fun picking the winners this morning.
Drum Roll................The lucky winner is
Simon B Adams from Lacey, WA
We will send you a message via Facebook and if you are interested in the prize, please mail us your address and we will have it sent to you shortly. If we don't hear back from the winner, we will give it away to another fan. We will announce our next contest shortly. Ideas welcome.
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