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Saturday, July 9, 2016


Food Spot

The feast that wasnt

RAHUL VERMA reflects on his pre-Eid blues and Kallus biryani
Joss Whedon



Taste of summer

allu who made

the best nihari
was no more. I
read about that
some weeks ago, and
decided that I would have to
go to his shop and pay
homage to his sublime
nihari the next time I was in
the Walled City. Then,
earlier this week, I landed
up there, hoping to be there
in time for the roza break.
It just wasnt my day. The
sky was overcast, so I had
rushed there, not paying
much heed to the time. As it
turned out, the Ramzan fast
was still on. People were out
on the streets, buying food
for the evenings iftaar, but
many of the small eateries
were shut. I had wanted to
try out Anmols fried
chicken, about which I had
heard lots, in Urdu Bazaar,
but Anmol was nowhere to

be found. So I walked to
Chhatta Lal Mian in
search of Kallus shop.
Normally, I would have
parked somewhere near
Delhi Gate and walked
down to Kallus from the
Asaf Ali Road end. But
that day I decided to take
a cab. I got dropped off
near Jama Masjid, so it
was a very, very long walk
to Chhatta Lal Mian. It
was cloudy, but one of
the muggiest days I had
ever seen. I reached
Kallus, panting and
sweating, and found a
huge crowd there. Kallus
sons were at the helm,
and the nihari was almost
over. The ones with the
loudest voices in the
crowd were being served
before the others. I tried
to outshout the rest, but
they were old hands, and
FESTIVE FARE Delicacies at the end of the fast

Vivanta by Taj, gives a chance to indulge in the goodness of

the king of fruits. Enjoy the specially crafted mango delight
which boasting of mango baked cheese pastry, mango
dome, mango gateaux and raw mango squash among
Where: Surajkund
When: On till July 31

knew just how to shout

and plead at the same
time. I finally got less
than a plate of nihari (for
Rs.50) and started walking
back towards Jama
I like the sights and
sounds of Ramzan
evenings. The fairy lights
were flickering brightly,
and many of the shop had
put their stalls outside
and were doing brisk
business. Someone was
selling keemey ke goli


Radisson Blu Plaza, Mahipalpur presents exotic mango

themed goodies at the Pastry Shop. The menu includes
mango pistachio fudge cheese cake, mango mascarpone
dark chocolate mud cake, mango and blueberry cream
cheese and much more.
Where: National Highway 8, New Delhi
When: Till July 31, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Call: 2677 9191

Rahul Verma is a
seasoned street food

From hi-protein smoothies to low-cal sandwiches, Hwealthcafe attempts

to bring health and taste on the same plate


Some sweet facts


New menu
Indian Grill Room, Gurgaon offers a new menu which
includes mustard grill fish, Cajun chicken, dahi ke kabab,
chicken peppercorn, vegetable lasagne and chocolate
mousse among others.
Where: 315 Suncity Business Tower, Golf
Course Road, 12 noon to 11 p.m.

Tea cocktail
This monsoon the
Long Bar at Hyatt
Regency, Gurgaon
offers tea cocktails
revenge (Bacardi
based), tea punch
jasmine (gin based)
When: Month
of July
When: 11 a.m.
to 12 midnight

Certified chocolate taster

Nitin Chordia busts some
myths about chocolate
1. All dark chocolates
are bitter
Fine and well-made
chocolates show many flavour notes. Bitterness is indeed
characteristic of cocoa, and
is complemented by the
various notes/aromas in
cocoa. However, sugar also
forms a part of the dark
chocolate experience. Bitterness can be controlled
based on what the chocolatier wishes to offer.
2. Chocolates with a
higher percentage of cocoa are of better quality
This might mean they
are healthier, as the high
cocoa content results in reduced sugar. However, the
amount/extent of processing also has an impact on
the retention of nutrients
in chocolate.

3. A white coating
means the chocolate has
gone bad
This is caused mainly
due to fat or sugar separating during transport, faulty
storage conditions or a
tempering defect. But this
does not make the chocolate inedible or unsafe.
4. Terrior doesnt affect the flavour profile
of chocolate
Chocolates made with
beans from one country, or
even one farm, can have
many differences and similarities. Of course, if two or
more flavourful beans are
blended together, the results can be just as complex, but in new and
intriguing ways.
5. All dark chocolates
are healthy
In fine chocolates, less is
more. If a chocolate is 45
per cent dark, it means that
the remaining is sugar.
Chocolates can be called
healthy when they have no
more than three or four ingredients and are at least
75 per cent dark.

Just in case youve been

trying to count calories a
task which can be both
tedious and exhausting
(youd think it would qualify
as exercise itself) Delhis
beginning to turn into a
pretty great place. The
balance is skewed, of course,
and its still easier to find
yourself oily curries and
buttery cakes, but as long you
can also spot a few salads and
smoothies nearby, whos
If you live in or around
Defence Colony (and even if
you dont), Hwealthcafe
comes as a new addition to
this growing list of health
conscious, calorie counting
eateries in the city, and its a
pretty good one too. Located
just off the Defence Colony
market, this small caf
manages to make the limited
space it occupies seem both
light and open. A
combination of pastels on
the walls and on its
minimalistic furniture, a
strategically designed live
kitchen, and a kind of no fuss
approach gives it an easygoing, casual air that works
in sync with its concept and
A venture by the Health
Wealth Pvt. Ltd. health food
chain, the cafs first outlet
opened in Bangalore last
Within a few months, it
had become popular enough

TASTY VEGGIES A dish offered at Hwealthcafe

for its owners to consider

expanding, and so,
Bangalore got its second
outlet, and Delhi its first.
The man behind both the
concept and the menu is
Nicholas Hoffland, and
through the caf, he and
his partners hope to bring
about a health revolution
in the country, and to
provide healthy, nutritious
and yet affordable food.
Hoffland, working with his
chefs, has designed a menu
that offers an impressively
long list of dishes that
experiment with a wide
range of flavours and
From detox cleansers to
hi-protein smoothies, low-

cal sandwiches to caloriecounter meal platters, and

some really delicious but
clearly healthy desserts,
every dish on the menu
offers you its calorie, fat,
fibre, protein and carbs
While this is great, we
know its the taste that
really counts, so I decide
to put Hwealthcafes claims
to test, and order myself a
spicy grilled chicken and
veggie wrap, a fruit juice
detox blend, and finally, a
low cal fresh fruit layered
dessert. This might be the
healthiest meal Ive eaten
in a decade, at least
The food is prepared fast

enough, and when it

comes, the first thing I
notice are the huge
portions. My wrap is
bursting with filling, and I
can spot the burst of
colours from the fresh
vegetables inside. As for
the taste, while this isnt
the best wraps Ive tasted,
it is definitely one of the
good ones.
A bit messy to eat,
certainly, since a lot of it
is dry, sans the usual sinful
layers of cheese and mayo,
etc., but it does pack some
great flavours. The
hummus and mint yogurts
help pack the flavours in,
and on the whole, it is
filling and wholesome. The
juice, served in a tall glass,
is chilled and delicious, a
combination of sweet and
tart flavours the perfect
drink on a particularly hot
day. Finally, I sample the
dessert, which looks a
picture, served beautifully
in little bowls, the colours
of the fresh fruits
especially wonderful. I dig
in, and find a layer of
honey-cinnamon yogurt
below the layers of figs and
carrots and oranges, and
this makes for a pretty
pleasant surprise, as well
as a great way to end my
visit to Hwealthcafe.
Address: A-272, ground
floor, Defence Colony,
New Delhi
Meal for Two: Approx.

Keeping it white with red

Monsoon delights
Delicacies at Royal China


favourite, Jawahar.
I bought dinner for
folks back home a
plate of biryani, murgh
kali mirch, mutton korma
and sheermal. I paid
Rs.740 for this, and with
my food packets hailed an
auto rickshaw and went
back home. I discovered
that I had asked for a
plate of achari mutton
biryani, which I dont
really like. It had chilli
and lemon pickle in it,
was rather spicy and

For the calorie conscious


Monsoon is a
season and so
is the food in
this season
because of the
delicacies one
can crave and
Keeping this in
mind Royal
China brings
chicken family
style, roast duck Cantonese
style, royal China exotic
vegetables, tofu with
asparagus with soya chilli
and gluten free Singapore

small minced meat balls

and many had fried
chicken hanging from
hooks. There were
mounds of sev in front of
several shops.
Eid, most of us thought,
would fall the next day
(the moon eventually
played truant and it came
a day later), so there was
frenzy on the streets, with
shopkeepers loudly urging
passersby to try their fare.
I looked around, and went
towards another old

didnt taste much like

biryani. The mutton
korma was all right, and I
enjoyed the black pepper
flavoured chicken curry.
The gravy had all the
aroma of kali mirch, but
was also mildly sweet,
which was nice. I loved
the sheermal, which I
dipped into the gravy and
The nihari, I am happy
to say, is the way Kallu
used to cook it thick
and jellylike. But since I
had got the bottom of the
barrel literally there
was not much of it left.
All in all, it wasnt the
best of my pre-Eid
outings. But a very nice
Eid meal at friend
Rakshandas place with
mutton shami kababs,
chicken biryani, chicken
shorba and three types of
sewaiyyan gladdened
my heart. And I quite
forgot the feast that

vermicelli noodles and

much more. Available at
Nehru Place from noon
onwards till August 31.

The trouble with loving wine,

or coffee for that matter, is
that it eventually begins to
show. I am not talking about
those viral videos of me
tabletop-dancing after a
tasting (that never happened,
really) but the obvious stains
that wine and coffee lovers
exhibit after some time. And
one may think that they can
easily be brushed away, but it
isnt that simple.
Recently I paid a visit to a
dental spa, and the only
reason I was lured into
getting into the dentists
chair is because it came with
a free mani-pedi. Yes, I
would think it crazy to see
dental and spa being used
in the same sentence, but my
dental clinic disagrees and
has launched these luxurious
spaces which dont smell or
look like dental clinics, but
actually are, and quite an
advanced version of them at

So, there I was, getting my
stained teeth examined, and
I suddenly realised that a
dentists chair is the only
place where its good to

discuss whiteness, and no

matter how much white you
want your teeth to be,
nobody will judge you for it.
All those fairness cream
manufacturers should

basically just rebrand

themselves as toothpaste.
But if you drink wine, here
is the real low-down. Follow
these basic steps and you will
never have to visit a dentist
too soon.
*Brush regularly; twice a
day is good. Plaque build-up
begins crusting after 48
hours, so make sure you
brush your teeth both sides
of your bed time.
*Never brush teethafter a
tasting; wine is acidic, and
brushing when you have
teeth freshly stained from a
red wine overdose may seem
to clean them up, but it also
removes the enamel, thus
making teeth sensitive.
Instead, gently rinse with
water. I try restoring the pH
balance by having some milk
and bread. I also have beer
after a tasting, but that is
more so to restore sanity
after having been around

wine snobs all day.

*Wine tasters often go for
tastings without brushing in
the morning, believing that
the overnight plaque protects
teeth against the onslaught.
Not true, apparently. So
brush, and at least smell like
a decent human being, if, like
most wine writers, you cant
dress like one.
*Another biggie
bleaching. While its good for
every other Joe, wine lovers
beware. It whitens teeth, but
then also makes them a bit
porous, thereby leaving them
susceptible to quicker and
more permanent staining
next time.
*Veneers are the way to go
if you want to continue
tasting wine like an indemand critic, and yet flash
pearly-whites with every
smile. These are like a
porcelain front to your teeth,
stuck on; expensive

investment, but oh, what a

radiant Hollywood smile!
*Floss is good, toothpicks
are bad, water floss is fine
too. You can use either, even
after a tasting.
Follow these basic steps
and you can keep tasting for a
long time with perfectly
healthy white teeth.

is India's first sommelier,
food, wine and travel writer
and TV show host.In his
free time, he works.