Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Delhi – The Great Kabab Factory

Posted by jwpiper on January 14, 2009

We tried another kebab restaurant on a recommendation. Only 2.5 km away, it took the obligatory 20-30 minutes to reach. It turned out to be an all-you-can eat type of restaurant, similar to the Brazilian churrasco restaurants which can commonly be found in the States. We went the 100% meat route for the kebabs, and were treated to a variety of preparations.

The salad course, consisting of cucumbers, papaya, and tomatoes with a strawberry dressing was fresh, bright, and quite good. The produce is very good at the restaurants we’ve been frequenting, with the exception of the lettuce which no one eats for fear of parasites which attack the brain. Huh? The interesting drink for the night was a buttermilk with chopped mint leaves. Buttermilk has never been my favorite, but this wasn’t offensive. I ended up drinking a couple of sweet lime sodas instead. The search for Kingfisher Strong continues.

Following was the deluge of kebabs, starting with a Kaloti kebab. It seemed to be a puréed lamb pâté which was pan-seared to a crispy exterior. The texture was sublime and the flavor spiced, rich, and enticing. In addition to this came tandoori chicken, a mint chutney rubbed chicken preparation, chicken tikka, tandoori mutton chops, a fish meatball preparation, and likely several more that I’m forgetting. Alongside were severed several dosas and parathas. To supplement, we ordered tandoori prawns which were incredibly succulent and tasty in their crispy spice rub.

I could have continued in this vein for the whole night, but the next course was a dahl and biryani course. Kanak ordered a paper thin paratha for me, which ended up being a good way to not eat too much bread with the ridiculous amounts of food I was consuming. There were two dahls served – a brown lentil dahl and an orange-lentil dahl. The orange lentil dahl had flavors quite reminiscent of the yellow lentil Ethiopian dish I love so much, Kik Alicha. The brown dahl actually wasn’t as wonderfully earthy as my first experience at the Indian Pub, but was still pretty good. The biryani wasn’t exceptional, but the paneer dish was welcome.

To finish, there were four dessert choices, and I decided to sample them all. First I tried a shaved carrot dish which turned out to be the gem and the only one I greatly enjoyed. They shave the carrots and cook with sugar for hours and hours, making a pleasantly sweet and subtle dessert. Then I tried their firnee which was not nearly as satisfying as Karim’s and a pistachio custard which I was excited upon seeing, but ended up lacking complexity or much flavor. Finally, the gulab jamon was simple and not terribly compelling.

If a return were ever to be in my future, I would gorge myself on the kebabs and leave all the other stuff behind. The restaurant was good, but not great, especially on the heels of my visit to Karim’s, and it seemed substantially more expensive.

See The Great Kabab Factory on a map.

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2 Responses to “Delhi – The Great Kabab Factory”

  1. Karissa said

    apparently the food wasn’t picture worthy…one of the very few instances on your blog.

  2. jwpiper said

    Actually, I regretted this. It was certainly picture worthy, but the lighting was extremely poor and the iPhone doesn’t handle photographing in low light very well. I did try.

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