21 July 2010

Karnataka Sangh

The Karnataka Sangha Canteen is located in New Delhi, right beneath the Motibagh flyover, a little beyond the junction. It offers authentic south Indian food, with minor adaptations to suit the north Indian taste-buds! They have a fairly extensive menu with the usual Idli, Upma and a range of Dosas, Uttapams and Rice. Their THALI is also quite famous, as it offers a filling meal.

The surprise package of the entire lot is their PANEER DOSA which is to-die-for! Apart from the main servings tasting good, their chutneys, sambhar and rasam are well-prepared too. There is a negligible hint of oil and the ingredients are well integrated to ring a bell on the tongue! They also have an interesting range of desserts including a variety of milk-shakes and sundaes. A dear friend of the blogger has put in a special word recommending their 'filter coffee' and fruit juices. On every visit, this blogger has been delighted by one special chutney [of different ingredients, every time] which is served apart from the usual Coconut-white one.
Paneer Dosa [right]

The place is adequately ventilated, with old-fashioned iron-bars on its high ceiling. It gets really crowded on weekends, especially for dinner. It is not open throughout the day. There are specific timings [to be added soon] for breakfast, lunch, tiffin and dinner. Dinner is served between 7pm to 11pm.

The place has also been awarded the 'Editor's Choice BEST SOUTH INDIAN RESTAURANT' in the STANDALONE category by the HT CITY EATING OUT GUIDE! This blogger, being crazy about South Indian food, is very fond of their entire spread and, well, just can’t enough of it! It’s a reasonably-priced joint [eg. Dosas between ` 60 to `80] and scores very high on ‘value-for-money’.

PS: The place has undergone renovation and the high-ceiling no more exists! The blogger has also gone on to relish their Bisi Bele Bhath, Palak Dosa, Paper Dosa and Panchtara Uttapam [5 varieties of mini-uttapam] on separate visits.

Kesar da Dhaba

The city of Amirtsar has immense historic significance associated with it. It arouses deep religious sentiments owing to the GOLDEN TEMPLE and also patriotic fervour due to the Wagah Border. And in this city, tucked deep into the bylanes is an unassuming eating joint. Established in 1916, KESAR DA DHABA stands for old-world charm and ‘proper’ food! It is slightly difficult to reach, owing to residential constructions in the past few decades. But ask any of the localites, and they’ll happily guide you to this rustic dhaba.

Once inside, you may lose a sense of time, for life moves at an easy pace here! No, the service is not slow, it’s just something in the air! The d├ęcor is utterly uncluttered and the seating arrangement is VERY spacious. They serve no fancy fare and the menu is minimal. It consists of the basic dals [lentils] like DAL TADKA, DAL MAKHANI, some varieties of breads like Tandoori Roti, Lachcha Parantha, Missi Roti, some seasonal vegetable preparations and rice.
There is, of course, the famous LASSI, served chilled, in a BIG glass [see pic] with crushed dry fruits sprinkled on top. Their food is prepared in desi ghee and has a wholesome feel to it. The Dal Makhani tasted lovely, with both Rajma and Urad standing out. It had this sense of richness, which comes only with the dal being cooked slowly, on simmering heat, to let the spices seep in and spread their flavours!

The place was fairly quiet, with no din from outside, or staff buzzing around unnecessarily. The blogger requested a peep into their kitchen, and it was readily accepted! A tour of the inside showed that they still use traditional cookware. The Tandoor [oven] was lit, though, main business hours are during evening, when the rhythmic sound of Rotis being baked constantly resonated in their wide kitchen! The dals, etc. are still prepared in old-fashioned huge copper handis. ALL of this lends a distinct authenticity to their food, which cannot be achieved with modern-day quick-fix utensils and gas cylinders!

To conclude, the restaurant offers fuss-free vegetarian food. The items are reasonably priced [eg. Lassi `40, Dal Makhani `60, etc.] and very high on their taste value. A must-visit, if you wish to savour some old-world elements to round off your trip to Amritsar!


If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” These are words of the writer J.R.R. Tolkien. And to add delight to this Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.

These famous quotes do some justice to the taste buds of those who smart under the glee of ‘good food’. Of course, there is no standard measure of what is ‘good’. One’s delicacy can be another's poison! Nevertheless, the love for food is universal, it's our common ground.

This blogger is in full agreement with Socrates when he says, “Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.” Belonging to the latter category, yours truly is an aficionado of good VEGETARIAN food. It is to celebrate the occasion of VICHAARKHAANA turning FIVE, that DESIZAIKA is being launched.

The blog is an attempt to provide feedback on eating joints [big, small, whatever!] visited by the blogger across INDIA. This country is a vegetarian’s delight. The blog will serve as a small drop in ocean to document places we’ve heard or not heard of! And it is dedicated to my favourite foodie, on this birthday of my beloved B., Mr. Nitin Chauhan!

To quote Ina Garten, in the 'The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook', Food is not about impressing people. It's about making them feel comfortable." This blogger will make a sincere effort to review places on the basis of their overall comfort-level. Readers may feel free to pass any sort of comments on the posts. They will all be looked upon in a positive light and taken into consideration for improving the quality of this blog.

“Forget love, I'd rather fall in chocolate!!!”