A few weeks ago, which now sort of feels like a few months ago, I finally made my way to a place I’ve been longing to visit for some time now: India! Woot woot! And to top it off, I went for a wedding. It was an amazing experience to attend this event, witness an awesome couple get married and get my party on, Punjabi-style (though the wedding was not in Punjab but rather in Rajasthan with lots of Punjabis in attendance).
During my trip, there was lots of wedding eating (eating at the Mehndi, the Sangeet, after the ceremony, at the reception, etc.) but I did manage to take some pictures of a family dinner at Dhaba, a fun restaurant located in The Claridges hotel in New Delhi. Named after the local restaurants and truck stops that dot the highways of India and Pakistan, Dhaba is a slightly more upscale version of its origin but with a North Indian menu that feels just as grounded. They also have great dinnerware.
Dhaba's Dinnerware at The Claridges Hotel
To start, we munched on raw onions seasoned with chili powder. As a warning, do not eat this on a date. If you don’t care what your breath smells like, munch away. It’s an interesting feeling to eat raw onions. I can’t say I have done much raw onion eating prior to this but I was glad to have gone with the flow. Afterwards, we had a mix of appetizers, including mutton seekh kebab, paneer, fish and this spicy potato cake that I do not know the name of but desperately wish I did. Everything was pretty spicy (the bride likes spice) and delicious.
Appetizers from Dhaba
Next were a series of entrees that seemed to flow continuously for about 15-20 minutes. Just when you thought you had everything, something else came out. Among the selection were some prawns, more paneer, a chicken curry, eggplant, daal, saag curry, naan, and basmati rice. I tried almost everything, my favorite being the saag curry, paneer (I rarely discriminate against cheese), daal and naan.
Entrees from Dhaba
Afterwards came dessert. Indian cuisine tends to have really sweet desserts, which is fine with me because I happen to have an insane sweet tooth. So when the kheer and gulab jamun came out, you better believe I dug right in. The kheer was not very sweet but, as expected, the gulab jamun was super sweet, thus they balanced each other out and made me a very happy diner.
Gulab Jamun and Kheer
And just when you thought it was over, I tried something I had never had before but have seen several times. It’s a breath freshener composed of various seeds, including fennel and anise. Some people who tried it did not like the taste but I actually found it to be pretty good. I would not give up my tic tacs for it, but I would eat it again.
Breath Freshener Mixture
Overall it was a very enjoyable meal full of good food, good wine and good family and friends. What more can you ask for?