Hearty Indian Food: Great Punjab

I have never been a big fan of the Indian, Mughlai food, one gets in Bombay restaurants. I am turned off by the lurid colours and stringy meats of the dishes. Delhi beats Bombay by miles on this count and I am quite fond of the Mughlai food of Calcutta especially the dry biriyani.

We met a friend for dinner this Sunday night. We suggested Restaurant 5 which is a continental joint . But he wanted to go to an Indian restaurant. He lives at Wadala after just having moved back to Bombay. He is alone at the moment and is waiting for his wife and daughter to join him. He was getting sick of cooking for himself. Unlike in most parts of Bombay, he apparently did not have places to order from at Wadala so he wanted to pack some food to see him through the week.

So after scratching my head for a while I thought of Great Punjab at Bandra beside Shoppers Stop.

Kainaz and I joined him and we had a lovely dinner. We started with some fairly tender mutton sheekh kebabs. This was a pleasant surprise as I find the sheekh kebabas at most place to be too dry. The ones at Great Punjab were an exception. We then had chicken reshmi tikkas which had a nice creamy marinade and were quite succulent. The curd in the accompanying raita was a bit off though.

For our main course we had a black daal which was quite tasty. It had a fairly unique bite of garlic and whole onions which I have not found at other places but which added to the taste. I tried to get some variety in the meats so I ordered a white chicken (malai I think). The gravy was nice, thick, nutty and very tasty. It had a slightly sweet and salty taste and the texture left a solid feel in the mouth. The chicken pieces were quite tender. As a counterpoint I ordered a mutton rogan josh which is a darker dish. This is a Kashmiri dish. It was very well prepared. The onion based brown gravy made it one of the best rogan joshs that I have ever had. It had a lot of character in it and was rich with whole garam masala. Yet, it wasn't spicy, and was pleasant to eat. Each of the three dishes was different, well flavoured and left one with a sense of having eaten well.

We had this with a mix of rotis, naans and plain rice.

They didn't have much of a dessert selection though. I was looking forward to some Indian desserts such as shahi tukda or rabri but they didn't have these. So I had a vanilla ice cream which I doused with chocolate sauce while my friend had butterscotch ice cream. Kainaz passed the dessert.

The service was nice and the waiters were attentive.

My friend packed three dishes - kheema mutter (minced meat with peas), mutter paneer and bhuna chicken for his dinners through the week.

Two srarters, three main courses, rotis and rice, 3 drinks and a diet coke, 2 desserts and 3 takeaway main courses cost us around Rs 3200 or USD 80.





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