|Ratthin chalks out his biryani plans|
I first met Rathhin in Gurgaon a couple of years back.
He had just begun his foray into food then. He had come up with a dish called Hmmmutton which he used to cook himself in his free time and deliver around Gurgaon. He was in the imports business if I remember right and that was his main occupation.
I met him again during my recent trip to Gurgaon. He heard that I was in town and called me up saying he wanted to send me some biryani.
Turns out that he now runs a catering outfit called Rumi’s Kitchen. He still has his day job but has been sucked in much more deeply into the world of food.
Happily it seems.
I was staying at my brother’s place on Friday night when Rathhin sent over some mutton biryani, chicken qorma, mutton galauti and firni. Seeing the large amount of food, and since my sister in law had also made a delectable prawn malai curry, we invited a couple of friends over to join us for dinner.
|Biryani, firni, qorma and gulauti from Rumi's Kitchen|
The Awadhi styled biryani turned out to be a big hit amongst our group of Bengalis that evening. Our yardstick for biryani is the Kolkata biryani which draws its origins in the biryanis of Lucknow. We marvelled at the great flavours of the rice in Rathhin’s biryani and the juiciness of the mutton. Satra, who took quite a few helpings of the biryani, said that barring the absence of potatoes this was the closest one could get to a Kolkata biryani. The lightness of the biryani wowed us all.
The chicken qorma looked deceptively oily but the sauce turned out to be pleasantly silky and symphonic and the chicken was fairly tender. Again the dish was not heavy on the stomach which was a blessing given the heat outside.
The gulautis had the melt in the mouth, pate like texture, which a good galauti should have. It did have a disconcerting sharp chili kick & a strange woody and tad bitter after-taste which was a downer.
The firni, which had coconut in it, provided a sweet cooling end to the dinner.
|Chatting with Rathhin|
Next day I met Rathhin for coffee. His passion for food makes him a pleasure to chat with. He told me the story of how he had bought over Rumi’s Kitchen from its founders. Rumi’s Kitchen has cooks from Lucknow who cook Awadhi Food. Rathhin spent the first month after taking over Rumi's on making the product consistent. He said his focus was to provide a good biryani which would act as comfort food for people. He decided to take a hit on costs by going for expensive mutton as he wanted people to be able to easily break the mutton with their fingers while eating. He admitted that he was still working on the galauti masala and jaifal proportions in it which currently marred the end taste in the kebabs.
I watched Rathhin excitedly draw out the map of Gurgaon on a tissue paper as he spoke about his expansion plans. He plans to spread beyond his current coverage in Gurgaon and then move hopefully to South Delhi. He plans to operate out of a satellite kitchen and kiosks rather than open a restaurant as he wants to focus solely on the food.
He told me about how he goes to his central kitchen four times a week, twice a day and spends about three hours in each session. He sits in the heat, taking orders personally on the phone and works with his chefs in delivering a consistent product.
I could see that the tentative steps he had taken into the world of food through his Hmmutton had now grown into a bolder footprint with his Rumi’s Kitchen.
The result is some great biryani to start with.
His number to order from is: 8800668526/36
Disclaimer – Rathhin is a friend of mine and he had sent the food over for us to try.