Wednesday, June 22, 2016

An Iftar Dinner at Imdadi, Pune

I was introduced to some exquisite Indian Muslim cuisine in Delhi in the late eighties. We sometimes got some lovely fluffy rotis and fiery curries from a place in Malviya Nagar. Everything was ridiculously cheap. Unfortunately, when we visited that gully, in 2010, the taste factor had dipped considerably and this is probably due to the many people from other countries in that locality. 

I've also had the good fortune to have once tasted some divine Iftar fare, home cooked, brought over to our place in South Delhi all the way from Old Delhi by a friend of my husband.  I think there was brain and, while I'm normally loathe to eat anything but legs or ribs at the most, I found it utterly delicious. We also got a taste of the famous and fabulous Nehari sometime in those days.

It was thus a major thrill for me when my daughter-in-law invited me to dinner out at Imdadi

Even the fact that the rain had decided to grace Pune properly that evening could not dampen our enthusiasm, especially as it was highly rated on Pune Eats Out.

It seemed fairly easy to locate on a smartphone as we wended our way wetly via traffic and past the most delightful old buildings.

We reached there in time.

Humble exterior but cheerfully bedecked
 Even before we entered I spotted goodies, various snacks, to the left. Inside, also, to the left, were more tempting eats. 

I'm really not sure what the red stuff is
A man sitting on a low table to our right was selling plastic coupons. It is using these that one orders. We found us a table after gawking at the yummy sheekh kebab set up to our left.

Sadly, even with the three of us sharing dishes, we had no space left for these
Straight ahead lay the promise of yummy desserts. Firnis and Faloodas and more...

I noticed, later, some who just went there and ate cut fruit - which is the way quite a few Muslims break the fast
We sat ourselves down and browsed the menu which I sadly forgot to photograph! You can see a selection of what was on offer on the banners in the picture below.

Small though the menu, it's tough to choose out of the yummy choices
We finally settled on a Korma, a dry meat dish, a biryani and some rotis.

Fiery fare and sinfully greasy but the meat was melt in your mouth tender and the flavours blissful
We also ordered a mince stuffed roti which went nicely, dipped into the hot gravy.

Flaky and crisp and generously stuffed with keema
And then there was just enough room in our tummies to share the sweet dishes.

Firni and Falooda
The firni was light on sweetness and a gentle end to rich food while the falooda had generous chunks of melon.

It was exquisite and absolute torture to walk out past all that we had not tasted.

Samosas and wicked whatnots
I wish all my Muslim friends in India and elsewhere and all Muslims around the world a most wonderful and blessed fasting period and a Very Happy Id in advance! I cherish fond memories of good Muslim friends in Malaysia especially as India is, sadly, still rather segregated though that this, thankfully, rapidly changing with the young. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

F&B@Dona Paula, Panjim, Goa

    We were on a short 4 day trip and I look forwards to a longer visit to Dona Paula.

     At Ocean Suite, the free breakfast comprises bread, butter, jam, honey, tea (first class elaichi chai!), coffee and juice besides three other things made to order. The lounge cum dining area overlooks the sea from one window/balcony and the swimming pool from the other. There are more than enough fans and it's mostly nice and airy.

The made-to-order breakfasts comprise: poha, which we did not get around to having, given our upma day

The Upma is good but the Aloo Paratha is divine!
which was not too bad at all except that the Aloo Paratha we chose to have on the first day smelled so good while it was being made and tasted so good when it finally arrived to grace our table and was so exquisitely light that we over ate to the tune of some 2-3 each. Very unheard of for us and yet they digested easy, the darlings!

With the achardahi and a good cup of chai, it was bliss!

Fatima, the wonderful lady who runs Ocean Suite, offered omelets and, if my partner and I had better appetites, we'd surely have tried one of those.

At Ocean Suite you can order in and your meal will be served to you at the dining table. a very sensible arrangement which helps keep your room clean and I loathe seeing dirty dishes outside hotel rooms.

Fatima offers you menus of nearby eateries and recommends places. So we chose to try one. We had a prawn curry and rice for a reasonable cost but the place was not as good as the one we ended up ordering from most nights at about a little over Rs. 200 - we basically ordered for one as we're small eaters.

On the 8th we rode out on a little Pleasure bike we'd rented and found a cute little bar.

  Unfortunately, I can't decide which road it was on. On the same road there is a church which might be on the Dr Jack de Sequeira Road. We had a fine time at this place, enjoying two small fenis with soda and the fine company (humble but warm hearted people). One of them pointed us down the road for a good fish thali.

It's really sad that my photo does not have the name of the place! 

We also had a lunch at the fairly famous Kismoor - oysters and beer and Goan bread.

We had a couple of fenis at George where we went to have Vindaloo but as fate would have it that will remain pending till we take another trip there.

We also had a marvellous dinner with some young friends and that was perhaps the best experience of all!

Having been in Palolem too, I feel that Panjim is the better place for things gastronomic. 

Even saying Au Revoir to Goa was satisfying in a culinary manner of speaking as the Madgaon Railway Station has a fairly good restaurant.