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There’s an old joke about the national bird of Delhi being tandoori chicken. However, there’s no doubt that a great chicken dish warms the heart like nothing else can.
Butter chicken is said to be very rudimentary. However, it is actually rather complex: tomato paste, cream, spices and lightly roasted chicken have to be present in proportions that elude most restaurants. Mughal Mahal in Rajendra Place manages to achieve the perfect balance far better than most others.
California Boulevard has tried – successfully – to create a worthy equivalent of butter chicken. Their peanut butter chicken has the creaminess of the original, and though there’s little in the way of tanginess, the cheeky parallel with tomatoes and cream make it a fun dish to try. In the Rajouri Garden, peanut butter chicken outsells everything else on the menu.
There are other countries that do chicken curry besides India, Japan being one. Oasis, the all-day diner at Vivanta Suraj Kund has a memorable chicken katsu curry, in which a crumb-fried cutlet of chicken is served on a bed of steamed Japanese rice. There are two bowls on the side: one with miso soup and the other with ‘Japanese curry’. You will easily find its equivalent in katsu don eateries across Japan.
It is precisely because Noida gets such short shrift in the gastronomy sweepstakes, that we were impressed with the roast chicken in Flluid at Mosaic Hotel, Noida. Park yourself in one of the deep armchairs and savour the chicken that is served with the classic accompaniments: lightly roasted Mediterranean vegetables, fondant potatoes and a brown sauce that is nothing if not classic.
Chicken rara in Minar combines succulent pieces of chicken with chicken mince, which is what rara means. Usually made with lamb, this chicken version hits the spot.