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Go to any ten North Indian restaurants in the NCR and chances are that you will never find a single new dish, leave alone a new concept. Rethinking Indian classics has been left to the new breed of modern Indian restaurants which don’t have any traditional dishes on their menus. So a few dishes that stand out in our memory are:
The Waffle Dosa at Crowne Plaza, Rohini. It is the piece de resistance at Mosaic, the all-day diner. Like a few other hotels that remain resolutely below the city’s radar, this one keeps pushing the boundaries of Indian food. However, to bite into what looks like a toasted sandwich at breakfast, only to discover that it tastes suspiciously like a dosa, is infusing staid old desi khana with a bit of novelty. The rice and dal batter of a dosa is poured into a waffle iron and sprinkled over with ‘gunpowder’ before serving.
The Naanery at Baluchi (The Lalit) is an uber cool concept. And the charm of it is that it evokes surprised reactions from Europeans to whom the Bread and Wine concept is as old as the New Testament. Four types of breads – all those sorts that need to be made in an iron tandoor – are served in miniature sizes. There are the saffron-scented baqarkhani, besan ki roti, gilafi kulcha and pheni paratha. You can opt for them to be paired with four different wines or eat them with dips.
Peanut Butter Chicken: The California Boulevard serves the cuisines of over a dozen different countries, Indian food being just one. However, in their maiden venture in Rajouri Garden, they wanted to please the crowd, yet come up with something novel. Peanut butter chicken was their answer. Peanut Butter has the creaminess of dairy cream in butter chicken and a tiny hint of tomato paste gives it tanginess.