Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dilliwale, Ahmedabad

G 8, Kalyan Towers,
Opposite Alpha One Mall,
079 2630 1566, 76230 41564 / 65

Dilliwale is a recently opened, small space that is non air conditioned, but trust me when I say that the food is worth braving the heat for.

A group of us foodies had planned to get together for a meal on Saturday and we zeroed in on Dilliwale since none of us had eaten there yet, except for one person who heavily recommended it.

In a complete first for us, we walked into the restaurant and said "Give us one of everything!" We were 10 of us and within 25 minutes, we had tasted every item on their menu and it was great fun. (It did help that the menu is limited to a few extremely well made items - I wish more restaurants in Ahmedabad take a cue from here and focus on making a few dishes well, instead of having menus with 100+ and sometimes 200+ options that are mostly average)

The absolute stand outs of the evening for me were the rajma chawal (110/-) , pindi chole kulcha (110/-) and the aloo tikki chaat (70/-).

The rajma was brilliant, neither too hard nor too soft, just a velvety texture when you bite into it. They say their rajma is bought especially from Kashmir.

The pindi chole is supposed to be a bit on the harder side (vs a Kabuli channa), but the flavouring is brilliant and it goes perfectly with the feathery soft kulchas on the side.

I also loved the kadi chawal (110/-) even though the pakodas in the kadi were broken down rather than whole pakodas. Just the right amount of thickness and flavour. The hubby prefers the thinner UP kadhi with potatoes rather than pakodas, but I prefer the Punjabi kadi pakodi and so I loved it.

The aloo tikki chaat had perfectly crisped up aloo tikkis as their base and a beautiful melange of sauces for flavouring on top.

The dishes themselves were so good, that we didn't even touch the onions, pickles and other sides that accompanied them. The only side item I remember trying was the pudina chutney which was brilliant.

The drinks were all very good too. From the Dilli lemon soda (40/-) to the sweet Punjabi lassi (50/-) The namkeen chaas (50/-) was different from anything I have had before. Someone in the group suggested that it was because the dahi for the chaas is set with the flavourings pre-mixed into it. The litchi, guava and mixed fruit slushes (60/-) were ice cold and refreshing.

The dahi bhalla papdi chaat was ok (70/-), but I personally prefer dahi wadas to dahi bhallas. The alu -onion paratha (80/-) and the paneer paratha (100/-) were good, but their other items were much, much superior.

The only dish I didn't really like was the aloo chaat (70/-) because it had banana pieces in it. Bananas rank amongst my most hated fruits, so there was no way I could savour this dish, but the others seemed to enjoy it. When I visit next, I will request them to give me a aloo chaat without the bananas.

You can make the rajma chawal, kadi chawal or chole kulcha a meal for 149/-. It comes with a sweet lassi, so its quite a complete meal for one person.

The taste of all the dishes was wonderfully authentic, like it was cooked in a friends mothers or grandmothers kitchen. Uncle and aunty do the cooking themselves and their daughter serves it up with a smile.

She said her dad truly believes in the "makkhan maar ke" philosophy and they have to really hold him back from overdoing it, especially when customers request, "no extra ghee / butter"

The most surprising part was that though the pindi channa and rajma tasted as awesome as an authentic original recipe dish - with onion + tomato + ginger + garlic base, they promise that they have not used any onions or garlic in their preparations. Onions are only served on the side.

They advertise a Sunday special surprise, so we will have to swing by on a Sunday to see what the surprise is all about. the friend who had eaten here before, said that aunty made the most amazing suji ka halwa, but it wasn't on offer, the day that we visited.

This place rocks and I finally have a place in Ahmedabad to take my father-in-law to, when he craves some North Indian Chaat

"Dilli ka Khana, dil se" is their tag line, that is completely accurate and encompasses their service and signature style.

Rating : 4.5 / 5

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