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Monday 29 March 2021

Northwest -> The Final Food Frontier?

The food at Northwest Kebabs and Curryhouse is predominantly influenced by the cuisine of the Mughals, Turks and Tughlaqs who made their way to the Indian Plate via travelers and conquerors from Persia,  down to India traveling over Afghanistan and Pakistan, which were all part of one empire, and the food of this region is popularly known as Northwest Frontier Cuisine.

The food at Northwest focuses on genuine recipes sourced by Chef Sanjay Tyagi whose inspiration comes in the form of recipes from old-time hotel cooks of Royal families along with meticulous research from the food of this region. Interestingly, this place has a spotless open kitchen unlike most Indian places and shows their confidence in delivering a top-notch experience to its customers. Here is what we had over a lunch on a rather sunny afternoon:

The session started off with refreshing Aam Panna, a staple in the North of India to ward off the ill effects of the tempestuous afternoon loos. And Chef assured us that no sweeteners added, which is a refreshing change from sugar-hopped drinks served at a lot of places.


1. Murgh Ke Chaanp: So, these were chicken drumsticks evidently marinated in yoghurt to give it an unmistakable lusciousness in every bite. This was indeed a surprise hit with everyone at the table, and the spice level being mild, is a sure shot winner every time.

2. Mutton Behari: Tender escalopes of mutton leg slow cooked to perfection with a rich blend of spices, this was like a cross between a Boti kebab and a chapli that is popular in the by lanes of Lucknow.

3.Dahi Ke Kebab: A dish popular among vegetarians across India, there are as many different variations of this one. The version here at Northwest was beautifully made with the filling taking on an almost khoya like sweetness, and elevating this dish to the next level. It was less sour than I expected it to be and definitely a variation I would recommend 


1.  Bharwa Bataer(Quail) Musallam and Mirchi Parantha: One of the centerpieces of Awadhi cooking, and the very acme of culinary refinement practiced in that culture, a whole bird (musallam means “whole”) would be cleaned out, stuffed with nuts and dried fruit, and then roasted, cooked in some jus, and there would be a spiced gravy usually poured over it all. It is a complicated recipe. The dish was served up by the Lucknowi elite. And now that that age has passed, it is one of those heritage “wow” dishes in danger of being lost This rendition of Bharwa Bater Musallam by Chef Sanjay Tyagi takes me back to my spent time in Lucknow, chasing classic Awadhi dishes that have gained a cult following. A rich gravy of fragrant spices, butter and cream, this left us wowed. Paired with the slightly spicy mirchi parantha, this was heavenly!

2. Nargisi Kofta and Ulta Tawa Parantha: Another popular facet of Awadhi cuisine was multiple levels of stuffing, if you get what I mean! And did you know, this is what inspired the famous scotch eggs? IKofta is a classic mughlai recipe, where marinated mutton keema is wrapped on hard boil eggs and braised into rich yogurt gravy. Pairing this with the beautiful tawa paranthas just leaves you gasping for more.

3. Afghani Gosht Pulao: It would be amiss if I did not mention this one. Fragrant, Yellow basmati rich cooked to perfection in a mutton broth to give it a slight edge, this comes as a relief against some of those heavier main courses. And as Chef repeatedly pointed out, this is NOT biryani, so any comparisons would be unfair.

At this point, while already slipping into a slow but steady food coma, we had space left for one last dessert, the Husn E Ara, similar to a double ka meetha, where bread slices are deep fried and soaked in hot milk flavoured with myriad spices such as saffron and cardamom. This version had a pineapple stuffed between the bread and was topped with generous amounts of rabri. Delicious!

Northwest Kebab & Curryhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoOverall, an unforgettable experience in the heart of Koramangala, and one that I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who wants to try Mughlai cuisine, or someone like me who relishes food from this region.

Abhishek Chatterji / Author & Editor

A Grammar Nazi. Suave, Savvy, Geeky. Calm,Impatient,Versatile. Ductile, Malleable yet Brittle beyond a point. A true-blue Gemini!