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A plateful of grain

Unable to find good roasted chicken and biryani anywhere, Rahul Verma resorts to “Godrej Yummies”, which turns out to be near his home, and true to its name

Plenty has its downside. Take the tandoori chicken. There was a time, long years ago, when you could only get to eat a well roasted chicken in the few restaurants that Delhi then boasted. Then came the glut. First, there was a mushrooming of small ea teries in the city, and they all offered the two dishes that once epitomized Delhi – tandoori chicken and butter chicken. And then came the neighbourhood stalls. Anybody with some enterprise and a tandoor could open up a little counter where they had these hapless chickens strung upside down to entice customers. But while you’ll hit a tandooriwallah if you throw a stone, you still cannot find a well roasted tandoori chicken very easily. Sometimes the chicken is overdone – making it dry and stringy – but more often than not it is little undone. You bite into what you think is a nice juicy leg, and suddenly find it all red and raw inside.

But a man has to keep trying. That is why, when I saw a little flyer the other day posted on a wall, urging passersby to try out GodrejYummies – roasted chicken, butter chicken, chicken with garlic and soon – I decided to call them up. The number listed was 22770000.Actually, to tell the truth, what caught my eye was the word biryani.

The menu included chicken biryani – and I am always ready for some, irrespective of where it comes from. So I asked for two plates of biryani, and one chicken roast, which is a euphemism for a tandoori. The counter turned out to be pretty close to my house. There is a small tandoor in the main market of Mayur Vihar Phase II. But the food is cooked elsewhere, and then delivered home. The tandoori chicken was just about all right. It was suspiciously red in colour, but was not very different from the fare dished out at other roadside tandoors.


What was surprisingly good, however, was the chicken biryani. The rice was long grained, and aromatic. It had been cooked really well, and the grains weren’t clinging to each other in an insecure manner as you see in some mashy biryanis. The flavour was nice, and the two chicken pieces in each plate were large and lightly spiced. The biryani wasn’t oily, as Delhi biryanis often are, and the white and well-browned rice complemented each other well. What was also surprising was the fact that the fried onions in the biryani had been done perfectly. It also came very well packaged – in a small square plastic container.

A plate of biryani is for Rs.65. The chicken tandoori is for Rs.130. Butter chicken comes for Rs.220. Mutton korma – which is about to be included in the menu – will cost Rs.240. You can also buy your chicken ham, sausages and salami. If you likebiryani, you should try this place out. The biryani, a young man at the counter tells me, is available through the day, but the tandoori chicken is barbecued only in the evenings.

Now, I am waiting for the mutton korma. If I get a good korma in my neighbourhood, I won’t complain about anything – not even about global warming – ever again.

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