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Gujarat on a platter

RADHIKA RAJAMANIRADHIKA RAJAMANI

The authentic taste of Gujarati food comes alive at Indian Harvest.


DIVINE SPREAD: The thali is a wholesome and delicious option. - Photo: Ramesh Babu

IF YOU thought that Gujarati food is sweet then clear this misconception by visiting `Indian Harvest', the latest Gujarati restaurant of the twin cities. In a city where the people would rather dig into biryani, it requires guts on the part of restaurateurs to introduce new tastes. Vinay and Anu Asar have done just that - started a Gujarati joint (road no.10 Banjara Hills)in the very precincts of their home.

The restaurant has a seating capacity of about 40 people. The simple and fairly stark décor is welcoming.There is no menu card as only the thali besides one or two special items is served.

A board on the ground floor displays the thali menu for the day and the special item(s). The thali comprises two types of rotis, one dal, one dry curry, a gravy, one dish of pulses a farsan (snack), rice, papad, chutney, pickles, curds, buttermilk and a sweet. Hot, wafer-thin rotis smeared with a little ghee are served.The food is delicious, non-oily and non-spicy as well as homely. "Most of the ingredients are available here but one has to source a few, like patra (colocasia leaves) or red chillies and the vegetables for the famous Oondhiyo (a mixed vegetable made in winter) from Mumbai and Surat," say Vinay and Anu. Besides the ingredients, the Gujarati cook ensures the true taste. A personal touch is provided to the service with Vinay supervising all the proceedings. One can get to eat delicious stuff like farsans (dhokla, handvo, patra, ghughra, khandvi), various vegetables stuffed and in gravy besides a variety of pulses. Puris and even other rotis like bajra form part of the fare. The special items include dal dhokli, ek toap na dhal baat (akin to a pulao) and panki (something like a dosa steamed and served with chutney).

A glass of cold kairi juice or panna (made of green mangoes) serves as the appetiser to the meal especially in summer. Can there be a Gujarati thali with puri and no aamras in summer? There cannot and aamras will figure on the menu as an optional item, inform the Asar couple. One can also have fresh homemade ice cream sourced from elsewhere, the flavours being strawberry, black currant and chocolate hazelnut.

The Asars want to utilise the open space in their house to serve chaats, sandwiches and other snacks in the evenings. This service may be started shortly.

If anyone wants to get the thali packed it can be done provided you don't mind carrying 16 small boxes home. One can also place orders for any of the farsans and the restaurant accepts catering orders for small numbers.

With such an unlimited fare for Rs. 95, the thali is a sure steal and one is sure to come back to reap another harvest. The restaurant is closed on Mondays. Remember to book in advance at weekends and holidays. (tel: 6663236/6663237)

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