Mughal Mahal Restaurant & Bar – The Buttery Experience

I can tell you is that whatever I ate there, tasted very nice, it is something I will recommend if you like rich food, and if you like rich food, this place is worth making a trek to, from any part of the town. Something I would be going back for, for sure.

Being a resident of the area, Mughal Mahal is something that I have been familiar with since childhood. However have never really tried their food, except for their dal maybe couple of times which was brought home by a cousin. Being a vegetarian, Malai Kofta and Dal Makhani were the things that he used to rave about. being a vegetarian back then I was deaf and dumb to anything with Chicken in it so any reference of Butter Chicken would have skidded past without leaving a trace. But now no more.
Another reason for me never venturing in there was easy availability of North Indian food at every corner in the area, and then the costing. I remember the first time I went in, I was in my teens and me with 3 other friends collected 100 rups each and went to Mughal Mahal to have dinner on some occasion. Being used to eating dal for Rs. 30-40, I guess dal at Mughal Mahal for Rs.80-100 came as shocker and the bigger shocker was Tandoori Roti. While our favorite dhaba was feeding a roti for Rs.1-3 at that time, Mughal Mahal was Rs.12 for one. and the way we ate at that age, thinking about 5-6 rotis was enough to give me mini heart-attack. To save our izzat, we ordered 2 beers amongst 4 of us, paid Rs.200 and decided to spend remaining 200 at our favorite dhaba.
But then things have changed, and how. Now I am a non-vegetarian, in my early 30’s and if I may call it, well-FED. Besides that since Mughal Mahal got a very high ranking in a recent Butter Chicken Hunt by Delhi Gourmet Club, I have been searching for an opportunity to sample and savor their butter chicken. Yesterday offered a perfect occasion for that as I was hanging out with a friend and she showed some affinity towards Butter Chicken, Dal Makhani and Butter Naan combo. There was not better time to venture in Mughal Mahal.
Located on edge of Rajendra Place, facing East Patel Nagar it has a cozy corner for itself. From outside, looks like a run down place, with restaurant and bar as the label, easy to take it as one of quintessential watering holes of that part of Delhi. Being a with a lady friend, I was bit worried, however once we stepped in, it was heartening to see families and groups. Everything about this place seemed to be archaic, from its waiters, to table clothes to the patrons that we saw last evening. That said, I was surprised to see the kind of following this place has, did not expect it to be.. ummm… crowded.
Opening the menu I was looking for a rude shock, like the roti for Rs.80 or something, somehow I was OK with whatever cost Butter Chicken and Dal came at. And when I saw Roti for Rs.35 I took a deep breath of relief and realized that the world has moved on, I have moved on. quarter plate of Butter Chicken for Rs.360 odd and Dal for Rs. 230 odd did not seem too bad, made me realize how times have changed and how Rs.500 per head has become very middle class. How no one bothers about the food costs and everyone understands that they are paying for the experience and not for dal, roti and boti.

 

Butter Chicken (Can you see the texture of gravy?)
We ordered quarter plate Butter Chicken, which came with 2 pieces of Chicken and one Dal makhani along with a Butter Naan and Roti. The portion sizes were very nice, though it was only two pieces, however the Chicken came with huge amount of gravy and combined with Dal would easily complete a meal of 2-4 people with decent appetite.
One dish is named with Butter and other with Makhan, so we expect them to be rich and they WERE rich and how. One of the creamiest dal I have ever experienced, for some people it might be a turn off, but then I loved what I ate. It was rich, however had the right amount of sourness to take care of my limited palette and tasting abilities. Similarly Butter Chicken was..ummm… buttery, however you could feel the onions and tomatoes in the gravy (check the first picture). For me, it was right balance of Tomatoes and creaminess but then I have a very limited palette in the dish. Chicken was cooked well, and was melt in your mouth.
Naan and Roti both were very run of the mill, extra care could have been taken to make them better.
Quarter portion of Butter  Chicken at Mughal Mahal
Dal Makhani at Mughal Mahal
Chutney, Achar and Pyaz
The service was prompt, did not take them long to seat us and feed us. The total bill was Rs.850 with taxes, but we did not order anything to drink. The best part was that there was not Service Charge on the Bill, comes as such a pleasant respite these days.
All in all, I would not and cannot say if its the top or the best or most. Its typical Delhi food and if you are looking for subtle or exotic, this may not be the place for you. However all I can tell you is that whatever I ate there, tasted very nice, it is something I will recommend if you like rich food, and if you like rich food, this place is worth making a trek to, from any part of the town. Something I would be going back for, for sure.
Address : Mughal Mahal,
7, Sethi Bhawan, Rajendra Place, New Delhi
(Opposite East Patel Nagar’s Subway)
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You can connect with me on Twitter : @Tweet2Shashank

Where to eat Amritsari Kulcha in Amritsar? – Food Trippin’

The Eatlo gang  lead by Aman and Jaideep Paaji that raided all the Kulcha joints in this post.
As
legendary as Amritsari Kulcha is, it is something that we Dilliwalas
hardly understand. Not many of us know the real taste, texture or even
the idea of one. People confuse it with Stuffed Naan or Parantha all the
time, when the fact is that those two type of breads are completely
different from genuine Amritsari Kulcha.

 

Amritsari
Kulcha’s dough is made in a special way, with layers and then stuffed
with Aloo, Gobhi, Paneer etc. It is flaky, crispy and is served with
Chhole and Khatti chutney waale pyaz. Traditionally no raita or dal is
served with them, which is a common practice in Delhi these days.

 

And
generally speaking most of us have had so many bad versions for those
Kulchas that when we actually land in Amritsar, we eagerly lap up
whatever comes our way and consider it the best the city has to offer.
However with my recent interactions with Jaideep Riar and Aman Kahlon
from Amritsar, I realised that most of the places that get recommended
on Eatlo were the places frequented by tourists (read non-residents or
visitors to the city) and not many Ambarsaris actually go there to get
their fill of kulchas.

 

So
on this trip, we surrendered ourselves to Aman and Jaideep paaji, and
requested them to take charge of our Kulcha expedition and education.
And being the gracious punjabis they are, they helped us in sampling 4
of the top Kulcha makers that Amritsar has to offer.

 

1.
All India Famous – The one we tasted last year and the place from where
we started our expedition this year. This place was Nirvana for me,
this place served the best Amritsari Kulcha I had ever tasted. Amazing
by Delhi and rest of Indian standards for sure, but now I have tasted
better. Much better.

 

Location – Chungi crossing, Maqbool Road
Amritsari Kulche at All India Famous Kulche Wala – Maqbool Road

 

Mix of Chutney and onions – Some also call it ‘Khatta’

 

2.
Harbans Lal Kulche Waala – This is located in a small local market,
which looked kind of deserted to me or maybe we were there quite early
in the day. But then ‘Bansa’ as Harbans is popularly known amongst
locals had no shortage of patrons. And one bite into his kulcha, we knew
why. His Kulcha was considerably thinner, crispier and tastier than the
one we had at All India Famous.

 

Location – Old Market of Anand Avenue
Harbans Lal Kulche Wale – they do have a separate sitting area.
All I see is the swagger of a Amritsari Kulcha
Amtrisari Kulcha at Harbans Lal Kulche Wala

 

Amtrisari Kulcha at Harbans Lal Kulche Wala
3.
Ashoka kulche Waala – Now here Aman Paaji only made us sample a Kulcha
which was off the Menu and is called Paintee waala Kulcha (Rs.35
Kulcha). The Kulcha was stuffed with Gobhi, Aloo, Paneer, Tamatar etc
and though it was delicious, did not feel or taste like a Kulcha. It
reminded me of Chur Chur Naan that we get in Delhi. Aman told us that
today he (Ashokha) got over excited and over-stuff the kulcha. Probably
would try it again when I am there. The Chhole that he serves were much
better than any other outlet that I have tasted.

 

Location : A-Block, Ranjit Avenue (near Park)
Paintee waala special off the menu Kulcha

Regular Amritsari Kulche at Ashoka, notice the difference in shape compared to others.
Amritsari Kulche ready to be served

Most delicious chhole of all the ones we tasted that day.

 

4.
Monu Kulcha Corner – Now this seemed to be a long drive for us, atleast
by the Amritsari standards but then I cannot be a good judge of
distance as I had no clue where I was, or where I was being taken. We
were there on a Saturday and while driving Jaideep Paaji told me that
last Sunday he went to Monu for Kulchas and he was 57th in queue to be
served. Yup, Monu had 56 other orders to cater too, before he could have
served Jaideep Paaji. And once we had our Kulchas infront of us, we
knew why someone who was so off the grid, someone literally out of the
city limits was doing so well for himself. His Kulcha was the crispiest
and tastiest amongst all we had tasted that day. Though the chhole at
Ashoka were a tad better, but then the Kulcha itself made up for
everything.

 

Aman
paaji tells me that Monu used be operate from a place called Chitta
Katra in the walled city and was quite famous there. However now he has
got his own shop and the new location also gives him a better paying
clientele.

 

Location : Take a turn on Loharka Road from NH3, go for 1.5 km approximately and Monu would on your Left hand side.
Amritsari Kulcha at Monu Kulche wala – The Best of the lot.

Amritsari Kulcha at Monu Kulche wala – The Best of the lot.
Amritsari kuchas of a different type

Getting ready to roll

 

Rate list in Punjabi
at Monu Kulche waala

 

Now
I am sure that we have managed to touch only tip of the iceberg when it
comes to Kulchas in Amritsar. However considering that tip was actually
the top shown to us by Dr. Aman Kahlon and Jaideep Riar, both of whom
are local to Amritsar and super foodies in their own right and the fact
that these joints are not on tourist trail and they cater to actual
Ambarsaris, I feel pretty safe in saying that the above mentioned
Kulcha joints are best that Amritsar has to offer.PS : Working on pictures I realized that the rate list at Monu Kulche Wala is written in Gurmukhi (Punjabi) and no English or Hindi translation is there. Do we need more proof that there is nothing about this shop that is geared to cater to tourists or non locals ?? 😛Connect with me on Twitter : @SH_AGer

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