Don’t be jealous guys when I tell you about this exquisite veggie food journey we had at Masala Trail by Osama Jalali. Osama Jalali, as everyone knows is a renowned food critic and master chef, and now along with Mr. Vidur Kanodia has come up with this majestic foodie outlet, in the heart of New Delhi serving traditional and authentic, purely vegetarian street-style cuisine from all the states in the nation.
Street food making is an Art in India, and this was evident at TMT when I relished my first two dishes. Being an exploratory traveler myself, I wanted to explore more, so I quickly settled down and started the chatpata trail. It was a journey of real flavours of India. Soon many of my all-time favourite chaats from North, South, East and Western parts of India started landing on my table.
TMT signature dishes from various regions of Uttar, Dakshin, Purab and Paschim include dishes like Bihari Lithi Chokha, Rajasthani Dal Baati Choorma, Gujrati Panki and Dabeli Pav, Banarasi Tamatar Chaat, Mysore Banana Poori etc. etc. TMT has two seating sections and the interiors are hypnotic with block printed walls, ‘welcome’ written across a wall in different languages, hanging scooter and a Thela wala, and handcrafted murals of auto rickshaws. We were here for a review and were amazed to see a full house even at 1:00 PM (a scene normally not seen in Delhi restaurants now a days).
We started with drinks namely, Kesaria Lassi, and Jigar Thanda (Gond mixed with ice cream and RoohAfza) to start with, but Jigar Thanda was kind of bland. The flavours which Gond can give to any dish were missing, also missing was the crunch. Kesaria Lassi was good. We also tried Mumbai Rose Falooda which was a great drink (if you call it a drink – it was a complete Dessert).
We now started with the food. The first to come was Tower Chaat. It surely was a visual delight. For me, I was going to have the best dish of the day right at the very start. It was more like a Chaat Sundae sans ice cream. It was a super delicious, layers full of sumptuous assorted chaat.
Kanpuria Garbad Chaat made of fried potato tikki, aloo ki subji, yogurt and a mix of various chutneys followed and it too was a great chaat.
Banarasi Tamatar Chaat followed and made it difficult for me to judge the winner of the day. Succulent tomatoes with roasted spices, topped with sev, the entire plate vanished in a minute. Even a traditional street vendor in Banaras will envy this preparation at TMT.
I was offered to try Daal Bati Choorma the next, but instead I settled and I relished Bihari Litti Chokha; just to relive my days from Bihar. Baked wheat dumplings with brinjal and tomato mash were splendid.
For a change I found myself still hungry and looking for more. Ms Khayati had joined us on our table by now, and seeing me wanting more recommended Panki, a Gujrati dish and Banana Poori from Mangalore. My colleague, a great Dosa lover settled for a Mysore Dosa and Idiyappam.
Panki is a hot seller in Gujarat and Maharashtra. I have never had a chance to try this Gujarati dish earlier. It is a made with rice flour batter and cooked between banana leaves. We have to scrape the rice evenly off the banana leaves, dip it in the accompanying mint chutney, and relish the fabulous flavours. It surely was super tasty.
The Banana Poori was not much to my liking and I was saddened to waste the entire serving. But then Iddiyappam rejuvenated me and I loved the presentation and taste of this great south Indian delicacy.
I was full by now, and my taste buds had started losing control. But for me a culinary journey is never complete without a sugary end to my meals. So I quickly asked for the desserts and settled down for Koolfi Flooda and my partner had the Haji Ali Fruit Crème from the impressive dessert selections on the menu.
Well it was a great masala trail that we followed while at the restaurant, but I still found some typical dishes from Eastern states missing and pointed out them to the floor manager who promised us to pass the message on to Osama Jalali. One such great dish from Bengal that I would like to see on their menu is the Radha Ballavi from Kolkata.
Décor : 4.5/5 Hospitality : 4.5/5 Food : 4.5/5 Drinks: 4/5
Address: 52 Janpath, New Delhi.
Cost for two: Rs 800/-
All pictures by Pradeep Chamaria for exatraveller.
Disclaimer: Review done on invitation from the establishment and views expressed are entirely ours and without any bias. No monetary favour was received.