Last night, I had a very delicious North Indian dinner at a restaurant called Mustard in Race Course Road. It specialises in Punjabi and Bengali cuisine, which as I understand, uses mustard seeds and oil as key ingredients.
We got a little lost in Little India, and took a while to find the restaurant, which we eventually found after 45 minutes of wandering and driving around, working up an appetite in the meantime.
Like jogging (and idol-chasing), North Indian food is one of the few things which I started to enjoy only in the last couple of years. I used to associate North Indian with yoghurt-chickpeas-cucumber-mixed-in-rice, because that is usually what I see Indians eat at the foodcourts. The food didn’t look in any way appetizing.
Until I discovered the joy of baingan bharta (a spicy eggplant dish mashed with onions and tomatoes, peshawari naan (a slightly sweet naan baked with almonds and raisins), rogan josh (lamb curry), chicken masala and fish tikka. I am not a big fan of tandoori chicken because I find the roasted meat a little too dry for my taste. I prefer meat to be tender, cooked in a spicy and/or creamy sauce.
The food at Mustard is very good, especially the baingan bharta. We tried the restaurant’s specialities, which we had never eaten before in other North Indian restaurants: Chingri maacher malai curry, prawns cooked in a light green curry and served in a coconut shell, and maacher paturi, mustard fish wrapped in banana leaf (just like how otah is served). We also ordered the peshawari naan and one other naan (I cannot recall what is this) to go with the main courses and doi baingan, which is Bengali-style eggplant cooked in a yoghurt.
I enjoyed the prawn curry, as the gravy was fragrant and went very well with naan. I found the fish quite delicious, but the flavours could be a little too strong tasting for some folks. Doi baingan – not as tasty as baingan bharta.
Plenty of food for two very hungry ladies!