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    Funjabi Tadka puts fun and flavour into authentic Punjabi cuisine

    When a restaurant is called Funjabi Tadka, one doesn’t really expect haute cuisine, but I was pleasantly surprised with a well-lit space, serving perhaps the most authentic Punjabi fare in town, not another mismatched and ‘multi-cuisine’ type menu. An extremely pleasant wait staff welcomed us with Punjabi manna. The Khullard (pot) lassi in two flavours, the rose flavoured rich and creamy concoction, and the plain sweet or salty lassi.

    Jump starters
    We tried a multitude of starters to taste all the proteins on the menu. My clear favourites were the grilled baby lamb chops that were marinated in a spicy yogurt dressing and the Ajwani macchi, (succulent pieces of grilled fish with a hint of Bishops weed and spices).
    The traditional malai tikka (chunks of super soft char grilled chicken in a delicately spiced creamy marinade) melted in my mouth and the fairly large prawns grilled with a hint of garlic (lasooni jhinga) were also superb.

    Main track
    For the main course, we started with their specialty, The Highway Mutton Curry — tender pieces of marinated mutton cooked slowly in a rich spicy gravy. Also dal ghost (mutton cooked in a chickpea lentil) and their classic rogan josh (a Kashmiri-style mutton curry cooked in its own juices and flavoured with hints of garam masala).
    My dining companion ordered the famed baigan bharta (roasted eggplant rapidly cooked with spices) – a must have dish in every self respecting Punjabi household. Judging by her expression, the bharta hit its mark. For me, the clear winner was the excellent butter chicken, with tender bits of lightly grilled chicken in a soft creamy sauce and highlighted with the subtle use of spices served with a basket of mixed rotis to mop up all the delicious gravy.
    Sweet tooth

    Though they don’t have a very extensive dessert menu, we did justice to the very innovative pan-flavoured kulfi and the malai kulfi had all the required creamy goodness. I simply loved the humble phirni (a rice pudding) sprinkled lightly with almonds. The michi halwa (a halwa made from jalapeños) also caught my fancy – a sweet dish with a mild chilli flavour as an aftertaste, very interesting indeed.

    Funjabi Tadka has a lunch buffet for Rs345 ++.They also serve a non-vegetarian thali for Rs180 and a vegetarian thali for Rs120 (all inclusive). At Forum Value Mall, Whitefield Road. Details: 41553255

    — Rubi Chakravarti

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