Delhi food: The magic of a wok and some sauces

Recently after I was considering of the unhappy state of affairs within the meals enterprise, I acquired a name from a younger chef who used to wield magic with a wok and some sauces. I had met Vaibhav Bhargava at ITC Sheraton’s pan-Asian restaurant (known as Pan Asia!). He was revolutionary and put collectively some pleasant Oriental dishes.

With accommodations largely shut, and diners staying away from their favorite eating places, Bhargava has now joined a catering outfit known as The Purple Plate that delivers Oriental and Indian meals in Delhi-NCR. He known as to say that he wished me to check out some of the dishes he had been cooking.

Chef Vaibhav is in cost of the Oriental meals. The listing of starters consists of vegetable spring rolls, soya and water chestnut lettuce wraps, siu mai with scorching hen, stir fried prawns in XO sauce and diced Beijing hen with chillies. The mains embrace silken tofu with chilli beans, Cantonese type unique Asian greens, hen crimson Thai curry, and sliced hen in Szechuan sauce. The meals comes together with your selection of noodles or steamed rice. Then there may be a salad or dessert (I had a rose petal phirni which was chic: thick and creamy, and with simply the best perfume and sweetness).

I began with the dimsums and loved the chilli hen siu mai. The greens dumplings had a juicy stuffing of shitake mushroom, asparagus, water chestnut, carrots, beans and child corns and a pretty emerald inexperienced casing, which, Chef Bhargava defined, got here from a inexperienced onion extract.

I additionally had the hen crimson curry, peppered with tiny eggplants and different greens. What I loved essentially the most was the prawn cooked within the scorching XO sauce. Plump prawns had been marinated with salt, pepper, egg white and a combine of potato starch and corn flour and then fried. Chef Bhargava sautéd ginger, garlic and onion in a wok, and to this, he added colored peppers, a good sprint of the XO sauce, Chinese wine and chilli paste. He tossed within the prawns, and the ultimate final result was a lip-smacking dish, scorching however complemented by the sweetness of the prawn and peppers.

From the Indian menu, I attempted out a bit of the mutton rogan josh, and thought the gravy was strong, and the dal, properly creamy. The catering service provides for teams of 5, 10 or 15. Orders should be positioned 24 hours prematurely (cellular no: 9899775259). It gives a three-course meal (₹5,000 for 5 folks for the vegetarian choice; ₹7,000 for 5 for a non-vegetarian one).

The menu additionally gives a cheese platter with 5 varieties of cheeses (from cheddar to gorgonzola), fruits, nuts, olives and crackers (₹5,500) and a Turkish crisps and dip platter with beetroot crisps, pita crisps and lavash with beetroot hummus, olive hummus, labneh and baba ganoush (₹4,000). A 24-piece vegetarian sushi platter prices ₹3,000; a non-vegetarian platter, ₹4,000.

Chef Bhargava, who has additionally skilled on the celebrated Noma’s in Copenhagen, says that the menu will change each now and then. “We do customised dishes, too, if guests have any preferences,” he says. “I want to keep highlighting the ingredients as they are the heroes.”

Way to go, chef. This is the time for heroes — caped or sautéed.

The author is a seasoned meals critic

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