How many food chains can you think of that specializes in only and solely Indian food? By Indian food, we mean pure, unaltered food that has been passed on generations. Take two minutes and think about it. Got an answer? Tell us by commenting below or else read below for one such chain 🙂
Khaaja chowk, a chain known to many, aims to serve pure Indian food to their clients. We got to experience this on our recent visit to MGF Metropolitan Mall in Gurgaon. We expected a typical Indian décor but were pleasantly surprised to see a very vibrant and quirky set up. The concept behind this is an ‘Indian Café’ that appeals not only to the elders but also to the youngsters.
We not only ate a hearty meal but got a lovely chance to interact with the person behind this concept, Mr. Vikram Nair. He is the author of Gone with the Vindaloo apart from being a food enthusiast. As foodies, it was fun listening to stories, facts and ideas behind many Indian dishes we eat on a regular basis!
We were told the story behind the name ‘Khaaja Chowk’: Khaaja was originally a sweet made of bread dipped in sweet syrup. Bet you didn’t know that cause neither did we 😛 This place has the original khaaja as part of the menu but with the twist of Rabri with it (overall similar to shahi tukda).
As mentioned above, through Khaaja chowk , Mr. Vikram Nair aims to keep the traditions of India and Indian food intact. In the menu you will find dishes from all part of the country making it a one stop shop! We ate Litti from Bihar, chicken from the North and Luchi from Bengal all in one meal! Crazy isn’t it?
He also believes that not only dishes, even the cooking styles should be as close to traditional as possible as food tastes best then! Two cooking highlights of the menu of Khaaja chowk are Dum Cooking and Claypot Cooking.
Dum cooking is slow cooking in a close container which is an approximately 3 hour long cooking procedure. The end result is amazing as the spices are well penetrated in the meat/vegetable and they are soft. Some dishes they cook in Dum are Laal Maas (mutton)…our personal favourite, Dum ka murgh (chicken), Katthal dum masala and Gobhi Mussalam.
On the other hand, Claypot cooking renders an amazing after taste of the earthen pot in the dish. They add a secret ingredient to it that made the dishes lip smacking. The presentation is not to be missed! Some dishes they cook in a claypot are Nalli Nihari (Mutton) and Kababi Murgh (chicken)
This meal with Mr. Vikram Nair was not only a satiating one but also an enlightening one. His knowledge of Indian Food and its history has translated into a marvel by the name of ‘Khaaja Chowk’ ! The first Indian Café that can’t be missed! And hey, you can’t miss the cocktails either as there are concoctions that you won’t find anywhere else!