Culinary excellence and Consistency takes your food experience to a different level altogether. It experienced the same last week, while chatting with Executive Chef Nilesh Dey and the Marcom lady Deeksha Mishra at Caraway, the North West frontier cuisine specialty restaurant at The Grand, Vasant Kunj. The experience was built on passion and dedication to creating a memorable experience and I had the privilege to be part of it! Immersive and Intensive, this place is one of the hidden gems of Delhi where kebabs and tandoors are the highlights of your meal and the main course are served as sides. A deep abiding love and an experience that will forever change the way you think about food is how I would like to sum up my experience which lasted for more than four hours where I learnt few nitty grities and also learnt about the finer details of cooking.
Caraway is brasserie style which is inspired from French culinary which means relaxed sitting. This restaurant has set up in such style to give to comfort of fine dine in relax atmosphere. Caraway, however is English name for Shahi Jeera and the warming and aromatic “seeds” of the caraway plant provide a distinctive flavour and is key to Indian dishes.
Executive Chef Nilesh Dey has changed the menu and I was invited to taste the new dishes which he had created. Given that I have known Chef for e long time and my last experience at WokTok (their pan Asian speciality restaurant) was absolutely wonderful, I was looking forward to this event.
This restaurant is one of the oldest in city which serves north-west frontier and north Indian cuisine. Chef has been doing lot of work here and one them is standardization of spices across F&B that surely gives consistency through every outlet.
The mutton kakori kebab has an interesting story/stories. One story is that the galauti kebab travelled to kakori with one of its cook and adapted by the then king of kakori and then kakori kebab become one of the famous kebab. Another story is -after receiving complaints from a British officer about the hardness of the Kebabs, ordered his cooks to prepare a tender Kebab .They finally came out with this Kakori Kebab. Kakori introduced the art of using fruits like raw mango and papaya to tenderise meat. The popularity of these kebabs has grown far and wide. These kebabs were earlier an exclusive preserve of royalty for Nawabs of Awad and now is available at caraway. The kakori kebab melts in mouth. The right amount of spices and perfectly grilled, this is for sure one of the best kakori available in town.
Atta Chicken Caraway which is Persian inspired dish has greater impact on frontier cuisine where originally the lamb leg were used. A little complex dish to cook, as it needs to be cooked at a temperature where your chicken doesn’t get dry. It was wrapped in banana leaf to prevent it from drying and covered with dough and then cooked. The risk of cooking at high temperature is that the dough will get overcooked, however the chicken will remain undercooked. This Atta Chicken was absolutely well cooked and wasn’t dry and one of the best I have had.
Another winner for me was lehsuna jhinga – jumbo size prawn marinated with garlic based spices and grilled to perfection- cooked perfectly to the point of doneness.
Apart from mouth-watering kebabs, this place has some of the finest collections of scotch. And we north Indians love to have scotch with kebabs.
House special raan (goat’s leg) has a special tandoori masala that is prepared in-house and then grilled in tandoor. This royal dish requires double cooking. The lamb chops were perfectly grilled and the meat was not just moist, but was cooked well too.
They also have array of vegetarian kebabs, tandoori broccoli and layered paneer( stuffed with dry nut and saffron ) and as the name suggests, this is one of the oldest kebab where it is stack in layered and then cooked.
Dal Caraway and kurkure bhindi will definitely please the palate of vegetarians. I am personally not a big fan of using dry fruits in meat dishes and hence murg pista korma didn’t delight me. Hyderabadi dum ki nalli is the perfect example of dum style cooking that had been popular in the royal darstakhan of Nizam.
We finished our meal with Hare seb aur gulkand ki kheer where the tartness of the green apple was mellowed down with the use of condensed milk.
Caraway for sure is on my list for one of the finest speciality restaurant in a five star where the focus is on serving delicious kebabs that gets perfectly complemented by the extensive range of single malts.
Caraway – the fine art of Indian cuisine that provides a classic combination of robust flavours served in a simple yet bold manner.