Saturday, August 22, 2015

Canara Restaurant, Dubai, UAE- for Awesome Mangalorean Food

A lot was told to me about this Manglorean rather Canara restaurant and highly recommended too. During my trip to Dubai and on the last day out, a dozen of us made it for lunch. Some of our friends were already seated prior to our arrival but let me assure you that you will have to wait some time as the place was full and noisy with Manglorean and Goan diners. Lot of clattering of dishes going on with people jabbering away to glory. This is simple place with no d├ęcor to boast off but the food makes up for everything you don’t need.
Food was already ordered and for starters there were the Crispy Rawa fried Kaane / Mudoshiyo or Lady Fish, some rawa fried prawns, Kubey Mutli which is a Manglorean speciality. The sorpotel came in earlier than expected and was generously dumped by me with the starters…. I didn’t care cos I just loved the sorpotel. We had some paanpoleys / neer dosas again a Manglaorean speciality to go with the above. Stop drooling.

Everything we ate was good. Although the fish was coated with a thick layer of rawa, it was fresh, huge, soft and fleshy. The prawns were pretty good sized and delicious. The Kubey Mutli looked good and had all the goodness I have had before but it is not my favourite, but everyone was raving about it so I guess it was pretty good. I don’t fancy most Manglorean dishes but I can tell you that they are equally good as we are mixed breed family of Goans & Mangloreans. My favourite was the sorpotel which was expected but it was a Manglorean style sorpotel which simply means that it did not have the sourness which identifies Goan sorpotel and which I adore. However this was for me again the star dish and I dunked it in with some neer dosas.

For our main course we had the Prawn  and bhenda curry  and some hot plain rice to go with it. We also ordered fried Lepos/Sole fish and some Kingfish Masala.  The prawns curry was a bit too creamy but excellent however the bhendas were a bit oldish and had a thready texture, however the curry went well with the rice. The fried lepos were excellent too. The Kingfish masala was ok. Not too exciting or probably had lost its zing from the fact that we had eaten such wonderful food earlier.

During my wife’s previous visit, she had the opportunity to try the Sannas, Pothrade, Channa Sukka , Anchovy Chutney, Bombil fry and Bangda Puli Munchi which were all super. It was a takeout service so some pictures were available of those dishes.

A great place to dine and for all those special Mangalorean delicacies.

Ballimaran Dilli, Dubai UAE

Away from Dubai’s fancy and high end restaurants, you will find a few restaurants dishing out hardcore Indian and Pakistani foods like a Mutton Nihari, Bheja Masala, Payas amongst other spicy flavourful dishes.
We were recommended to try out Ballimaran Dilli specializing in Indian Lucknowi cuisine, in Dubai’s Karama area and which was pretty difficult to find at first. Its located on 6A street but better to call and take directions, is 04-3972224.

We were eager to try out the Sheermal and the Lucknowi Galouti Kebabs and that was the main reason for our trip. The waiter who attended on us was an old chap with pretty good experience of the stuff available and recommended we go for the Mutton Nihari and with it some Kulchas plus our choice, which was Sheermal topped with Galouti Kebabs and a Lucknowi Dumwala Mutton Biryani.

We were absolutely disappointed with the Sheermal Bread topped with the Galouti kebabs as the Sheermal was a very flat tasteless bread with a kind off rubbery texture without any flavour. The kebab was soft, smooth and mildly spiced but the texture was too soft and pasty for our liking.
However the star of the show was the Kulchas which was one of the best breads I have ever eaten. It had a golden brown crispy crusty top with buttery soft layers of goodness. The Nihari was excellent and nicely spiced and the kulchas were absolutely divine when dipped in the Nihari. 

This was the saving grace of our lunch outing as the Lucknowi Dum Biryani was disappointing as it lacked any flavour and as is the case, biryanis made in restaurants rarely qualify to make the list of recommendations.

We didn’t have space for anything more to experiment but I would definitely recommend the Kulchas and Nihari.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Freej Soweileh – Lamb/Mutton Machbous - Kuwaiti Comfort food

I've always been wanting to write about this dish for a long time but probably haven't had the best words to describe it. This is one of our favourite dishes from many years in Kuwait and here's my take on it.

I’m sure most of you in Kuwait have visited this restaurant, but if you haven’t, then this is a must do. Freej Soweileh is an authentic Kuwaiti restaurant serving Kuwaiti food in addition to other Arabic dishes. However the star dish of this restaurant is the Lahamb Machbous or Lamb/mutton Machbous. Kuwait's own amalgamation of rice and meat flavours combined.
Now this is what you would call comfort food. We prefer to get a mega serving of this dish in the comfort of our home, sit in our comfy clothes and gorge on this dish.
I haven’t had anything like this anywhere. The quality of meat is so tender that it melts in your mouth. The long grains of rice slowly passing down your throat, giving you that satisfaction, that magic feeling, making you content. This dish has been cooked by someone who is an expert and has been conjured with some magical ingredients with a method that I have found that no one can replicate. Ofcourse if you have eaten this at Kuwaiti homes, only then you will find superior flavours. However, with no such options any more, Freej Soweileh is our only such source and a great one indeed. I had the priviliege of tasting this dish in my early years when I was employed with a Kuwaiti army man and who would have food coming everyday from his home. Partly one of the reasons for me being so chubby. I have tried many restaurants who tried to replicate this dish, but till date have not found any who could match the same taste. The flavour is so distinct that those who have tasted it will know how I feel. Every time we eat this dish, it has the same taste and consistency.

Other than the Lamb Machbous, they also serve Chicken machbous which for some reason can never match the taste of the Lamb flavours. The fish (Pomfret) Machbous is also pretty good but somehow the quality of the fish is not upto the mark simply because the fish used is frozen. Fresh Pomfrets cost a bomb and I doubt it will be feasible at the price they charge. However it is a very good dish. The machbous is served along with a dish of Dakous which is a tomato based gravy. This may be added to your rice which gives you that free flow down your throat..... Ummm yummmm.. I’m drooling. Also served are condiments like a roughly ground fresh green chilly in oil, a red chilli mix and a garlic and carrot pickle which is sour and delicious.

The other noteworthy dishes are the lamb Kebabs and the Kibbeh which are both stunning. However, we keep off the appetizers as we go only to enjoy the machbous. You can have some soup which is served in a bread bowl and some baba ghanouj which is served in a deep fried crisp dough dish.

I guess this dish may happen again on the weekend. You guys who haven’t tried must if you are in Kuwait.

A sweet desset called Luqaimat is also served along with arabic coffee

A short quick glimpse of the Kitchen