Beat the nip in the air with a piping hot platter of Awadhi fare
I have been missing a familiar face in our neighbourhood shopping arcade. Before the pandemic hit our lives, he could be seen standing in front of a small makeshift tandoor, grilling chicken and fish tikkas for his loyal (and salivating) clientele. The heady aroma of grilled food was always alluring but I looked especially forward to it on fall evenings, when the body yearned for something warm.
The gentleman has not reopened his shop yet but I hope he does it soon. The thought of those juicy tikkas picked up on November evenings from his little corner had me scouring the Internet for suitable kabab and tikka outlets in my part of the city. I clicked on a place called ‘Legacy of Awadh’ in Sector 7 (D 66), Noida, had a look at the menu, and decided that this was what I was looking for.
Two dear friends were coming over for tea and I hoped to persuade them — with a platter of kababs — to stay back for dinner. I entered an order for mutton boti kababs (₹290 a plate), mutton galouti kababs (₹300 for six pieces), chicken malai tikka (₹330), varki paratha (₹40 per piece) and roomali roti (₹20 each). The food was delivered through Swiggy in neat little boxes.
We quite enjoyed the dinner, even though our tea — with a bacon quiche (baked by the guests), egg sandwiches, mutton chops and almond cake — was rather heavy. The sight of the galouti kababs and parathas was enticing, so we found ourselves happily tucking into the Awadhi fare.
Kababs and parathas
The kababs were delicious, with just a hint of the fragrance of nutmeg in it. It wasn’t as soft as galouti can be, but I liked it this way. A bit firm, it didn’t crumble upon touch, and went deliciously well with the paratha, which was mildly sweet, as varki parathas are meant to be. These parathas are different from the usual layered parathas, for the dough is kneaded with milk, giving it a pleasant aftertaste.
The chicken malai tikka got pass marks. It was creamy, but not memorable enough. I have had juicier tikkas in little corners of Old Delhi. The boti kabab was a surprise, it came blanketed in thick gravy, which again was delicious. I mopped up the gravy — rich, but not overly so — with a soft roomali roti. However, the next time I order from there, I am going to ask them to go easy on red chilli. It gave the gravy colour and contributed to the taste, no doubt, but left me tossing and turning all night.
Legacy of Awadh has its pros and cons. I was happy with the pros, of course — the galouti with the paratha won a high grade — and I am sure they will be able to customise the chilli factor for their clients. Meanwhile, I wait for the return of my friendly neighbourhood tandoor — and the whiff of grilled tikkas in the air.
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