What do you do on the first day of joining a gym?

You drown your sorrows in food, and a lot of it.

Which is what I did.

E had called and warned me about them, but then she hadn’t warned me how many of them I would have to eat. The promise of good Kadhi Pakora and Rogan Josh had taken me to Kalash, HHI, and I ended up staring at S while he brought in massive amounts of food.

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There are six types of thali on offer – Punjabi, Rajasthani, Gujarati, South Indian (this was a bit generic), Bengali, and Kashmiri. We started off with the vegetarian Rajasthani and Punjabi platter – what I really liked was the thought that went into making these thalis – Start with soup, and then the thali is served with a side of salad.

Vegetable soup at Hotel Hindustan International

Vegetable soup at Hotel Hindustan International

I loved the Kadhi Pakora from the Punjabi thali – it was easily my favourite from the platter, which also had a rather splendid kaali daal, and crisp ’round the edges Kulcha. I took pleasure in picking out the mukki maar pyaaz, which I thought was a nice touch, and went back for the Baingan ka Bharta, which had this delicious smokiness that was quite addictive.

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While I wasn’t too sure of the Dal Bati Churma from the Rajasthani platter, the Jodhpuri Aloo served was tangy and flavoured with pickling spices, and if I wasn’t distracted by the soft Gatte ki Sabzi I would have been able to concentrate on it more.

Bengali Thali at Kalash, HHI

Bengali Thali at Kalash, HHI

The Bengali Thali was a bit of a cliche with the Kawsha Mangsho (which wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for) and the chholar dal and Tomator chutney, but I did like the rather decadent mishti doi they served, and couldn’t help but finish the bowl, scraping my spoon to find and decimate the last bits of it. The Egg Chop was a nice touch, though.

KashmiriThali at Kalash, HHI

Kashmiri Thali at Kalash, HHI

I was looking forward to the Kashmiri Thali the most, but while the Goshtaba disappointed, I was completely won over by the Murg Angara – the piece of chicken tender and redolent with the smokiness of kashmiri chillies, with a delicious char on the edges. My happiness intensified with the soft, perfectly set firni, which I refused to share in the end, the saffron hitting my nose as the crunch of pista and almonds were unmistakable against the soft, creamy rice. I was also pleasantly surprised by the chicken rogan josh – it wasn’t exactly what I had thought, but it was quite tasty, and easy to pair with the freshly made Kashmiri Naan, scattered generously with dry fruits and nuts.

mutton kasha

Kawsha mangsho

The Thali festival at Kalash, Hotel Hindustan International is going to end on the 4th of June, 2017, so you should ideally book your table by calling 9038813913 and ask for Saikat. The vegetarian thalis are priced at 1250/- plus taxes, and non-vegetarian ones are 1450/- plus taxes.

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Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was invited to Kalash by the management.

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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