Sunday, March 30, 2014

Restaurant Review: Dilligate

Recently, I got a e-mail invite to attend the launch of new restaurant called Dilligate as a member of the Kolkata Food Bloggers. Initially, I was a bit hesitant to go without my family, especially my little S, who loves eating out. Due my hubby's constant encouragement and some prodding, I just decided to take the plunge and go ahead.

Dilligate Deluxe Restaurant
29/8, Dr Ambedkar Sarani, Topsia EM Bypass Crossing
Kolkata - 700046
Pocket Pinch (for 2 people): Rs 500-600 approx

When I entered the venue, it was pleasantly spacious and cool. The ambiance was soothing with low lighting. Being my first time, I was quite nervous. I was met at the door by the smiling PR personnel who escorted me inside. There I met Manjari (Chowdhury), my fellow KFBian and we got chatting with each other. It was also nice to meet fellow blogger Poorna Banerjee.

In the meantime, the starters were being served. I tasted the Hara Bhara Kebab (INR 145) and Crispy Chilly Baby Corn (INR 140).

The Crispy Chilly Babycorn lived up to its name by being crispy but was a bit more than my taste. But the Hara Bhara Kebab was just right. It was soft, flavorful, and tasted just right accompanied by the aromatic green chutney.

After tasting the succulent starters we got chatting with one of the Directors of the joint, who was a pretty, young lady. She told us that Dilligate restaurant has been founded by Manish Singh, who is a Food Consultant (and the Director of the Dhanoa Group) and Mukesh Agarwal, Director at Rajami Retail Pvt Ltd. Dilligate has been conceived keeping in mind that today every person wants good quality food within a comfortable budget. So, at this joint you can have a decent meal with 500-600 INR.

The Menu
Also, it is a multi-cuisine restaurant, so in her words, "If a group of 5 people come for a meal and order 5 different types of food, they can have it all under one roof at Dilligate". You get some lovely North Indian, Mughlai, Chinese, and Continental food all under one roof, here.

The street food of Kolkata also features prominently on the menu. The Dilligate Special Mughai Paratha is worth mentioning. You also get a wide variety of kathi rolls with different fillings such as chicken, mutton, aloo, and paneer. Cheese spinach rolls are a signature dish.

Sheekh Kebabs, Drums of Heaven, Spinach Cheese Roll, and Chicken Biryani.(clockwise)

By this time, the main course was ready! One look at the entire spread, and I was about to faint! I mean there were: Mughlai, Chinese, and Continental dishes in a buffet spread. I was in a real quandary what to eat and what not to eat? Even if I sampled a spoonful of every dish, they would have to widen the doorway for me!

Finally, I settled for Fish in Coriander Sauce (INR 215), Stir Fry Garlic Pepper Chicken with Exotic Vegetables (INR 175), Veg Fried Rice (INR 110), and Noodles Salad.

My plate! :)

The hubby man tells me to never go for Chinese food in a multi-cuisine restaurant. But I can vouch for the Chinese food. It was yum! Super yum! Light, non-oily, and the taste was just right.

Another dish that became the universal favorite among all the guest were the mutton dishes. They were well cooked. I sampled just a teeny-weeny bit, but it was spicy..way too spicy for me!

Also, a special mention for the Malai Kofta (INR 175).

The desserts that I sampled were Darsan (INR 120) and mini Gulabjamuns. The Darsan was crunchy and mildly sweet so it appealed to my taste buds.

One more special mention. I loved the cheeky and quirky pictures that were used as wall decorations. One says "Eat, Sleep..., Bhangra!" I liked this one too much! Jackie Chan and Jayden Smith as The Paranthe Kid!

The seating was done up in green and the sofas were pretty comfy. The music played old Bollywood songs that gave a 'Delhi-wala' feel!

After the meal, I left with a very satisfied and pleasant feeling in my heart. I am definitely coming back with my family for a cozy meal. Super-like!

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Healthy Snack: Khaman Dhokla

(Adapted from Nylon Khaman Dhokla by Tarla Dalal and Besan ka Dhokla by

The hubby-man is extremely fond of eating Khaman Dhokla. Whenever, we eat some snacks outside, he is sure to order Dhokla. One time, he got a packet of Dhokla mix. After cajoling me several times (and not getting any response), he tried to steam Dhokla batter in my idli molds. The mini-Dhoklas turned into hard crunchy biscuits! This has become the standing joke in the family, but since then he has nursed a grudge against me that I just do not take any pains to make food that I don't have any affinity to.

The ongoing online event at KFB, "East or West, Food is the Best" caught me offguard. I no clue about any food from the western, central, or eastern part of India, barring our dear Bengali food. Suddenly, it dawned upon me that I should try out Khaman Dhokla for this event and please my long-suffering hubby-man too!

Khaman Dhokla is a Gujarati snack. Being a steamed, non-fried dish, it is low on calories and uses very less oil. Its also purely vegetarian and simple to make. I got a lovely recipe from Tarla Dalal's website here. She calls it the Nylon Khaman Dhokla. Don't be turned of by the name! These Dhoklas are so soft and spongy that the reference is apt. I also got a recipe from here.

I actually did some mix and match from both these recipes.

Here is how I made it:


Besan: 1 cup
Sooji/Semolina: 1 and a half tbsp
Ginger and green chilli paste: 1 teaspoon
Eno fruit salt: 2 tsp
Sugar: 4 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice: 1 tsp
Oil: 1and a half tsp

For tempering/tadka:

Black mustard seeds/Rai: 1 tsp
White sesame seeds/ Til: 1 tsp
Green chillies: 3-4 (slit longitudinally)
Curry leaves: 3-4 chopped
Asafoetida/ Hing: a pinch
Sugar: 1 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice: 1 tsp (optional)
Water: 1/2 cup
Oil: 1and a half tsp 

For decoration:

Coriander (chopped fine): a handful
Grated coconut (optional)


1. In a bowl, mix besan, sooji, ginger-chilli paste, salt, sugar, and lemon juice. 

2. Add half a cup of water and mix till lump-free. You can add more water, but the mix should not be thin and runny. Batter should be thick like cake batter. Add a fistful more besan if the batter appears runny.

3.In the meantime, add two glasses of water inside the steamer and put it on the gas. Grease a thali/baking tray with oil. Luckily for me, my cake tin fit snugly inside my steamer!
4. Add the Eno fruit salt into the batter and immediately pour the batter into the tin. Remember to add the Eno fruit salt immediately before you put the batter for steaming.
5.By this time,the water inside will be boiling. Place the tin containing batter in the steamer and close the lid.

5. Steam the batter for 15-20 minutes on medium flame. Avoid lowering the flame to the minimum (simmer) because then the Dhokla will not rise. Medium flame works best! I had to steam for complete 20 minutes. Having some batter left, I poured it in another greased cake tin and steamed it inside the pressure cooker for 10-12 minutes. Remember to remove the weight from the pressure cooker lid before steaming.

6. After 20 minutes, open the lid of the steamer. Insert a knife into the Dhokla. If the knife comes out clean, your Dhokla is done. Keep aside to cool.

7. After the some time, de-mold the Dhokla from the tin. If the Dhokla has steamed properly, it will de-mold easily without breaking. Cut it into shapes of your choice, I cut it into squares.

Just loved the soft and spongy consistency!


1. Heat about 1 and a half tsp of oil in a pan.
2. Add all the tempering items and let the mustard seeds sputter.
3. Add half a cup of water in the pan. Next add sugar and salt. Let the mixture simmer for 1-2 minutes.
4. Take off the flame and add lemon juice.
5. Just before serving, pour the tempering mixture on the Dhoklas with a spoon. Decorate with chopped coriander and grated coconut. I didn't have coconut, so I used chopped coriander.
6. Serve warm with green chutney! 

Enjoy home-made, healthy Dhoklas for breakfast or an anytime snack.

I am sending this recipe for the KFB ongoing event "East or West, Food is the Best".

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The No-Grind Dosa Batter!

(Adapted from Edible Garden: Dosa Batter With Urad Flour & Rice Flour (No-Grind Dosa Batter Recipe))

Idlis and dosas are one of my most favorite vegetarian food. Once a week, I cursorily have a vegetarian day. This is quite a feat for a fishivorous me! The designated day being Saturday, I start having strong cravings for crispy, crunchy dosas. Masala dosas are superhit any day with me and my hubby man.

Recently, I came across a very easy breakfast dish called Appe. Appe is mostly a breakfast dish from the coastal regions of South India. These small fried dumplings can be made from dosa batter.

Appes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. My little S really loves them! I even went ahead and bought a Appe Patra to make them.

This Friday, I was all geared up to make dosa batter, when my mixer/grinder conked off! Sorely disappointed, I turned to the Net for some solution.
Lo and behold! I found a recipe for instant dosa batter using rice flour and urad dal flour on my fave blog Edible Garden. I found the recipe here. I also got another recipe from my super-talented friend Dassana's blog. You can find her recipe here.

This recipe is excellent for people who do not have a mixer/wet grinder. Or those like me who are too lazy and want a shortcut route to good dosa batter!

So, here goes the recipe:

For the dosa batter:

Rice flour: 3 cups
Urad dal flour: 1 cup
Salt: 2 tsp (adjust to taste)
Sesame oil/refined oil: 3-4 tsp approx

Procedure (for preparing Rice Appes):

1.  Mix the urad dal and rice flour in a deep-bottom bowl. I used a stainless steeel bowl.
2. Add salt. Add enough water to make a lump-free batter. Keep covered in a warm/dry place for 8-10 hours/overnight. (I kept the bowl in my microwave.)
3. Next morning, take the batter out from the microwave. The batter will appear puffed up and there will be bubbles on the surface.

4. Now is the time to take out your Appe Patra. Here is mine:

 5. Grease the Appe Patra with oil. Light the gas and keep the patra on the flame. After the pan heats up, add spoonfuls of the batter in each mould. Lower the flame and keep covered.

 6. After 10-12 minutes, remove the cover. The undersides of the appes will appear golden-brown. Turn the appes using a fork so that the other side cooks as well.

7. Once both the sides have cooked well and appear golden-brown, remove the appes and place them on a plate. Savour these crunchy delicacies with any chutney of your choice. We had it with home-made onion-tomato chutney. My hubby added some sour curd to the chutney to give it a creamy consistency. 15 minutes from the pan to your table!

Now, for the dosa recipe. Here goes:


For the potato stuffing:

2 big potatoes: boiled, peeled, mashed
1 onion: chopped
1 tomato: chopped
I small carrot: diced into small pieces
Ginger paste: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric: a pinch
Chilli powder: 1/4th tsp
Juice of a lemon: 1 tsp

For the tadka/tempering:
Black mustard seeds: a pinch
Curry leaves: 4-5
Green chilli: 1
Arhar/Toor dal: 1/2 tsp 
Refined oil: 1 tsp

For the dosa: 

Dosa batter: 2cups (recipe given above)
Oil for frying


 1. Heat oil in a a non-stick pan. Add the tempering items. When you get a delicious aroma of the curry leaves, add onion. Stir for a while till the onions turn pink. Add the ginger paste and stir fry for a bit.
2. Add the carrots and tomatoes. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

3. Now add the mashed potatoes. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, and salt. Stir for a minute.
4. Add 1/4th cup water and let the curry simmer for a while. When the water dries up, add lime juice and remove from flame. Set aside to cool.
5. To prepare the dosa, heat a griddle/non-stick dosa pan. Rub with the half slice of an onion dipped in oil. This will grease the pan and leave a delicious aroma of the onion.
6. Add a ladle-full of batter in the middle of the pan. Spread in a circle using the back side of your ladle.  Drizzle oil on the dosa.

 Note: You can add water in order to thin the batter further. I added water to this batter and I had a bad time because the dosa stuck to the pan! However, when I used the batter as it is, no sticking! In case the dosa sticks to the pan, add a fistful of rice flour to the batter and mix it till lump-free. Your dosa will never stick to the pan!

 7. When the dosa turns brown towards the edges, try to flip the dosa to the other side. When both sides have cooked, add a spoonful of the potato stuffing in the center of the dosa.

8. Fold the dosa in two, like an omlette. Serve hot with your fave chutney and sambhar. We just had it with onion-tomato chutney.

Enjoy piping hot! You can store this easy-peasy batter in the fridge for a couple of days! :)