Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On Love And Destiny

March 31, 2010
New Bombay
Podium, Ortigas

I’ve always loved Indian food. Although I’ve never been to India and actually taste their authentic cuisine, I still crave for it often. I mean, I could probably have been Indian when you believe in past lives and such. And that could be the easiest explanation as to why I keep having these insistent cravings. Destiny though, didn’t bring us to New Bombay but intense desire and longing.

Chicken Tandoori is grilled chicken marinated in yogurt and seasoned with masala. It is a bit on the spicy side but the difference with masala is that the spiciness withers quickly compared to curries and chilis. This branch had thinner chicken which meant less meat making it tougher and less tender. It would have been better if the cuts were better. The redeeming factor here would be the taste. The slightly tangy-salty flavor was really good. The cilantro chutney sauce was a fresh accompaniment to the strong spices involved in the grilled chicken.

Palak Paneer was a recommendation of a friend who frequented New Bombay much like I did. The dish is a mix of spinach and curries over paneer cheese. I find similarities between tofu and the paneer cheese because of its texture. The vegetarian dish is not at all spicy and really filling because of the thick sauce. It is great over the Basmati rice we ordered.

Shrimp Malai is probably my favorite dish here in the restaurant. I mean, how can you go wrong with combining shrimp, curry, and coconut milk? It has great heat coming from the curry and the chilis and it’s also an awesome topping for the rice or dipping sauce for the Roti.

Mutton Rogan Josh may sound like someone’s name gone bad but it’s actually a dish gone good. It’s chunks of mutton cooked in oil, curry, yogurt, and spices. Another curry dish but definitely distinct in flavor because of the different meat and cooking method. It was not at all gamy given the mutton and all the tastes and spices blended well together. Different complex flavors in one bowl of creamy goodness.

Rice is ubiquitous in India. One of its varieties and definitely one of my favorites is the Basmati rice. Being known for its long grained qualities, it’s a staple in many Indian meals. A very fragrant rice that adds another flavoring dimension to the meal. It is perfect to top with sauces, curries, and even plain unsalted butter.

Bread is as common as rice in India. The specific bread we ordered was the Buttered Tandoori Roti. It is your basic Roti bread cooked in a tandoori oven and then lathered generously with butter just before serving. My love of butter dictates that anything you lather it with becomes even better that it’s supposed to be. Not denying the Roti from praise, it was perfect with or without the butter. Just kidding butter, you make everything better still…

To wash all this yummy food, I had Lassi. A yogurt-based drink that can come in various flavors but I still prefer that plain one. BUT if Bhang Lassi was offered (and LEGAL), I would have immediately ordered that. For people who don’t know the main ingredient of Bhang Lassi, I suggest you go do your research and google it. It’ll make you smile. I promise. Oh, another addition to my bucket list: Drink Bhang Lassi in Rajasthan.

I'm sure New Bombay is far from the authentic Indian cuisine but I guess this will do for now. Someday I hope I'd be able to visit India and experience its food and culture. I believe destiny will send me there. If not destiny... love. The love of travel. The love of culture. And in this case, my love of Indian food. Love is, in actuality, the main component that provides the fuel for all our actions anyway.


Jench said...

Really nice food shots you have here Oliboy! =)

oliboy said...

thanks bespren! nagbabasa ka pala ng blog ko! hahaha!

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