City hop with eatery menu

When Surya Prakash Bagla had wanted to start Haveli 18 years ago, he was strongly discouraged. In fact, two consultants backed out of the project as they insisted a vegetarian restaurant would never survive in a place like Salt Lake. 

  • Published 23.03.18
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The interiors of Haveli, decked in pink for Jaipur week.
 

When Surya Prakash Bagla had wanted to start Haveli 18 years ago, he was strongly discouraged. In fact, two consultants backed out of the project as they insisted a vegetarian restaurant would never survive in a place like Salt Lake. 

“Not only has Haveli thrived over the years but ironically, on weekdays we are packed with Bengali customers!” says his young daughter Neha Bagla, who has now taken over the reins and is celebrating the restaurant’s 18th anniversary.  
The multi-cuisine vegetarian restaurant, next to CK Block’s Tank 9, turns 18 on April 18 but the festivities have begun four weeks in advance. So for four weeks now they will be serving cuisines of four different Rajasthani cities. 

“The cuisine of every city has evolved based on the ingredients that are readily available and the preferences of its people,” says Neha. 

Till Saturday it’s Jaipur week. So try the Pyaaz Ki Kachori, Sogri Ki Bhujji (a dry item made of the grated radish flower) and Bajre ki Khichdi. Despite its name, this khichdi is no shade of yellow. The bajra (pearl millet) gives it a greyish-white colour and the watery dish tastes even better with ghee and jaggery. 

The Jaipur thali.
 
The star attractions of all cities (clockwise from above left)- Pyaaz Ki Kachori of Jaipur, Mirchi Vada of Jodhpur, Bharwan Alu Gravy of Jaisalmer and Sohan Halwa of Udaipur. Pictures by Shubham Paul
 

“On Sunday will start Udaipur week,” says Neha. “This is a city that has many Jains, so the food will be sans onion and garlic.” Save the Khasta Kachori Chaat in the starter section, all dishes here are quite light. Even the Rajasthani staple

Dal Baati Churma has been replaced with Dal Gajra Ro Baati Sang Churma that uses the lighter grain gajra instead of wheat. The star dish of Udaipur however is the sticky dessert Sohan Halwa. 

“Jodhpur is a spicy city so brace yourself for Mirchi Vada,” says Neha, whose ancestors are from the Jodhpur-Udaipur region. The vada is made of stuffed big green chillies and relished with Lehsoon Ri Chutney (garlic sauce) or Keri Ri Lungi (a green mango puree). Also save space for Bajre Ka Khichdo and mind you, khichdo is not khichdi. 

“Unlike khichdi, khichdo is not watery. It’s dry and you’ll feel granules of bajra in your mouth,” says Neha. 

The fourth city Jaisalmer is known for its tandoor items and so the must-have is the spicy tandoori dish Bharwan Aloo Gravy. Every menu gets a customised drink along with the meals and Jaisalmer gets Kairi Ro Pani, a sweet-and-sour mango and tamarind drink that also helps digestion. 

The four weeks will offer various kinds of rotis along with the main course such as Missi and Jowar Roti. Made of corn, the crispy, yellow Missi Roti has a sweetish tinge and so goes well with sour curd-based items like Gatte Ki Sabji. 

Jowar Roti on the other hand is a light and healthy option and goes well with pulses. 

While one can pick dishes from the a la carte menu one can also go for the thali, that includes every item on offer for a particular city. The thali costs around Rs 550, after an 18 per cent discount.

Brinda Sarkar

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