Chappan Bhog

Reuben Kurian

Chappan Bhog Central Souq Friday brunch AED45

I trotted along with glee with three like-minded epicureans to Chapphan Bhog, excited to see how good a vegetarian brunch could get. The brunch package includes four appetizers which were part of the generic chaat menu.We were served Samosa chaat which is a deep-fried, stuffed patty with spicy potatoes and then mashed up and served with chickpeas mixed with spices, onions tomatoes and green chilies. It was spot on! Bhelpuri is basically made with puffed rice, tomatoes, onions and a tangy tamarind sauce. In a great twist, there were finely cut, raw mango slices which gave it a lovely bittersweet aftertaste and at the same time giving it a nice crunch: it was delectable. The next was the Pani puri or gol gappa as it is called in the northern parts of India. This is basically a deep fried, crispy puri which is hollow inside and stuffed with a tangy piece of boiled potato into which is poured a bit of tamarind water and a sweet tamarind chutney. The puris were crunchy and had just the right balance of spice. The last item in the series was the dahi puri the same as the above but with yogurt and pomegranate seeds,chaat masala. I’m sure by now all of you realize how complex and laborious Indian cuisine is! The dahi puri was excellent with a great flavour of explosion at the end. Our bunch were already feeling quite stuffed with the lovely appetizers but we pressed on to the buffet, which had a bit of everything and is located in a small alley which has a few tables and an Indian artisan selling his wares. There was a plain salad, then there were the starters of a Rajastani favourite, onion kachoris, is a deep-fried pastry stuffed with a mixture of onion and spices and mixed vegetable pakoras: a deep fried fritter with a stuffing of different types of vegetables like potatoes,chilies brinjal. The main course consisted of dum aloo,palak dal, tomato rice,cholle (chick peas cooked in a typical North Indian style usually done with a tea bag to get the blackish colour) vegetable noodles and a vegetable manchoorian, as well as different naans and freshly fried Batooras. The DumAloo(Potatoes)which is a very difficult dish to make, was to die for! The stuffing of paneer in it was brilliant and just right. The palak(spinach) dal was tasty and had the right amount of spices to go with the Naan. The batooras which is a deep fried flattened, leavened bread was heavenly. The assortment of naans did live up to the moment. We were all stuffed by now and had to engage in some debatable banter regarding the food to create some space for the finale of the dessert which was rasmalai, a piece of cottage cheese softened and then spiced with cardamom. It was nice with the right amount of sweetness. The other dessert was gajjar ka halwa, shredded carrot cooked over a slow flame, mixed with spiced sugar and milk and then reduced. Overall, it was good value for money and the chaat items are definitely to die for. They still have a lip smacking a la carte menu available at lunch time but the buffet is excellent value! #featuredreview #invited

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