Some raves about a new Mughal food delivery service based out of Hauz Khas Village pique our curiosity. It’s less surprising that the service is called Currywala & Co. In the spirit of its pincode, it has clearly spent time on its branding, but - also clearly - not enough. A logo boldly channels Chanel and MGM: interlocking C’s nestled inside a golden ribbon. More boldly, they claim to offer Delhi’s best Mughlai cuisine. Mouth agape, we pick up the phone.
We call before eight and yet three kebab picks are unavailable; it's been a busy day, they explain, so the kitchen is out of most meat starters. This curries no favours, but we let our hopes rise like a good naan dough nonetheless.
Of what’s available, mutton seekh is good, spicy but not searing. We also like Dahi ke Kebab, even if we’ve had far juicier. Dumdaar Paneer Tikka offers no surprises. So far, Currywala’s food is reminiscent of cocktail snacks served at weddings, great to kill time while you wait for the bar to open or the buffet to start, but far from the main attraction.
Currywala’s food is reminiscent of cocktail snacks served at weddings, great to kill time while you wait for the bar to open or the buffet to start, but far from the main attraction.
We have higher hopes from our mains. Alas. Forget light roomals, the roti looks and tastes like it’s made from a towel. What it’s supposed to soak up, slow-cooked chicken curry, fares better: a hearty, lightly-spiced gravy with generous portions of meat on the bone. Solid as it is, we can’t fathom why an establishment called Currywala picks this as their signature dish; it is standard tomato-and-onion fare, the one-recipe-fits-all North Indian curry that US-bound grad students mug up the week before their flights depart.
Mutton biryani, the prettiest of our orders, arrives in a clay handi wrapped in bright bandhani cloth. It’s a good biryani, with juicy mutton and spicy, greasy rice, but if this was indeed a wedding, no aunty would chase this caterer down.
We won’t be putting Currywala & Co on speed dial, but might think of them when large groups of Old Monk-swigging, grease-craving, anything-goes friends show up for dinner. Frankly, we’re surprised at the rave reviews Dilliwaalas have been giving this takeaway. Yes, it is more convenient than Old Delhi and much cheaper than Pandara Road, but does it really take so little to win over the capital of curries and kebabs? What is this - Bombay?
This review was contributed by Amrita Mahale, a former rocket scientist currently working on her first novel.
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