If your soft, fluffy paratha is served with a chunky cube of butter. Do you a) Isolate the butter and use a tissue to dab off the paratha; b) Do a little jig, and generously lather the butter in every morsel. If you choose ‘b’, keep reading, because Indie Villa, a new restaurant in Andheri (W), serves up rich, soul-soothing, North Indian cuisine.
It all started when Delhiite Siddhant Ahuja shifted to Mumbai. As he checked out the restaurants in the city, he craved for that ‘Dilliwaali baat’. And that planted the seed of an idea. Together with his brother Shivam Ahuja, and friend Majid Khan (owner of Jantar Mantar), he set off to Delhi to eat at popular street-side joints, dhabas and restaurants. The idea was to bring those flavours to Mumbai.
Chur Chur Stuffed Naan With Chana. Pics/Datta Kumbhar, Milind Saurkar
As you enter the eatery, the Delhi touch is evident in the decor: a wall that mouths off Delhi slang, while Phulkari, the traditional embroidery of Punjab, lines the drapes. There’s also a mural of a turban-clad Sikh gracing the wall.
We start with the Chur Chur Stuffed Naan with Chana (Rs 199) from the Mini Meals menu. The dish is inspired by Baljeet ka Dhaba, a name that Delhiites will instantly recognise. It comes served with a large cube of butter. Ahuja quickly adds, “In Delhi, we would throw in some more. But the palate is different here.” The naan has a thin layer of potatoes coating the inside, and mild spices to add flavour. The sides are crispy, adding crunch to the pillowy Indian bread. With a dab of butter, it makes for a sumptuous meal in itself. But at Indie Villa, it comes served with masaledar chana.
We move to Paneer Kurkure (Rs 249) from the starters section. This is a guilt-free, delicious treat. Paneer is marinated in spices and layered with broken bits of papad to give it crunch. It is mildly spiced and accompanied by pungent garlic-yoghurt paste, and green chutney.
The Tava Chicken (Rs 259), which we order from the mains, is cooked using a spice mix flown in from Chandni Chowk. It’s a blend of 35 ingredients. At first, we get drawn in by the robust, ze-sty taste, but a few bites later, we realise it’s too spicy for our palate. A tip: Order a cold drink to wash it down.
Laccha Paratha (Rs 59) goes well with Dal Makhni (Rs 239). There’s a distinct smokiness to the butter-rich dal. Ahuja reveals the secret: The dal is slow-cooked over night, and this brings out the flavour of the lentils.
The meal ends aptly with an indulgent Beetroot Halwa (Rs 109). It comes served in a dish resembling a clay kulhad. While the khoya adds to the richness, it doesn’t have much sugar. It soothes the palate, particularly after the Tava Chicken.
TIMINGS: 12 pm to 3.30 pm; 7 pm to 12 am
AT: 13, Mayfair building, Oberoi Complex, near Lakshmi Industrial Estate, behind Sab TV lane, Lokhandwala, Andheri (W).