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delhi, jan 2020


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this is a particularly complicated time to be in india, and especially in delhi. but here we've been for almost two weeks. despite everything going on, we've been eating out with friends (and mostly talking about all the shit going on). some of that stuff is addressed in this first meal review, of dinner at eat pham, a manipuri restaurant. manipur is one of the north eastern states, whose cuisines and cultures--by and large--have far more in common with the countries east of india than with the dishes and flavours associated with indian food abroad (or for that matter in much of india). this meal included smoked pork, river snails, fermented fish etc. take a look.

 

eat-pham-tharoi-thongba.jpg

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Different market but same fermentation method:

 

E. coli was found in all the samples (100%) of both drying yards and retail market but 60% in control samples. Highest amount (44%) of Salmonella was detected in retail market samples followed by DY-2 (36%) and DY-1 (32%), respectively. Samples of DY-1 (28%), DY-2 (24%) and retail market (40%) were found contaminated with V. cholera as well.

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Sounds incredible. Over the years I've accumulated 2 or 3 cookbooks from that general region. Never cooked from them mostly for ingredient issues.

 

Are River snails commonly eaten in the north east? Are they sourced from the north east?

 

 

considering there are two river snail dishes on the compact menu i'd guess it's a common enough ingredient. and my understanding is that they get ingredients directly from manipur.

 

a few nights later we ate at a naga place, five minutes walk from eat pham. another whole set of flavours--dishes made with fermented bean paste, with sichuan pepper leaves and so on. i might write that up later this week (we're off to goa tomorrow) but you can also get a sense of it from my review of dzükou from 2016.

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when i was in delhi by myself in december 2018 i had a very nice thali at bagundi, a then new'ish andhra restaurant. went back there with the family just over a week ago for more thali action--and for the boys, tandoori chicken and naan (steve!). all very good, but the fish and crab frys on the fish and mixed seafood thali respectively were particularly great. heat toned down for the delhi palate--my only complaint.

 

bagundi-2-fish-thali.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

jamun in lodhi colony market is an all-rounder in a city/country of specialists, serving a pan-indian menu of dishes from different regions. not everything at our dinner was great but it was on the whole a very good meal (i'd kill to have it in the u.s). many of these dishes are available in better versions in specialist restaurants (and would certainly be better still in the home regions) but this is nonetheless a good way for a visitor to delhi to eat a variety of regional dishes on one menu. recommended, though in the same general genre i prefer cafe lota.

 

jamun-khatti-mithi-kadhi-with-crisp-kale

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