Chatori Galli – Barsha 1

I love eating street food and the mere mention makes me go weak in my knees! Such is my fascination with chaat vendors that I should be given the most loyal customer award for visiting Elco, Bandra Mumbai traveling to the other side of the city just to eat the pani puri and papdi chaat.

I find very limited good chaat houses in Dubai unlike India wherein there is one in every corner of the street. I came to know about Chatori Gali in Al Barsha via Twitter. Some one strongly suggested that I visit them for their jalebis.

Chatori Galli

This is a relatively small dining place just behind Mall of Emirates and a stone’s throw away from Bikanervala which is more popular in the area. Just a disclaimer, I have tried these dishes reviewed over 5 visits and found them to be consistent.

I started by trying the Gol Gappe (Delhi) or Phuchkas (Bengal) or Pani Puri (Mumbai). It is hollow fried crisps filled with a sprouts / potato mixture and downed with flavored water. I wasn’t impressed. It lacked serious amounts of masalas and that “ahhaa” factor.

We next moved on to try Raj Kachori, deep fried round flattened ball filled with a stuffing of lentils, cubed potatoes, sprouts, well beaten yoghurt and chutneys and garnished with sev.

Raj Kachori

The Kachori in itself was quite dried out and hence not crisp and was overloaded with yoghurt. There was very minuscule amounts of stuffing and hence it was another ‘No’ for me.

Pyaaz Kachori

On a side note, the Pyaaz Kachori (Onion stuffed) was great in comparison.

We also tried Ram Ladoo, a popular snacking dish in North India. These are deep fried moong dal (split green gram skinless) and urad dal (split green gram skinless) balls served with spicy tangy green chutneys garnished with grated raddish. It was average and needed to be soaked in the chutney before serving them. That’s how it’s traditionally served, maybe I had high expectations!

Ram Ladoo

The best memories I have had of Ram Ladoo are in my teens when I visited Amritsar and ate them at a small time vendor. He soaked them in Kanji, a popular Punjabi fermented drink made with red carrots, turnips, beets spiced up with rock salt, red chilly powder and mustard powder. He later topped them with spicy hot green chutney and radish! Drool worthy!

Moving on to the review, we proceeded to order Bread Pakoda, now this won me over completely. Bread slices sandwiched with a spicy mashed potato mixture coated in chickpea flour batter and deep fried.

Bread Pakoda

It had a generous sprinkling of chaat masala. It was served to us piping hot and with a side of coriander and tamarind chutneys.

Samosa Chaat

We tried Samosa Chaat, it was delicious. They served the samosa piping hot and were quite generous with the chutneys (thank goodness!), as a result, me and my guests were vying to get the last bite. Gluttony!

On another visit we tried “Parathe wali Galli ke Parathe” this immediately took me back to the bylines of Old Delhi in Chandni Chowk where Sahil first took me for a date many years back shortly after we visited the magnificent Jama Masjid.

For old time sake, we ordered the Parathas, you can choose two from the various varieties of parathas available. We ordered aloo pyaaz (Flat bread stuffed with spicy boiled potato and onions mix) and Gobhi (Cauliflower stuffing). Usually parathas are cooked on a tawa (flat griddle) but this particular type of parathas are deep fried in a wok.

Paranthe Wali Galli ke Paranthe

The parathas are served with Chole (spicy and tangy chickpea curry), Kaddu Ki Launji (Pumpkin cooked downed with spices and mildly sweet), Aloo Sabzi (Potato cubes in onion tomato gravy), Mixed cauliflower and carrot pickle smeared with mustard powder, a few pieces of tomato and cucumber and sweet chutney. Unfortunately since we have ordered this twice, I can’t seem to find the picture with Kaddu ki Launji.

I loved the Aloo Sabzi, it was quite spicy but I savoured every morsel of the paratha dipped in the sabzi. Yumm!

As for the parathas, I could not have beyond one piece. The parathas were crisp on the outside but all that deep frying made them too heavy.

Bedami Aloo

We moved on to Bedami Aloo. Bedmi is an another popular breakfast option served in Chandni Chowk and Old Delhi. It is a puri (deep fried puffed bread) made with wheat flour and ground lentils, either skinned black gram dal or green gram dal.

The accompaniments which come along with the Bedami Puri are same as the parathas. We were keen on having it only with the Aloo sabzi and asked to be served the same instead of the Chole and Kaddu Ki Launji. Again great dish and a must try once you visit this place.

Sarso Ka Saag - Makai Roti

We also ordered Sarson Ka Saag with Makke Ki Roti. Sarson ka Saag is mustard leaves and spinach leaves cooked with spices in and usually mustard oil. Makke ki Roti is flatbread made with maize flour, easily available in Indian grocery stores here. It was delicious and was served with a side of jaggery and raddish.

Tawa Paratha & Raita

If you are looking for a lighter option than the parathas then you can also opt for the various menu options like Methi Roti, Gobhi Roti or Missi Roti. I chose Tawa Paratha (Wholewheat flatbread cooked on a disc shaped griddle) with Boondi Raita. Simple home style dinner option.

Kadhi

I tried the parathas with Raita and once with Kadhi Pakoda, it was simply delish. The Kadhi was punjabi style, buttermilk cooked with gram flour, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and red chilly powder.

Vegetable Poha

We also tried Poha, it was a nice light snack. Poha is flattened wife flakes cooked with onions, peas, mustard seeds and garnished with peanuts, coriander leaves and Sev (Savoury Gramflour Vermicelli).

It was just good to be had with a side of masala chai. The tea served at Chatori Gali is prepared fresh and they use Lipton tea bags for the same however I did skip this on my subsequent visits. I don’t blame them, I’m quite picky about the masala chai I have.

Thandai

Sahil tried Thandai, it is a chilled drink made from milk, ground dry fruits flavored with kewda, rosewater, saffron, sugar and fennel seeds. This one was made with store bought syrup and sparingly topped with almond flakes. He found it quite refreshing. Their drinks menu also has fresh juices, Kanji, Fresh Lemonade, Lassi and Milkshakes.

Motichoor Ladoo

In desserts, we tried the Motichoor Ladoo, it was quite dry and not good enough.

Let’s move on to the sole reason you should visit Chatori Galli, which is their Jalebi. It’s deep fried flour shaped in spirals and soaked in sugary syrup flavored with cardamom or saffron at times. It’s difficult to explain what a “jalebi” is and hence the pictures below:

Jalebi In Making

It was crispy, crunchy and supremely heavenly. It tasted divine and was just the thing you need to taste on a day when you feel under weather. When dipped in the Rabdi, it is a killer combination!

Jalebi & Kulfi

We however had the piping hot jalebis with their stick kulfi. The kulfi was quite creamy and not too sweet and good way to end a hearty meal.

Matka Kulfi

The Matka Kulfi was pretty looking in the earthen pot but did not taste as great as the Stick Kulfi.

Visit Chatori Galli with a big appetite, the service is quite off sometimes mainly due to how busy the place is in evenings. However we have found a friend in Sandeep, a great guy who takes pleasure in serving you well.

Until next time, Happy cooking 🙂

Other Locations: Oud Metha / Meena Bazzar, Bur Dubai

Disclaimer : All featured dishes and meals were paid for my me and this post is not a sponsored one.

The India Pavilion – Mall Of Emirates

I love Mall of Emirates, that was the first place Sahil took me to. It was my first outing when I came to Dubai some more than two and half years back. In the first week of being in Dubai, I visited the mall thrice. There are many firsts associated with this place, the first movie, the first grocery shopping, the first big splurge, the first coffee date (with the husband of course!) and so on.

That’s my go-to place for movies or shopping. On one such tiring shopping spree, we ended up at the first level food court of Mall of Emirates and visited The Indian Pavilion next to Vox Cinemas.

Papad Chatni

It offers good Indian good and the prices and service is pretty decent too. The restaurant provides complimentary fried papas with green chutney and pickle. How nice! Who doesn’t like a good crunchy one!

The restaurant has an interesting concept of ordering mains which is a complete meal or a platter in itself. It comes with an accompaniment of roti (flat bread) or pilaf rice, 2 falafels / aloo tikkis (potato patties), cucumber raita, home style split yellow lentils and mixed salad.

Baigan Bharta Platter

I ordered the Baigan Bharta, it simply means roasted and mashed aubergines cooked with spices. I loved the roasted smokey flavor of aubergine with green peas in onion and diced tomato gravy. The green peas required to be blanched a bit more, they were quite firm.

Baigan Bharta

The Bharta cooked at my place by my grandmother used to have more of tomatoes giving it a rich red color but in the restaurant it was with less tomatoes. I liked how they finished the whole dish with red chill infused oil. This was a hit!

Achari Paneer Platter

We also ordered Achari Paneer Mutter, that’s cottage cheese and green peas cooked in a spicy brown gravy of onions and spices. The cottage cheese was slightly tossed on a pan since it had browned on the edges. It was spicy and I loved the heat in the gravy, it was finished with a garnish of coriander and chili oil.

Paneer Tikka Masala Platter

We also ordered Paneer Tikka Masala on one visit, the paneer was soft and the gravy was tangy but not overtly spicy. The red onions, capsicum and tomato wedges were char grilled and we could see the sides browned evenly.

Paneer Tikka Masala
I am a gravy person and would have loved if it came with little more gravy. Nevertheless it was a good dish with a side of butter naan.

The accompanying pilaf was fragrant and mildly spiced, the dal was the best part of the platter. I can keep going back to this restaurant just for their yummy dal. It is perfect home cooked version of split yellow lentils tempered with green chillies, finely chopped onions and tomato.

The aloo tikkis (potato patties) served had a nice crust on the outside and were piping hot inside, the mashed potatoes had a strong flavor of roasted cumin. It also had soaked chana dal and grated onions.

Mixed salad and cucumber raita provided a refreshing feel to the otherwise spicy platter.

Lamb Madras Platter

Sahil enjoyed his Lamb Madras style, as per him, it was cooked nicely with hot red chilled and curry leaves. But it was quite basic, it was good but that great.

Add On

Being an ad guy, Sahil loved the packaging of their wet tissues and even clicked it as a reference. He finds them quite fragrant.

On a side note, I have also tried their Masala Dosa which was pretty soggy and not up to the mark. The restaurant has consistently disappointed us on it’s desserts. We once ordered Phirni which was served to us hot traditionally it is always served cold and the gulab jamuns they do were quite average hence we keep skipping the dessert order.

However when in MOE and in mood for good Indian food priced decently, I would visit them for more!

Locations : Level 1, Food Court – Next to Vox Cinemas, Mall of Emirates / Spinney’s Umm Suqeim

Pricing : Average AED 120-150 for meal for two

Fusion JLT


The last of Dubai winters have given way to the sunny morning and humid afternoons. I love Dubai the most starting November until April. You can feel a nip in the air and the blue skies are so mesmerizing as well.

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During one such outing to a local book cafe a few months back we discovered Fusion restaurant quite accidentally. We must be near the car park and could smell the fragrant aromas from the kitchen of this brightly lit eatery.

Both me and my husband Sahil exchanged the look which said “Let’s skip Brunch & have a early lunch instead”. But since we had vouchers for Nataly Cafe, which were soon to expire, we went against our senses. You can read the complete review for the book cafe here at Sahil’s blog http://goo.gl/KQOjx

I did not like the breakfast menu much hence no review. Moving on to this restaurant review.

Sometimes you expect a lot more once you visit a restaurant and feel disappointed. However, Fusion surprised us both  with it’s yummy food and awesome service.

I have clubbed together three of our visits to the restaurant. The restaurant is brightly lit with low ceiling lamps hanging around, oil paintings depicting the folk men and nature and the red walls along with the black trimmings on red chairs complimenting each other quite well. There are also two big screen LCDs facing each other to keep company to the lonely souls around.

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First time around we ordered the safe options in Chinese. We opted for Vegetarian Sweet Corn Soup, Manchurian with Gravy and Hakka Noodles.

Sweet Corn Soup

The soup was freshly made and not re-heated like some restaurants serve them. My biggest concern while having Chinese soups is the use of corn starch, usually I find them to be too starchy. But the soup at Fushion had the perfect balance of shredded cabbage, an occasional french bean cut diagonally, carrots and corn.

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The Hakka Noodles were a tad too oily for my liking but it’s me being guilty for not eliminating junk from my diet. They were seasoned nicely and the veggies included shredded carrots, thinly sliced onions, an occasional cabbage, capsicum with a garnish of spring onion.

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I absolutely loved the manchurian they did. The manchurian balls just like the soup did not have the raw flavor of corn starch. We asked for more gravy and were happy with the generous portions. The dish was garnished with coriander for a change instead of the usual spring onion like most of other chinese joints. The manchurian gravy was neither too runny nor too thick, just cooked perfectly. We came back from Fusion as pleased as a Punch.

We visited them again next week, their close approximate to our home worked to our advantage. When we are late from work, we make a quick dash and came back satiated.

This time around we tried their Indian delicacies. We ordered mains of Dal Tadka, Handi Paneer (Creamy Cottage Cheese Gravy and Bhindi Do Pyaza. Now these are my favorite things to order when I eat out, you would see that I always order a Paneer Makhni or it’s clones. Blame it to my Punjabi genes.

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I always try ordering a simple dish as well since I believe that it’s the simple things in life which are difficult to create. These are flavors one grows up with and hence has a sentimental connect to. The Dal was perfectly tempered with cumin seeds, , coriander powder, green chillies and red chilly powder. I loved how the dal came in a copper bucket. Brownies points for this 🙂

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The basmati rice was tempered with cumin seeds and garnished with fresh coriander leaves.

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Bhindi do Pyaaza was a hit with my palette. Frozen okra came in a brown onion gravy seasoned with cumin seeds, coriander powder, green chillies and was garnished with ginger juliennes and coriander leaves.

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Handi Paneer was creamy, the onion tomato gravy not overpowering the softness of paneer. I would have liked the cream to be thinned before the garnish though. It felt too heavy for the otherwise balanced flavors. I just scrapped the cream off the top and had the gravy underneath. It also had diced capscicum.

I like the copper pots and spoons used by Fusion to serve the food, they add to the ambience and give a nice rustic feel to the otherwise loud color scheme of the restaurant.

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They also served us sides of vinegar marinated shallots and store bought mix vegetable pickle.

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We did try a desert this time by staff recommendation, Gajar Halwa (Carrot Dessert). We enquired if the carrots used were red like how you get in Indian subcontinent but were informed that they use Australian carrots. So that explains the orange carrot halwa. It was nice but not great. It was very runny and required more time to get cooked on medium heat.

My grandmother used to say that a sign of halwa well cooked is when the carrot almost feels crumbly borderline roasted but still moist, retaining the richness of the milk it is cooked in. Sadly the gajar halwa did not fare quite well as expected but I was ok with what I ate. It was garnished with slivers of pistachio and almonds. Maybe the texture was not good because no khoya (dried whole milk) was added.

We visited Fushion almost after a month or so again last weekend, we noticed they have started serving roast papad with green chutney.  The papad was not roasted properly. I captured the images as well.

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The chutney was ok, tad too runny and the taste of yoghurt overpowering the coriander.

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We ordered Tomato Soup which was too watery and the ginger flavour was tad too strong for my palette. Again it was garnished with a dollop of cream resting on the soggy bread croutons. The bread croutons were stale and seemed like oily.

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For mains I ordered Paneer Bhurji, it  was an absolute disaster, I knew I would not like the dish just by the way it looked.

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The only flavor I could taste was turmeric, the entire dish felt very bland and raw. It was cooked with finely chopped chillies, onions and tomatoes but the gravy base was not enough. It seemed like paneer was added last minute and it was not blend well with the onion-tomato mixture. There were parts of the dish wherein the paneer was not coated with the spices.

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Sahil ordered Prawn Biryani and found it too dry. Upon complaining the waiter acknowledged that the Prawn gravy may have been a last minute addition to the pre-cooked plain biryani. The gravy like Vegetarian / Mutton/ Chicken / Prawn get added as per the customer’s order. Odd!

Nevertheless Fusion stared off on a promising note but lost us on the flavor aspect in the subsequent visits. I will still visit them since the service is good, here’s hoping to better food on the next visit.

A quick link for their website http://www.fusion.ae/

Disclaimer : All featured dishes and meals were paid for my me and this post is not a sponsored one.