Punjab Da Tadka

Mulund; the previously quaint and rustic suburb of Mumbai is now one of the upcoming hubs of the city. Until recently, this Prince of the Suburbs had a very restricted selection of restaurants, especially ones serving Punjabi cuisine. We poor tandoori chicken loving and lassi guzzling souls had to drag ourselves to the centre of the city, to get halfway decent Punjabi food. Therefore, I am ecstatic to learn about the new restaurant serving Punjabi cuisine that has opened at R-Mall, a famous mall situated Mulund.


Urban Tadka is the name of the joint and I decided to check it out at once. So lets have a look at whether Urban Tadka is anything to go balle-balle over.


You walk into another world once you enter the restaurant. A narrow hall done up with mud plastered walls and straw covered floors leads to the main dining room, a charmingly bucolic site. Khatiyas’ line the room in front of roughly made wooden tables. Water pumps and stacks of sugarcane are artfully scattered here and there. The overhead lamps have shades made of a hundred bangles. There is also a large drum to the side, which they beat during Birthday announcements. The Dhaba themed décor is fun, relaxed and cozy; just right whether you want to unwind after a long day of work or simply laze around.


The waiters, dressed in traditional Punjabi garb, are attentive and immediately bring you the menu ‘cards’. The menu is exceptional too, done up on a wooden slate with witty titles like Udta Murga, Meat the Meat and Do You Seafood. The dishes, although limited in number, have delicious phrases describing them, inviting you to try them till you are spoilt for choice.


I decided to begin with the starters on offer. Nimbu Chicken and Tandoori Bhutta orders were sent to the chef and I settled down in the Khatiya, inspecting the deliberately mismatched cutlery. The helpful waiters suggested a drink, and instead of going for the usual Masala chanas and lassi, I chose to try the Coconut Water-Vodka; it was exactly the thing I had in mind.


While I was contemplating the wisdom of my decision, the first course arrived. The drink, delightfully served in the coconut shell itself, was sweet and refreshing. The Nimbu Chicken was a surprise. Chunks of chicken bathed in a thick brown sauce with a light tangy aroma greeted me. The first morsel left me speechless. The chicken was tender and succulent and the sauce; sharp and tart, hitting me right between the eyes. It was quickly gobbled up, followed by the tandoori bhutta. This was done just right; the golden kernels glistened with butter and the flavorful Masala.


I consulted the menu slate again, this time to order the main course. I decided to order the traditional Sarson Da Saag and Makai Di Roti and Kali Daal on the vegetarian side, followed by Bhuna Meat and Lacha Parauntha. The Sarson and Roti arrived first. Once again, I was left delightfully amazed. The saag was thick, creamy and with a slight hint of spiciness, a perfect blend with the yellow, butter slathered rotis. The Bhuna Meat was a dry dish served in a wooden matka. The mutton was juicy and boneless, and roasted to perfection. Although it may be a bit too spicy for the weak hearted, it tastes good with the thick, layered paraunthas. The Black Dal is heavy as usual, but then, that’s what everyone loves, don’t we all?


My eyes then wandered to the Jalebis’ served with Rabdi. Even though I was stuffed, my hunger returned once I saw them. The dessert was simply delicious. The jalebi’s were hot, crisp and obviously fresh and perfectly complemented by the creamy and slightly chilled rabdi.


This was the end of my wonderful, gastronomically lovely dinner. The relaxed ambience, the attentive staff and the big portions aided in making it one of the best dinners I have ever had. It is not heavy on the pocket either. The average price of the dishes is around Rs. 100, and my total bill was around Rs. 600, which is very economical, considering I ate for two people! The only issue I have is with the dull lighting, but many people like their atmosphere that way. I would implore anyone visiting this part of the town to drop by at Urban Tadka and enjoy a few hours of gluttony and extreme satisfaction.



Anita Dhillon



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