Apart from Punjabi songs and patiala salwar, which Bollywood has exposed most of us to; there is one thing that defines the clan. They love their food and so do most of us. Who can resist a stuffed aloo paratha served with a dollop of tantalising white makhan, creamy dal makhni and fresh-from-oven tandoori roti or a tall glass of malai lassi? You have to be really a ‘non-foodie’ to not like that. While many north Indians settled in Chennai rant about the dearth of choices in the city, we believe in being happy with what we have. Try out these places in the city, when you crave for those parathas and more.
Peshawri, ITC Grand Chola, Guindy
The fine dining place brings the robust flavours of North West Frontier province to town. Peshawri showcases the food resembling the traditional style of the Indian North-West Frontier region where clay ovens or tandoors were used. They have a lavish spread of delicious kebabs – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian that are cooked in myriad ways with a wide range of Indian breads – from the decadently indulgent to light and fluffy breads paired with the inimitable Dal Bukhara (a specialty of ITC property from Delhi) and the famous paneer khurchan – it will never fail to disappoint you! Peshawri also showcases heavily meat-orientated eatables of some of the best tandoori food on the planet – every cut of the seekh and barrah kebabs to mutton rann is of outstanding quality and unexpected flavour. Of course, the price range is on the higher side. After all it is a part of a five-star property.
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/Z6jYrk7v3B42
Punjab Grill, Phoenix MarketCity, Velachery
From salmon tikka to tandoori guchchi; champ taajdaar to raan-e-sikandari, they offer a huge spread of some of the very best of North Indian⁄ Punjabi cuisine. Punjab Grill – Gourmet Fine Dining is owned by Lite Bite Foods based in Gurgaon and its founders Amit Burman and Rohit Aggarwal have rich experience in F&B space. Run on franchise model, they have an outlet in Phoenix MarketCity mall in Velachery. If you happen to go there on weekends, the place is full. While the pricing is slightly high, the giant portions more than make up for it.
Icarus, the name is derived from the legendary Baaz (falcon) that is often seen accompanying Guru Gobind Singh. Very close to the Prince Plaza, we took a narrow flight of stairs to reach the restaurant, with peeling walls and tacky ceiling a while back. Now the place has a brand new board and we are hoping the interiors have been refurbished as well. But as they say one should not go by appearances. It is run by Sherry Chaddha, son of Jaswant Singh Chaddha, who started the place about two decades ago, when he shifted here and had cravings for Punjabi food. Paranthas here are crisp and loaded with desi makhan (butter). Infact, the owners will tell you all dairy products including ghee, butter and curd are made in-house. They serve delicious and rich dal makhni, dal tadka and their most famous dish rara chicken.
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/xBcjTVyJ22z
Babal Da Punjabi Dhaba, Poonamallee High Road
This place is slightly hard to spot but it is located right next to the popular Bombay Halwa House. It has a neon colour signboard but owing to its more popular neighbour, you might miss it. So just look for it carefully. The place has a comfortable seating, amber lighting and takes you back to the 90s, owing to the old Hindi film songs. The place is run by Babbal Singh moved to Chennai from Delhi and opened this place about 18 years ago. The place is run by his wife Anu Singh and him. The place serves the best dal makhni in town, absolutely glorious tandoori chicken and light fluffy phulkas. Do not miss their creamy lassi and rich rabri!
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/fTFKEUadv4o
Pind and Bhatinda Xpress, Velachery
For the uninitiated, the word pind means village in Punjabi and this eatery has a very dhaba-like feel to it. Started by Divya and Dev Parwani, they serve authentic Punjabi recipes that have been passed down generations. The place serves delicious parathas with melting white butter, pickle and curd, just like you would get up north. They serve both the tandoori and tawa style parathas; the latter being more popular. It has an all-vegetarian menu. But meat lovers, need to just step out and head upstairs. The couple have started their non-vegetarian outlet, Bhatinda Xpress there. The moment you step in nose is filled with heady aromas, pungent onions and garlic sizzling in a kadai and dollops of butter melting on fresh rotis. Their menu is a non-vegetarian’s dream come true — from soup, through starters and gravies, there isn’t a mention of paneer or peas.
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/8Dyu1dC2Vmy