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Talkingturkey - Take it away, boys

A couple of food stalls in Delhi's New Friends Colony are becoming local legends. Mughal's Take Away being one of them.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2006 14:49 IST

I don’t think there is a single family in Friends Colony, New Friends Colony, Ishwar Nagar, Sukhdev Vihar and Maharani Bagh that does not have the menu of Mughal’s Take Away Counter in their home.

It’s a byword for excellence in the area, with everybody I know ordering in a couple of times a week.

The place is not easy to find: it’s in the lack-lustre A- Block Market of New Friends Colony, but then, you only need to find it if you live considerably further than 4 kms away.

For residents of Sarita Vihar, Lajpat Nagar, Jungpura, Nizamuddin, Bhogal, Ashram and Greater Kailash I and II, there’s a modest charge of Rs 30 with every order.


Mughal’s Take Away Counter  6, DDA Shopping Complex opp. A 25, New Friends Colony 

Ph: 26843672, 41627077

(Open from 11 am to 11 pm, Tuesday closed)

No credit cards accepted Meal ‘n’ Yum 13

Community Centre, Shop No. 6, New Friends Colony Ph: 65677488, 65677499, 9811338038 Open everyday, 11 am to 11 pm

No credit cards accepted

Mughal’s is not a restaurant. There’s not even token seating outside: it’s purely a take-away counter. I’ll probably be murdered by half the population who swears by it, but I can’t see anything great in its tandoori offerings: its greatness lies in its curries.

Butter Chicken is my personal favourite, with more cream than my cardiologist would approve of, while Mughal Special Chicken is an off-shoot of it with a dash of garlic added to the creamy, tangy, spicy gravy.

Dal Makhni is a variant of the same theme: creamy and tangy, while even something as humble as Aloo Jeera is a rich, flavourful treat with a hint of tomato for tartness and whole roasted jeera for aroma.

In comparison, their tandoori offerings are dry and the spicing lacks the excitement of the gravies. Perhaps it’s just been bad luck and poor timing, but every time I’ve ordered tandoori items, Mughal Special Kabab and Chicken Garlic are just two examples, I’ve been saddled with dry tikkas and marination way past its sell-by date.

The other place that is not a restaurant is the curiously named Meal ‘n’ Yum in the New Friends Colony Market.

Formerly in the small market near the gurudwara, Meal ‘n’ Yum does a good job with biryani and kebabs, especially of the spicy kind.

Its biryani is made with surprisingly long-grained rice layered over with a spicy chicken curry in a clay pot. Meal ‘n’ Yum, also a take-away-only place in the Mughal’s mould, serves its biryani in clay pots.

It’s billed as Hyderabadi Biryani, and though it’s nothing of the sort, it still is a good bet — Rs 110 for two to three persons.

Its kebabs are every bit as spicy as their biryani — in fact, their version of Mutton Tikka came with a tiny scoop of gravy, though that could have been fresh ginger, garlic and curd liquefying in the tandoor.

Like Mughal’s Take Away, Meal ‘n’ Yum caters to the neighbouring colonies: if live further away, you either have to place a substantial order or pay a modest surcharge.

First Published: Nov 06, 2006 14:49 IST