Head To Punjab Bistro For A North-Indian Extravaganza

People in Bangalore, I’m sure many of you will remember the iconic Punjab Grill right opposite Forum Mall in Koramangala, a high-end joint that used to offer some pretty good North Indian fare. Well, the restaurant has now been rebranded as Punjab Bistro, and is now even better! There has been a change in the management, the place has been given a facelift, and the menu has had a revamp, too. A few of us foodies in Bangalore recently had the opportunity to visit the newly re-done Punjab Bistro and check out the new menu.

Location and ambience

The location of Punjab Bistro remains the same as that of Punjab Grill, opposite Forum Mall in the hip and happening Koramangala. It is still a fine-dine eatery that serves an array of North Indian food, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The place prides itself on offering authentic North Indian fare, along with a few international dishes.

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Part of the inside seating at Punjab Bistro

The interior is done up simply, but with class. The ample natural light filling this place makes the ambience bright and welcoming, a far cry from the dingy, dim-lit interiors of many fine-dine restaurants in the city. This is quite a large space, with plenty of seating available.

You can avail of the valet parking service here.

Food and drinks

We had an absolutely lovely time at Punjab Bistro, with some amazing food and drinks served to us. Most of the fare we tried out here, we loved!

Here is a quick look at all that we sampled at Punjab Bistro.

Shikanjivi: We started our meal with a glass of Shikanjivi, Punjabi-style lemonade, which was simply awesome. The lemonade was just perfect, the right amount of tangy and sweet, the spices in it fragrant. We relished this drink to the last drop.

Aam Panna: The Aam Panna, a spiced raw mango drink, tasted good but it paled in comparison to the brilliant Shikanjivi. A bit less thickness to the drink and a bit more sweetness would have done it for us.

Mast Guava: This mocktail, a spiced guava drink, was quite well done too. It tasted absolutely lovely and refreshing. The guava didn’t taste syrupy, but was fresh and nice, the spices not overpowering but beautifully complementing the drink.

Top left: Shikanjivi; Bottom left: Mast Guava; Right: Aam Panna

Chilgoza Paneer: This is a starter that we loved to bits – soft, soft, soft cottage cheese stuffed with a mix of toasted pine nuts, dill leaves and cheese, marinated and grilled to perfection. It was so very well done, an absolute pleasure to eat. Quite a unique thing to find on a restaurant menu, too! Highly recommended!

Tikki Chole: This starter stole the show, at least for me! The aloo tikkis were perfectly done, crisp from the outside and soft on the inside, served Delhi-style with chole masala, assorted chutneys and fine sev. The taste was on spot, exactly what you would find on the streets of Old Delhi. Brilliant! I can’t recommend this dish highly enough!

Top left: Chilgoza Paneer; Bottom left: Tikki Chole; Top right: Dahi Ke Kebab; Bottom right: Spinach Corn Quesadillas

Dahi Ke Kebab: I love dahi ke kebab, but sadly, the ones at Punjab Bistro failed to please. The kebabs here were too soft, too sweet, not the crispy ones with a soft, delicately spiced interior that we love. The berry sauce these kebabs were served with was just lovely, though.

Spinach Corn Quesadillas: This was yet another starter that we absolutely loved! The quesadillas were beautiful in taste, the filling a mix of delicious spinach and good-quality cheese. I loved how the cheese was oozing out of the quesadillas, yet not overpoweringly so. This dish comes highly recommended!

Dal Moradabadi: For main course, one of the dishes we ordered was Dal Moradabadi, a dish that I loved, loved, loved. This is, apparently, a specialty from the city of Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, made with split moong dal, garnished with tamarind chutney, coriander chutney, finely chopped onions and tomatoes and fried moong dal. It was an absolute delight, full of different flavours and textures! Oh, I could polish off a bowlful of this dal all on its own – it is, after all, not dissimilar to a bowl of chaat, a complete meal on its own! Don’t miss this dish at Punjab Bistro, I tell you! (Head to my Instagram page to read the very interesting history behind the Dal Moradabadi)

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The gorgeous Dal Moradabadi at Punjab Bistro

Firangi Subzi: The Firangi Subzi – a curry made with ‘English’ vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers and baby corn, cooked in a cheesy gravy – was sheer beauty. It was so very well made, and tasted finger-lickingly delicious!

Paneer Makhani: The Paneer Makhani, succulent pieces of cottage cheese cooked in a creamy orange gravy, was good, but it didn’t quite measure up to the high expectations created by the Firangi Subzi and the Dal Moradabadi.

Top left: Paneer Makhani; Bottom left: Firangi Sabzi; Top right: Chur Chur Paratha; Bottom Right: Spring Onion Kulcha

Chur Chur Paratha: I love how Punjab Bistro has a vast selection of rotis, naan and parathas on the menu, something for every palate. Some of these breads are quite unique, and not easy to come across in Bangalore – Chur Chur Paratha, for instance, or an Iranian flatbread called Sheermal or Makke Di Roti. We ordered some Chur Chur Paratha to go with the sabzis, a pillow-soft paratha with a delicate cheese and potato stuffing. Had piping hot, it was heavenly!

Spring Onion Kulcha: The kulcha came with a beautiful cheese-and-spring onion stuffing, soft as can be. It was absolutely delish!

The Great Indian Dessert, a stunner of a dessert, at Punjab Bistro

The Great Indian Dessert: Next up came a dessert that was absolutely stunning, as much in looks as in taste and range of textures – called The Great Indian Dessert. Rose- and paan-flavoured kulfi, served on a bed of basil seeds soaked in Roohafza, served with crumbled sohan papdi and motichoor laddoo, slivers of Karachi halwa, sprinkled with aam ras and rose syrup – quite interesting, right? I loved how the different tastes and textures melded together to create one lovely, delectable whole. This pretty dessert is a tribute to some of India’s hugely popular desserts, something that I would urge you to try out whenever you are in Punjab Bistro! Highly recommended!

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Bistro Special Mille Feuille, at Punjab Bistro

Bistro Special Mille Feuille: This is Punjab Bistro’s take on the classic French mille feuille, with pieces of perfectly soaked gulab jamun, succulent strawberries and cream layered in between slices of crunchy pastry. This dessert was quite the beauty! It tasted good, though I don’t think it is something we would order again.

And that was how our delightful meal at Punjab Bistro panned out!

Service

We found the service staff to be quite friendly, warm and courteous. They were well-informed about the menu and were able to offer helpful suggestions.

Price

Prices here are on the higher side. A meal for two would cost about INR 1800.

In hindsight

Like I said earlier, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at Punjab Bistro. Most of the food we tried out here, we loved! The presentation of all the dishes was so good, too! I love how the eatery has a wide selection of dishes for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, but I wish there could be more vegetarian options in the Soups and Rice Dishes sections.

We will definitely be visiting Punjab Bistro again, to try out more of the delectable food on their menu! So, the next time you are craving for some ‘proper’ North Indian food along with a touch of the international, head to Punjab Bistro, and I am sure you won’t be disappointed.

Have you been to Punjab Bistro yet? What are your favourites from the menu? I’d love to hear all about your experience!

 

 

Thai-Style Mango Salad

This Thai-Style Mango Salad is a great way to make use of the gorgeous mangoes that are in season right now. This is such a beautiful salad, bursting with sweet and sour and spicy flavours, yet one that can be put together within minutes.

Do try it out!

This is how you can make the Thai-Style Mango Salad.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  1. 2 medium-sized ripe mangoes
  2. 1/4 cup peanuts
  3. Salt, to taste
  4. 1 small onion
  5. A few stalks of fresh coriander
  6. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  7. Juice of 1/2 lemon
  8. 2 green chillies
  9. 1 tablespoon honey

Method:

1. Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till crisp. Ensure they do not burn. Let them cool down completely.

2. Meanwhile, remove skin and seed from the mangoes. Chop the flesh into cubes, and place them in a large mixing bowl.

3. Peel the ginger and onion. Chop onion, ginger, coriander and green chillies very finely. Add to the mixing bowl.

4. Add in salt to taste, the honey and lemon juice.

5. When the peanuts are cool enough to handle, pulse them for just a second using the mixer. Add this to the mixing bowl.

6. Mix the salad gently but well. Serve immediately.

Notes:

1. I used 2 medium-sized Banganapalli mangoes to make the salad. You can use any variety of mango that you prefer.

2. Adjust the quantity of lemon juice, honey and green chillies that you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

3. If the mangoes are too sweet, you may not use any honey in making the Thai-Style Mango Salad at all.

4. Using the onion is purely optional.

5. Use ripe mangoes that are firm, for best results. Over-ripe mangoes aren’t the greatest for making this Thai-Style Mango Salad.

7. Refined sugar powder, palm jaggery or powdered plain jaggery can be used in place of the honey, too. You could use any other healthy sweetener of your choice, as well.

8. Remember that you must just crush the peanuts coarsely, and not make a fine powder.

9. Serve the Thai-Style Mango Salad immediately. Do not let it sit for too long after preparing it.

10. The ginger, onion, green chillies and coriander need to be chopped very finely, for them to not overpower the entire dish.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Recipes with mangoes’.

I’m also sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #227. The co-hosts this week are Lizet @ Chipa by the dozen and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.