The moment one thinks about Gujarati Food, the first food item that pops up into the mind is the ultimate Gujarati favourite 'Dhokla'. But did you know, what we perceive as the Dhokhla is actually known as 'Khaman' in the western Indian state? Ba Ni Rasoi, roughly translating to 'Grandmother's kitchen' is a brand new restaurant in the heart of New Delhi that has recently opened to public. The aim is to bust popular Gujarati food myths like that of the Khaman-Dhokhla and offer a glimpse into what the regional cuisine actually has to offer.
Regional cuisines are all the rage these days, and Ba Ni Rasoi truly brings the flavour of Gujarat to the diner's palate. Centrally located at the newly inaugurated premises of Garvi Gujarat Bhawan on Akbar road, the sharp modern interiors of the restaurant contrast with the enjoyably traditional menu. Canteen-style dining is the norm at Ba Ni Rasoi with the menu curated by Chef Mitesh Saraiya who hails from Ahmedabad. Chef offers set thalis for lunch and dinner along with Nasto for breakfast and Farsaan for tea-time.
Some of the truly enjoyable Farsaan items we sampled were three kinds of Dhoklas as well as Khandvi. The Methi Muthiya was also on offer which was almost like a deep-friend bonda but filled with Methi instead. Jalebi-Fafda, which is a popular all-day snack much loved by Gujarati households was also relished at the restaurant. The lightly salted Fafda went very well with the sugary sweetness of the thin and crisp Jalebi - a combination that left us wanting more with every bite.
The main course was the grand Gujarati dinner Thali with six different vegetable preparations, three additional kinds of farsaan, two kinds of rice and three breads to choose from, three kinds of chutneys, papad, salad and four varieties of desserts. Popular Gujarati dish Undhiyu was also included in the thali, along with the much-loved dish Sev Tamatar and sweet Gujarati-style Kadhi.
The Gujarati thali was served with a side of salty chaach and some sweet rose-ginger sharbat. The mentionworthy garlic chutney also brought a wonderful zing to the whole thali. Desserts such as Mohan Thaal and Shrikhand were light and satiating without being overly sweet. Contrary to popular belief, not every Gujarati dish was dripping with sweetness. The entire thali was a delightful mix of sweet, salty and in fact, a little bit of spice too!
Ba Ni Rasoi also supports sustainability and environment-friendly practices. In-keeping with this philosophy, most of the dishes at the restaurant are served in traditional terracotta crockery or simple steel thalis. Every dish was painstakingly and lovingly prepared by the Chef, and nothing differentiated the meal from eating traditional food at a Gujarati home. The wonderfully low prices are like the icing on the cake, as is the all-vegetarian preparations at the restaurant.
So next time you want to go out to eat, and try something different - Ba Ni Rasoi is just the place for you. The taste will linger on and surely compel to you visit more than just once!