The Peshawri Experience


2 weeks ago we went to the Peshawri at the ITC Grand Chola - A friend who 'owed us a lot' wanted to 'treat' us for a good meal and we took the opportunity to 'make him pay for it'!!!

This was our first time at Grand Chola and was wondering what all the 'pradakshanam' business was all about... the customary circumambulation of the entire hotel before you reach the lobby was a little too much. 

However, after a long drive, we finally reached the lobby and there were a nice bunch of smartly dressed dudes and dames who were trying to explain the restaurants etc... and my good friend Sriram decided that he would burst into chaste Tamil and throw them off guard... but lo and behold... they were equally comfortable in Tamil, Hindi and English... flawless accents in them all!

After an analysis of the offerings we ended up at Peshawari.

It was just after 8pm and there was no other guest in the restaurant. We took advantage of that and asked for a corner table. Make sure that at least half the people in your group are 'fit and fine' and can sit without a back-rest. For a 5-star specialty restaurant i found that odd. The 'stools' are not comfortable for your bottoms and backs.

Then the menu came.. everything sounded awesome... and we ordered the food... basically a platter of their selection of (chicken and mutton) kebabs with our beer (they did not have draft). All the kebabs were excellent - feast!

When the smart looking sardar came to serve us the kebabs he said "At Peshawri we believe that the food is best enjoyed with your fingers... so we do not supply any cutlery". We were fine with that... truly enjoyed licking our fingers... but the table at the other end of the room insisted on cutlery and the staff insisted they will not give them any. Strange eh?

For the main course we ordered the Dal Bukhara and and the world famous Paneer Makhani (butter masala)... both were excellent. The Dal Bukhara is truly their signature... awesome!

The Khasta roti was good. The rumali was good. But the Pudina Paratha was a disappointment - it was a wheat, tandoori roti with pudina powder sprinkled on top. I have had better pudina parathas!

Like typical South Indians (Madrasis... tambrams... goltis) we decided we needed to close the meal with some curd rice (thair saadam / perugannam) and we tried to order some rice (even if it was basmati) and some curd (even if it was raita).... They did not have any!!!!

The restaurant does not serve any kind of rice... or curd! In Madras... how dare they???

Anyway... in short... excellent meats... veggie was also good... Food was really, really, really tasty... must have cost a bomb (my friend picked up the tab) but I sure would like to see better seating and a little flexibility in the service and menu.

Mumblings - Fulltu Polambal

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Harsha and I have been fighting, literally tearing each other's hair (and he's got a ponytail, too!).


You can ask him why he has a ponytail, but I can tell you why we've been fighting.

We have a dream, its a small dream, considering the vastness of the universe, but a dream still... and it was about to be fulfilled when we are facing glitches.

We have a dream to drive all along the borders of India... that means travelling by road from, say, Mumbai, through the ends of Gujarat, to Rajasthan, along the Pakistan border, to Punjab, the Wagah border, to J&K, the mighty Himalayas, along the Chinese border, from Leh to Spiti, the Tibet border, across Himachal, Uttarkhand, then to Uttar Pradesh, along the Nepal border, to Bihar, to West Bengal, to NorthEast, via Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, along Bangladesh border, to Calcutta, down the east coast of the sub-continent, to the very Southern tip of India, Kanyakumari, then up the west coast, along Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and back to Mumbai again!

Phew! Yes, that's our small dream... borderline madness, as a friend called it and simply madness, as another put it.

So here we go about talking endlessly to people about this, some said 'great', some said 'wow', some just couldn't comprehend this and some just forgot to shut their mouths in awe!

We put our plans down in paper, on the comp, stuck maps on walls, and did just about everything to come up with a plan. We spoke to friends, friends of friends, from various regions of India, and roughly figured out the roads. It would take us anywhere between 70 to 90 days. And the more we thought about it, the more we got excited.

People keep using the words 'huge, big, all over India', in our day-to-day talk. Do they really, really know or comprehend the meaning of such words, or do they use them just like that? Think about it....

And we could think of a million ideas and a million people who would benefit from our drive... any corporate could use us to collect data, any social cause could use our drive to create awareness across India, anybody could use us to penetrate the corners of India for anything... one can only penetrate the fringe of what we can achieve in all of 3 months.

Just the planning of it is exhilarating and imagine, if we could complete it! Has anyone done it before? We got Googling and figured out that no one has ever done it for any country in the world! That means, hold your breath, we will be the first to attempt something like this and if we are successful, maybe, get into the Guiness Book of World Records TM! Yay!!

It all sounds so good. So, why were Harsha and me fighting?

Its all about money, honey. 

Doing something like this should actually be attracting sponsors and the press like bees to honey. But sadly, as we discover, that is not the case. Some sponsors say 'hey, we get applications by the hundreds for sponsoring events', and another in the media says, 'we at the press report events that have happened, not something as a prelude.' What the...?

Dampeners! Discouragement!! 

Oh, we are getting that a lot. And let me mention what else we are getting - ideas by the minute, on what we should be doing and how we should be doing it. I think our credibilities are enough to prove that if we do this, we will do it well. So, what is with people who sit at their desk, who haven't driven even a thousand kms in their lives, trying to tell us how to do it?

We ask for help in money or kind, and sigh... this is all that we are getting.

I understand the thought of this drive by itself is exciting, but, ladies and gentlemen, please try to help us by getting us sponsors, by participating (literally, I mean, by accompanying us physically, in a part of our journey), or by getting the press to write about us. Right now, this is what we need.

Oh, by the way, what is the fight about?

Its about who is going to drive; because between Harsha and me, we have a deal - whoever takes the wheel first will drive till the end!