AL Karam Kebab House, Satya Niketan, Opp.Venky's College, Benito Juarez Marg, New Delhi-110021........
Apart from its awesome monuments, the once-mighty Mughal dynasty
also left Delhi with a rich culinary legacy known as Mughlai cuisine. The
Muslims from western Asia brought their rich artistic and gastronomic culture
to India. This influence lasted for more than 400 years and is now part of the
Indian culinary culture.
The great Muslim rulers brought their panache and elegance of
living to India's culinary scene.
two colliding cultures resulted in a magnificent cuisine called Mughlai Cuisine.
And a foodie, especially like me cannot even think or
imagine a life without Mughlai Cuisine…..
Can have pizzas, burgers, pastas, red curries, noodles and much much more
but when it comes to a wholesome , soul satiating meal I go for mughlai food…… But the best Muslim
food in real sense is available at Jama Masjid area in old Delhi…where it's not
possible to go every time you have a craving for such food….. Its so crowded
and chaotic in that area …that even thinking of going there makes some people
drop that idea (i am one amongst them)
But nonetheless, luck has favored us all as one of the best joints of
Jama Masjid (other than
Karim’s – which is synonymous with Jama Masjid food – just for the name of it,
I personally don’t relish Karim’s food anymore)……...Al Karam’s, opened up its first outlet in Supermart 1, DLF 4,
Gurgaon and then at Satya Niketan Mkt…..South Campus, Opp. Venky’s College,
Delhi and now planning to open up at Sohna Road , Gurgaon.
|Front of the Shop|
|Sigri (grill bbq) outside|
I was not very sure and confident about their food ( I am
being a little rude) initially as I had high expectations… …. But somewhere
inside my mind, I wanted to prove myself wrong!!!
I was invited by Mr.Menon , the manager at the newly opened
outlet on advise of the owner Mr. Varun Veigas….. I was a little unwell that
day, but as per my commitment with them and of course the love of Food, I
reached Al Karam’s at 9.pm. I was greeted
well by the owner and his very talented counterpart Umez Khan ( Ummi Bhai ) who originally owns
the Jama Masjid outlet started by his late father around 60 years back…….
The outlet has been done very nicely, white walls with brick
design and lovely pics of Jama Masjid area with dark ceiling and hanging
lights. The furniture is all wooden in teak finish with wooden benches in place,
creating an old world charm and a feel of Jama Masjid food Joints……….
The Sigri or the grill is outside the shop….. With lovely
kebabs on it being made fresh.....lovely aroma of coal and meat
in the air…….
Mr.Veigas started our food journey with their Mutton Gilafi
Kebab (seekh kabab) which was like heaven on earth ….The kebabs were sprinkled
with butter which could be seen floating in the plate ( as per me it can be
avoided)….. I must admit the best seekh kabab I have had lately…..full flavor
of meat and spices and with some body and texture which a seekh kebab should
Was served with
something which usually is not part of our culinary fare in Delhi…… Roasted
Duck (Batakh) and Roasted Quail ( Bateir ) (24 hours advance notice for
preparation)…….. The roast Duck is a bit different than a chicken and a
little big and robust ……the flavor is a little strong as compared to chicken
and so is the taste …… I was told by the
owner about its marination , with spicy masalas and orange juice ….Yes orange
juice which goes very well with duck meat bringing out the lovely flavors…..I
loved it ……. The quail however is a small bird…..which has very low skin fat
and cholesterol……. Is a healthy option for conscious people (not like us at
all)……..taste was good….less meaty due to size…. It’s small and looks like a
chick……well made ……
Now came the Hakeemi Chicken Tikka, not from a hakeem ( a
muslim physician) at all…….. it’s a lovely variant of the Malai Chicken Tikka
…… covered with a thick paste of cream, curd , butter and fenugreek leaves or
as we know it kasoori methi ………….I loved this dish…..one can have full meal
with this dish only….roomali roti and
this dish….will do it all…. The taste and the awesome flavors of the thick
gravy like potion on this dish was heavenly………
It was announced that now the main course dishes are going
to follow…… The feeling of fullness had already started to sink in….. But we,
the ardent eaters and that too meat …… bas aane do…aane do…..dekha jayega……..
We were presented with the Haleem, Kaju Keema (Mutton) and
the Beef Nahari (specially brought from Jama Masjid Outlet) as they don’t
prepare it at any other outlet….You can get Mutton Nahari at all other
outlets…. … and see I spelled it as Nahari and not Nihari…….
Nahari means a dish
which is had in morning or Nahar time (after sunrise)….but now as the times
passed and lifestyles and socio cultural norms modified this also became an
anytime dish of the day ……. Balle Balle
..….. this nahari dish was so authentic and well made …cannot describe
in words at all….. the shorba could be seen somewhere under the layer of rogan
floating atop…..which had all the yum yumm flavors of the aromatic spices and long cooked meat and bone marrow…..with long
fibres of meat in it………
The Haleem is usually made of beef or lamb meat with several
spices, wheat, daliya and lentils …cooked for long hours resulting in a thick
paste like dish…….. But to my dismay I was informed that their Haleem is made
of chicken ….. I thought I won’t like this at all…so let’s avoid it….. But I
was forced by Umez Bhai to try it once….So I did…and was taken aback by the
awesome texture and the taste this dish had presented well with fried onions
etc.….. .. Allah ka shukr hai…. I tasted it and did not miss it….. I will
definitely have it and get it packed too on my next visit……….. Must Have
|Haleem, Nahari and Keema|
Keema was typically
made authentic mughal style…… coarsely ground meat with subtle spice flavors ,
lots of hari mirch (green chilli) spread with lots of Kaju Tukda ( cashew nut
pieces)…. Very royal and rich……Tasted awesome….but How much could we eat ? Was
the real question….. so had to just taste this and that……. Next time
, when I visit this place, will have to dedicate my appetite for these dishes
so as to give them full justice and their due……….
The taste and the hospitality were overwhelming ……People on
other tables were also talking about the portion sizes and the taste of each
dish…… The pricing is also not over the top…. Whereas the kind of food Al
Karam’s is offering can be very well priced at a premium if it starts getting
served in a fine dine restaurant………
“Arey nahin yaar…. Abhi desserts bhi hain….” Was my question
when we were served the shahi tukda and the awesome Karachi Halwa…….The Shahi
tukda is served piping hot (u can ask for cold version too) was very sweet and
with rabdi , nuts and karaunda murabba in it…. Sweet all the way…..very unique
and very good….. The Karachi Halwa, as told by Umez Bhai was from a well know
halwai in sitaram bazaar (kishan) which they get fresh from him and serve at their
outlets……. They also serve Phirni , Kulfi etc.
|Shahi Tukda, Karachi Halwa and Glass Bottle Green (old world charm)|
A kind suggestion for the passionate owners… ….It will be
much better if you avoid the sprinkling of butter or margarine and cream and
curd on each and every tandoori dish…… If it’s only on 1-2 special kebabs it
will keep the novelty alive and cravings will remain……….But I still loved each
dish and will come for more…….
There is a good variety of vegetarian food as well and I
have heard from people that it is really good too…..but sorry I did not have it
so cannot comment on it first handedly……
Overall I would say…. A must visit many a times….as so many
dishes that too rich ones cannot be savored in 1 or 2 rounds……..
The passion of a young chap , Mr. Varun Veigas and the
expertise of Umez Bhai…..has worked very well and got us one of the best Muslim
food, outside purani dilli in the comfort of South Delhi and Gurgaon….
I wish them lots of luck and strength to remain as
passionate as they are now…….to gain success in this culinary journey………….. Cheers!!!
Ambience --- 4.0 / 5.0
Pricing --- 4.5 / 5.0
Taste --- 4.5
Service--- 4.0 /
Overall V.F.M. --4.5
Meal for Two --- Rs. 700/- to 800/-
AL KARAM KEBAB HOUSE ,
123-124, Satya Niketan , New Delhi -21
Ph. Nos. 98108 91490, 98188 78226