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Soul Food: Daddy’s Deli..

September 30, 2010

Comfort Food. Friendly ambiance.  Smiling hosts. County music in the background. Parsi Palate. Yes. That is how I would describe my experience at Daddy’s Deli. I know.. I know.. the name itself, makes you wanna sit in your living room while your dad stirs up some fabulous food. It serves the kind of food that makes you sigh with contentment. I had never tasted Parsi food before and had the chance of going to Daddy’s Deli on a balmy Saturday afternoon for lunch. Recounting my experience.

Daddy’s Deli is located on 12th Main, Indiranagar in Bangalore. Bangalore, as we all know, is a haven for people who have the love for the Cuisines of the World. Daddy’s Deli is another feather in its cap. Started almost a decade ago by Nozer and Zarine, was a cozy place in the by-lanes of  Richmond Town. Family, friends and friends of friends who knew of this joint were its customers. 4 years ago, they moved to Indiranagar and started a Service Apartment, of which, Daddy’s Deli was the diner, open for its old customers and the residents of the Service Apartment. Only about 2 year ago, did they open it up for public and there has been no looking back for them. They have done no advertisement, but trust me, just with word-of-mouth publicity they go houseful on weekends.

As I spoke to Zarine in her cozy office, gushing about the lovely meal I just had, I saw the passion in her and Nazor’s eyes. They were passionate about their food and they loved what they put on the table. Their Parsi recipes are hand-me-downs from aunts and mothers and patrons who have  loved a dish somewhere.  Says Zarine, “We are definitely sure of the fact that we don’t want to grow. We want to continue to remain cozy, homely and without advertisements/publicity. The essence of the place has to be maintained and a place loses its soul when it grows big.” Word. Zarine. Word.

S (the pati), A (the food-loving friend) and I set out on a Saturday afternoon in search for satisfying, belly-rubbing soul food. I remembered seeing Daddy’s Deli when I went to Corner House Ice Cream joint which is on the ground floor of the building. We took the left on 100 ft road and headed straight for Daddy’s Deli. As I entered the 1st floor joint, I soaked in the framed bird pictures, flower pots, trinkets picked up from flea markets or probably from their own home. The diner has about 7 tables and as we entered it was bustling with families gorging on mouth-watering dishes.

We took our seats at a table by the window, overlooking the main street. A friendly steward came to us with the menus. Not very exhaustive, you know the ones that confuse you, but well-laid out and enough dishes to choose from. One thing I noticed was the amount of Vegetarian varieties. Although Parsi food is typically non-vegetarian, they had an ample amount of veg options. So all you veg-lovers, distress not, you will love it too!

We started with ‘Kheema Na Patties’. They have an assortment of Wines and the one that rules the roost is their home-made wine. I ordered the Red. The boys had buttermilk. The Kheema Na Patties came. 3 large-fat-round Patties on the plate, crispy brown exterior, one cut through it, revealed the soft potato  and minced mutton inside.  One bite and the ‘mmms-ooohsa-aaah’ poured. The crispy golden brown exterior was crunchy. The minced meat was full of flavors and extremely aromatic. The light layer of mashed potatoes was the perfect complement to the heavily flavored Kheema (minced meat). The earthy tones of the Red Wine complimented the Kheema Patties perfectly.

For the main course, we had the traditional ‘Dhansak’, synonymous with Parsi food accompanied by Rice, Sali Murghi as a side dish and Rotlis. ‘Dhan’ means rice or lentils and ‘sak’ means vegetables. It is a combo meal. The dal was prepared with a mix of dals, vegetables, masals and mutton — all grounded and cooked to a paste, a very thick saucy paste, rich with flavors and aromas. The rice browned with caramelized onions and the dish was accompanied by Kachumber (grated salad). The dal was cooked to perfection, the flavor of the mutton was strong but I could definitely taste the dals (lentils) too. The best part about Dhansak was, with each bite, every element that went into the dish revealed itself, one at a time. All the elements came together to make that delectable, full-bodied thick gravy.

The Sali Murghi was an assortment of chicken, onions and raw spices cooked to perfection and topped with potato crisps. The chicken was succulent and juicy. The raw spices added the extra tartness to the dish. The best part was I tasted no heavy cream, no butter and no extra oil floated at the top. It was perfectly home-made, had all the aromas captured and had a soul to it. It was accompanied by Rotlis (parsi word for Chapatis/phulkas).

We ended our sumptuous meal with 2 servings of Malai Kulfi. Mind you, all their desserts are home-made. Every dish is made with the kind of passion you will find in your mother or even your grandma, as they whip up comfort food in their kitchens. The kulfi was rich and absolutely ‘irresistible’ as described by our steward. Strong flavors of coconut, malai (cream) and aromas of cinnamon flowed into our mouths as we took one bite after another.

Aah! That was one Meal that satiated not only our tastebuds but our minds too. My conclusion: Parsi food has the capability of not only working our palates but also making us think about the food as we eat.  It has been a week since I had that gorgeous Parsi meal and I can still feel the taste in my mouth. That is exactly what a cozy, soulful, passionate diner should do. Make you think and feel its food. Kudos to Daddy’s Deli for bringing the food-poet out of me.

PS: The place has the best Breakfast to offer. In her own words, Zarine says she got “the best waffles in Bangalore”. Come on, get up and go to Daddy’s Deli now. I recommend.

Rating (1-bleh; 2-Yeah,whatever; 3-mmmmm, naice; 4-Woah!awesome; 5-Fantabulously Yum)
Food: 5
Ambience: 4 1/2
Service: 4 1/2
Overall Rating: 4 1/2

One Comment
  1. September 30, 2010 12:30 PM

    mouth watering & delicious those photos and that description… Hungry already!

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