Sanjha Chulha is one of the better themed North Indian restaurants in Calcutta. In a very small span of time, Sanjha has opened up in various parts of the city. Recently, Panchphoron was invited at the inauguration of ‘Quirky Kabab Festival’ at the southern avenue branch of Sanjha Chulha.
This branch is located near Vivekananda Park. The ambience is amazing. The first thing that caught my attention was the clay model of a girl who was sitting on a window with a clay pot in her hand for carrying water. Her custome was that of a Punjabi. This reflected that Sanjha is more Punjabi themed unlike other North Indian restaurants which are focussed mainly on Lucknowi cuisines. The place is really large and divided into four separate sections, including the one on the first floor.
The menu for kabab festival was quite diverse. There were four vegetarian and six non vegetarian kababs. The kababs were quirky in the sense that most of the kababs had a certain twist in them, which made them totally innovative and unique from their original forms.
The vegetarian options are –
1. Kashmiri Seekh ( ₹200 ) – How about trying out a sweet kabab? I guess many of you won’t be happy of changing your palette for kababs from spicy to sweet. But there comes the twist ! This kabab, though sweet, stands out as the best among the vegetarian kababs. The presentation was like a seekh kabab. It had the blend of veggetables, pineapple and dry fruits. This is sure to impress everyone !
2. Tandoori salad ( ₹200 ) – This was something very new for me and it tasted amazing ! Making a kabab out of salads was really an innovative idea. Red, green and yellow bell peppers along with pineapple, onions, tomatoes and zucchini were marinated with curd and spices and then grilled ! I loved the overall juiciness of the salad. The sweetness of the pineapple was complemented by the spicy tandoori masala.
3. Dahi ke sholey ( ₹200 ) – Don’t expect this to be the same crispy deep fried dahi kababs. The uniqueness of this dish lies in the fact that curd along with onions were stuffed inside a cone-shaped bread and fried ! The bread was sweet while the curd was sour which was definitely a great combination !
4. Dhuandaar tikka ( ₹220 ) – These kababs exactly resembled the famous galawati kabab from Lucknow, but they tasted totally different. Veggies along with spices prepared in-house were made into a mash and then cooked. The texture and flavour both were nice !
The non vegetarian kababs are –
1. Firangi seekh ( ₹250 ) – Kababs with cheese are something to die for ! This one was a mash of chicken, avocado and cheese, rolled into a seekh and then cooked in a clay oven. The cheese imparted an amazing taste to the kabab. This was low on spices but had a wonderful flavour.
2. Makhmali kabab ( ₹230 ) – These resemble the much common chicken lollipops, however tasted totally different. The chicken was soft and juicy and the marination of spices was extremely flavourful. The taste was somewhat sweet due to the usage of cashewnut paste.
3. Kasundi Murgh Tikka ( ₹230 ) – The chicken was marinated in mustard paste and mustard oil followed by cooking it in a clay oven. The chicken was spicy and the flavour of mustard was distinct, though not overpowering. The use of mustard in North indian kababs is quite rare and it is more used as a dip with fries. There lies the twist in this kabab !
4. Murg saunfiya tikka ( ₹230 ) – The chicken was pre marinated with milk, cashewnut paste and fennel powder before being cooked. This looked the same as the previous one but unlike it’s predecessor, which was quite spicy and had the aroma of mustard, this tasted sweet. The chicken pieces were juicy and succulent, which reflects the expertise in which they were cooked.
5. Mutton burra kabab ( ₹ 250 ) – Lamb chops were marinated in a special masala prepared in-house and then cooked. The meat was well cooked and the marination was extremely flavourful. Loved this !
6. Saabut Bhetki ( ₹600 ) – Being a bong and an ardent fish lover, I was really disappointed when no fish kababs reached our table. But then I received a huge surprise and was totally awestruck when a whole tandoori bhetki was placed on our table. This was far beyond my expectations and the sight itself was irresistible. The fish tasted fresh and the aroma was divine. It was perfectly grilled and I loved the two half cut eggs presented skilfully near the head of the fish. This can be stated as the signature dish of this restaurant and something that’s the star of this ‘Quirky Kabab Festival’.
Overall, the kababs are innovative and very tasty. The veg kababs are unexpectedly amazing, which is rare to find in any North Indian restaurant, where the main focus is on non veg. Also, the pricing is extremely cheap for the quality and quantity of the food served. My personal recommendation from the veg section are the kashmiri seekh and the tandoori salad while from the non veg one shouldnt miss out the makhmali kabab, saufiyan tikka and the saboot bhetki. The festival will continue for the whole of August only at the Southern Avenue Outlet. So, hurry up and try these delicious kababs before the time period expires!