Tuesday 2 May 2006

India: the Golden Triangle – Delhi

Somehow we managed to spend most of the day in the Delhi equivalent of John Lewis, the ‘Central Cottage Industries Emporium’. This store was established in the 50s to preserve and promote Indian crafts. All items are priced, so shopping is haggle and hassle free. Mrs M was determined to buy curtain material and several other items we were apparently desperate for.

Our last dinner venue was chosen weeks ago from Fodor’s. Oh deary, deary me. We walked into the nearby Hotel Janpath where the ‘Coconut Grove’ restaurant was located. The hotel had the dingy atmosphere of a Colombian government office block. The restaurant was bereft of customers, perhaps because it was still early or because it smelled like old minced beef. We feigned a lack of wallet and ran. The food may have been good, but we were not going to give it a chance.

This was perhaps one of the best decisions we made, as our backup choice was ‘Daniell’s Tavern’ in the Imperial. The food was outstanding: Nellai Fish Curry (Southern Indian speciality), Aloo Jeera (potatoes with cumin and coriander) and Palk Paneer Khada Masala (cubes of cottage cheese with spinach). I spoke to the chef and requested the recipe for the tomato-based sauce for the fish curry. It was produced within a few minutes on hotel stationary, written in a heavy French accent. Yum, yum, yum.

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