Authentic Indian street food comes to Las Vegas and the only Chef that we know that can bring the best of Mumbai is Origin India's Executive Chef Kuldeep Singh.
Just Ask any one who has ever walked the streets of any major Indian city, be it Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore; and they will attest to the fact that no evening stroll is complete without making a stop at one of the many hawker stalls that surround every busy area in these cities.
Street after street, stall after stall, you are greeted by smiling faces and tempting plates that urge you to come and give it a try. We did just that that and sampled some great street food from this amazing Chef and of course, cocktails, from Origin India's resident Mixologist Jozef Letasi.
The Vegetarian dishes were featured first and they exploded with spices and exotic flavors.
Pani Puri :
Round hollow fried crisp filled with a mixture of water , tamarind , chili , chatt masala , potatoes , onions and garbanzo beans.
The panipuri originated from the Magadh region of India, present day South Bihar. The English meaning of golgappa is "watery Indian bread" or "crisp sphere eaten". Traditionally, panipuris are eaten by placing the entire puri into the mouth in and biting into it releasing a barrage of different tastes.
Bread roll filled with vegetable curry
This dish is traced to the heyday of the textile mills in Mumbai. The mill workers used to have lunch breaks too short for a full meal, and a light lunch was preferred to a heavy one, as the employees had to return to physical labor after lunch.
A vendor created this dish using items or parts of other dishes available on the menu. Roti or rice was replaced with pav and the curries that usually go with Indian bread or rice were amalgamated into just one spicy concoction-the 'bhaji'. Initially, it remained the food of the mill-workers. With time the dish found its way into restaurants and spread over Central Mumbai and other parts of the city via the Udipi restaurants. Such is popularity of this dish, that it is common to find it on the menu of most Indian restaurants serving fast food in Asia and of course in the streets.
Aloo Papadi Chaat:
Crispy fried crackers filled with Potatoes and garbanzo beans served with yogurt and tamarind sauce.
Chaat (Hindi: चाट) is plate of savoury snacks, typically served at road-side tracks from stalls or carts in India and Pakistan. With its origins in the northwestern state of Gujarat. The presentation of this dish was like a piece of art.
Chaat variants are all based on fried dough, with various other ingredients. The original chaat is a mixture of potato pieces, crispy fried bread Dahi vada or Dahi Bhalla ("Bhalla" in Hindi), gram or chickpeas and tangy-salty spices, with sour home-made Indian chilly and Saunth (dried ginger and tamarind sauce), fresh green coriander leaves and yogurt for garnish, other popular variants that can be found in the streets as well include Aloo tikkis (garnished with onion, coriander, hot spices and a dash of curd), bhel puri, dahi puri, panipuri, dahi vada, papri chaat, and sev puri. In a word , this dish was " mouthwatering " and left us looking forward to the meatier dishes.
Chef Kuldeep Singh really got things rolling with aromas of Coriander , Cumin and Curry that filled the room as the Non-Vegetarian dishes started to arrive.
Galawati Kebab :
Spicy ground beef patties
The Galawati Kebob was created for a Nawab in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh). The recipe remains a trade secret. The word 'Galwati' means 'melt in your mouth' and that is exactly how we would describe this dish in any language. The recipe was developed for aging Nawab who could not chew meat having lost the teeth. The actual recipe is supposed to have more than 100 aromatic spices. This is minced meat round patty cooked over griddle and usually served with Green Coriander Chutney .
Murgh ke Parchey :
Pan fried thin Chicken breast marinated in rose petals , cardamom and mace .
"Excellent " ! What more can one say about this dish that in every bite was a culinary delight with lovely cardamom , mace and the delicate flavors of the rose petals.
Hyderabadi Biryani :
Lamb marinated in yogurt and spices cooked together with basmati rice .
This was perhaps the most complicated but dilicious dish of the eveing . There are two types of
Hyderabadi biryani the Kacchi (raw) Biryani and the Pakki biryani but both us use basmati rice, meat, yoghurt, onions, spices, lemon, saffron. Coriander and fried onions used as garnish. The preferred meat is lamb or goat. In our case it was lamb and a dish to remember.
This traditional dish is prepared with meat marinated with spices overnight and again soaked in yogurt before cooking the meat sandwiched between layers of fragrant long-grained basmati rice. It is then cooked by sealing the handi (vessel) with a layer of dough, and is cooked on dum - steaming over coals. This is a challenging process as it requires meticulous attention to time and temperature to avoid over- or under-cooking the meat.
Prawn Balchao :
Shrimp cooked in a sweet sour spicy sauce.
This fiery dish from Goa (in coastal western India) was a nice finish to our main courses and gave us an insight on Indian Seafood.
Before we head off for some dessert we can't forget those yummy Chutneys . Chutneys can be classified in two basic categories: the fresh chutneys, those that are blended with fresh ingredients and spices, and require no cooking whatsoever, and the cooked chutneys, that are simmered over a low heat till all the flavours are blended well. While chutneys are enjoyed and eaten in almost every home throughout India, it is as diverse in its flavor as the number of hands that make it everyday.
We enjoyed four lovely Chutneys from Chef Singh and his very talented kitchen.
Sweet , Sour and Spicy Eggplant
Tamarind and Raisins
Mint and Coriander
Tomato and Channa
All of which we experimented with on the Non-Vegetarian dishes. Like different wine glasses for wines , these Chutneys accented different flavors of the dishes.
Gulab Jamun: and
Deep fried milk and flour balls served in sugar syrup flavored with cardamom and rose water.
and Cottage Cheese and semolina dough cooked in sugar syrup.
Gulab jamun originates from an Arabic dessert, Luqmat Al-Qadi (Arabic for "the judge's bite"), that became popular in the Indian Subcontinent during the Mughal era. Rosewater syrup is often used; however saffron syrup and honey are also common. The dessert also became popular in Turkish-speaking areas, spreading to the Ottoman Empire. It is often eaten at festivals or major celebrations such as marriages, Diwali (the Indian festival of light) and the Muslim celebrations of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. This dish was a true festival in the mouth with exotic sweet flavors from beginning to end.
Some of the most delicious fast food to take root worldwide is chaat, brightly flavored, multi-textured snacks originally served by street vendors in northern India. Chaat is as fast and cheap as any American fast food, but it's made often without meat or deep-frying, so it has the added appeal of being good for you.
The real reason to seek it out street food is that it's flat-out delicious. Chaat has a small palate of flavors and ingredients to work from—crunchy, crispy, sour, sweet, spicy—but it's interesting to see how they are mixed into different combinations. Most chaat is a blend of some kind of crispy starch (wheat flour, garbanzo bean flour) or soft dumplings made from lentil or garbanzo batter combined with potatoes, garbanzo beans and sometimes sprouted beans. Spicy and sweet sauces—typically a green mint and/or cilantro sauce and a tamarind and/or date sauce—as well as yogurt are the classic accompaniments.
The key to great street food is its authenticity, no matter what country you are in. In the case of Origin India in Las Vegas , tradition is the name of the game and if you desire real authentic Indian street food and really can't make it to Mumbai any time soon, stop in to Origin India and get a taste of real Indian street food.
For more information about Origin India please visit http://www.originindiarestaurant.com/