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An Indian appetite to shop and savour


If you like their food, you can have it. If you like their dishware, you can have that too. At the new restaurant, Too Indian byVarun Puri, you get more than you imagined. It is the country’s first restaurant to include a substantial retail space with a carefully considered selection of food and products. Pickles, seeds and preserves are just the beginning of the variety that’s on offer.

Varun Puri

The concept connects you with a bunch of unknown but very skillful people who pack in a tremendous amount of culinary punch. Masalas for paneer tikka, fish tikka, biryani and galaouti are from Lucknow; and vaadi’s are from Amritsar. The papad’s are prepared by a group of widows from Madhya Pradesh. Flake and chia seeds are by Little Farm. You can also buy a large jar of pure cow ghee. Then there’s Besan Naan Khatai and Rose Fennel Cookies (both whole wheat).

“We contacted home chefs and got them to sell their organic cookies, oil free pickles, baked matthis and masala from various cities,” says Puri. Don’t miss their whiskey and rum jams, and Banarasi Aloo Papas. Flavoured salt and sugar (salted caramel demerara sugar, expresso dark chocolate sugar, cinnamon and vanilla sugar), in addition to other edibles, also sit on the compartmentalised cubical wood and steel racks.
Sharing the same space are clay pots, mugs, jars and slippers by a brand called Mitti.

Mirrors, bill boxes, cocktail and mocktail glasses, and toys for children are customised in-house. “The credit for this food-cum-retail idea goes to my mother. After we fought about whether to go for dinner or shopping (she wanted to go shopping), she suggested only jokingly that I open a restaurant which would offer some retail products too. Well, here we are,” he says.

Its otherwise contemporary food approach has a delicious charm. The Indian food is re-designed to bring in unusual flavour combinations. There are just 33 food items to keep the quality unharmed. The unique ones include Palak Paneer Ravioli, Patty Pizza, Quinoa Kathal Biryani (organic too), Too Indian Amuse-Bouche (mango sorbet), Dal Nawab-e-Khaoseuy, Here Is Something to ‘Taco’ About. “It’s all desi with an interesting upgradation,” says Varun. “The best dish is the Dahi Bhalla. It leaves you confused as to where is the dahi and where is bhalla.”

The menu throws in some regular preferences too, that all of us love. These are Nalli Nihari, Amritsari Fish, Butter Chicken, Rogan Josh, Chicken Curry and the likes. That’s quite a bit to stomach, don’t you think?

Source:  New Indian Express

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