-A gastronomic journey featuring authentic delicacies from Kashmir to Kanyakumari
NH44, a PAN Indian diner, opens gates in the heart of Rajouri Graden for food connoisseurs to experience a wholesome culinary voyage. A brainchild of OTB Khan Market Owners & Businessmen, Udit Bagga & Udit Bhasin, the restaurant draws inspiration from India’s longest highway and offers authentic flavors that are unique to each state touched by the highway.
“The concept is to invite food aficionados on a delightful gourmet expedition that encompasses multiple Indian delicacies from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. In today’s restaurant scenario, when everybody is offering a variety of global cuisines, we aim to take a different route with NH44, making it one of the few restaurants to serve a variety of Indian cuisines at exceptionally affordable prices”, says Udit Bagga.
Tastefully designed by ace architect Sumeet Nath, the interiors resonate Indian highways, echoing vibes of dining on one. The experience on the highway begins the moment you step inside the restaurant through the unrefined big blue door, often seen in villages of Rajasthan. The mud walls, hay shades, natural bamboo lights, bright multi-colored jharokas, wooden floors, multi colored window panes, non-cemented brick walls, colorful banta lights, handmade teak wood furniture from Rajasthan, tables made of old tree trunks and seats sewn with earthy fabrics or Jaipuri quilts comprise the theme. If one section takes you to the Pind of Punjab the other will make you experience Rajasthan in its full glory. Spread across 3000 sq. ft., the ambience is an amalgam of rustic charm with a contemporary twist.
“NH44 is a special project and we are exceptionally pleased to bring a matchless assortment of Indian food on a single platter. From regional dishes and its presentation to décor and services; the team has methodically researched each aspect to replicate an environment of dining on National Highway 44,” adds Udit Bhasin.
Drawing inspiration from India’s longest highway- NH44, the restaurant has a thoughtfully designed a-la-carte menu featuring an extensive variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian classics that capture the unique culinary essence of the states touched by the highway. Each recipe, meticulously prepared under careful supervision of Chef Sanjeev Takyar, narrates a tale of its origin, allowing diners to experience the diversity of Indian food.
The menu gets your journey started from Jammu & Kashmir, known for its traditional and street foods. Each region- Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh, has its own special and traditional food influenced by the climatic conditions & customs. Rich and reminiscent with the flavor of the spices used –saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves etc.; Kashmiri food can be a simple family meal of a family, or an extensive 36-course spread Wazawan. The staple diet of the region is rice, the most preferred being the dense, slightly sticky grained Kashmir variety. As the region remains cold round the year, Meat is of prime importance and everyday cooking often involves vegetable and meat in the same dish. Goshtaba, Rista and Dum Kokur, are a few of the many popular meat dishes from the Valley. Pure vegetarian dishes include the dark and rich Jammu Rajma, Dum Aloo, Browned Potatoes in Yogurt Fennel Gravy, and Cottage Cheese in Tomato Curry. Drinking tea is a very important of part of Kashmiri lifestyle and often takes the place of dessert. Two important types of tea are Kehwa and Saffron infused Tea.
As the journey continues, the menu takes you to Punjab. Known for its rustic heavy gastronomy, this cuisine has a rich tradition of many distinct and local ways of cooking. One such popular style is Tandoori. With spice content ranging minimal to pleasant high, the cuisine offers an enormous variety of delicious vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes. Butter chicken, Amritsari Macchhi, Tandoori Kukrah, Kurkure Khumb, Bhuttian De Kebab, Raarha Meat, Mutton Curry with Mince Meat, Paneer Makhni, Dal Makhani and the Legendary Shere-E-Punjab Sarson Da Saag & Makki Roti are key highlights of the region. Wheat is the staple food of Punjabis; however, they do enjoy eating rice on festivities and other special occasions. Ghee, butter and cream are used liberally in cooking. The tea too might contain desi ghee. Food is often complimented by Lassi.
The next stop in the menu is the Awadhi cuisine from Capital City Delhi and the land of Nawabs- Lucknow. Influenced strongly by the Mughlai delicacies, the section features an array of rich dishes like Dum Biryani, Kebabs, Shorba, Qorma, Kofte, Tikka, Stew, Nihari and more. Mutton and chicken are eaten in abundance with whole spiced gravies. Delhi is popular for street food and its real flavor lies in the chaat. The original chaat is a mixture of potato pieces, crispy fried bread, Dahi Bhalla, gram and tangy-salty spices. The mixture is garnished with sour home-made Indian chilly and saunth (dried ginger and tamarind sauce), fresh green coriander leaves and yoghurt. Palak Patta Chaat, Deep Fried Spinach with Condiments, Gol Gappe, Bhalla Chaat and Delhi Fusion Chaat are some of the highlights that will take you to the streets of Chandni Chowk. The Rajasthani section is influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in this arid region. The quintessential favourite is the Laal Maas, a fiery mutton curry made from the famous Mathania Chillies of Rajasthan.
Gujarat & Maharashtra are the next halt in the menu. Despite having an extensive coastline providing wholesome seafood, the Gujarati cuisine is primarily vegetarian and has a high nutritional value. However, many communities do include seafood, chicken, and goat in their diet. Gujaratis use a combination of different spices and flavors to cook their meals and this is what makes their food truly exotic. Sugar and salt are key ingredients as it helps to main electrolyte balance in the prevailing weather of the region. Maharashtrian cuisine covers a range from having mild to very spicy dishes. Wheat, rice, jowar, bajri, vegetables, lentils and fruits form staples of the Maharashtrian diet. Khandvi, Khatta Dhokla, Batata Vada, Kandha Poha, Seyal Mutton and Pav Bhaji are a few popular dishes of the two regions. Farsaan is the name given to an assortment of snack and comprise of either fried items which are then dried and can be stored or fresh/ steamed items. Parsi cuisine refers to the traditional cuisine of the Parsis of India. The cuisine is an eclectic mix of hot and sweet, nice and spice, involving simple yet assorted elements. Jardaloo Boti, Papeta Per Eeda, Masala No Poro, Ake Ni Khichri and Seyal Mutton are a few popular Parsi delicacies from the menu.
As the journey moves further South, you reach the Andhra section known for its bold and spicy flavors. Coastal Andhra has a lot of meat and seafood simmering in its local pots which is paired with tangy hot curries and served with rice. Chillies and coconut are copiously used in veg and non-veg dishes. Hyderabad, once one of the epicenters of royal Nawab families, exhibits a royal spread of mouthwatering Mughlai food. Hyderabadi food picks up a whole new identity for itself, from beautiful mutton curries, to several distinct versions of Biryanis. The section also includes Tamil Nadu cuisine that is mainly characterized by the use of rice, legumes and lentils, and Kerala cuisine with a lot of non-vegetarian delicacies prepared using fish, poultry and red meat with rice a typical accompaniment. Chettinad Chicken, Madras Fish Curry, Murungakkai Sambhar, Fish in Coconut Milk from Kerala, Kozi Varta Curry, Meen Moilee and Coconut Flavoured Prawn Curry are a few highlights of the section. The final gourmet destination is the Bengaluru to Kanyakumari section that offers popular dishes like dosas, idlis and vadas. The non-vegetarian dosas with chicken, mutton and fish fillings and the ones with a Chinese twist are definitely the must haves.
For foodies with a sweet tooth, the sweet course section includes a wide selection of favorite Indian desserts like Phirni, Danedar Rabri, Gajar Halwa, Beetroot Halwa and more. A variety of accompaniments like Naans, Rotis, Papads, Rice, Kulchas and salads are also available to complete the dining experience. The restaurant assures authenticity in every plate with a modern interpretation of traditional style of cookery. The food menu is complimented by a bar-menu that offers a brand new selection of cocktails and beverages special to each state, along with regular alcohol offerings. Special attention has been given to selection of crockery and presentation of food to maintain the conventional allure of each dish.
Explore the diversity of Indian cuisines as you get served the best of India on a single platter at the most affordable rates @ NH44!
Meal for two: Rs. 1000 inclusive of taxes
Address: Level 1, 13, Vishal Enclave, Rajouri Garden, Delhi
Reservation details: +91-9821780644/ +91-9821780641