Sea bass, Alleppey ‘kadambittu’ and bone powder ‘podi’
Sea bass, Alleppey ‘kadambittu’ and bone powder ‘podi’

A taste of fermented aloo parantha and mango yolk

  • At the newly launched Rooh New Delhi, Indian meals are spruced up with experimental techniques and presentation
  • The progressive Indian restaurant is the brainchild of chef Sujan Sarkar in partnership with the Good Times restaurant group

Comfort food is personal, but it’s also almost always simple. Take the aloo paratha, for instance, served with yogurt and pickle. At Rooh in Delhi, it’s among the staff’s favourites on the menu. But it’s not the aloo paratha you know.

At this newly launched restaurant and cocktail bar, the paratha is baked from fermented dough, and the sides come with their own twists. “It takes four days to prepare the dough," says chef Priyam Chatterjee as he serves the food. “The pickle is made from seasonal tomatoes, in this case spoon tomatoes. And the yogurt is made from goat’s milk sourced from around the neighbourhood."

Chefs Priyam Chatterjee and Sujan Sarkar.
Chefs Priyam Chatterjee and Sujan Sarkar.

Familiar foods arrive on the table with a topping of theatre at Rooh. This is the first Indian outpost of the popular San Francisco restaurant which was founded by chef Sujan Sarkar in 2017, in partnership with restaurateurs Anu and Vikram Bhambri of the Good Times Restaurant group. While Sarkar was in Delhi for the preview and pre-launch tastings, the Delhi kitchen will be spearheaded by Chatterjee. Here, the menu has been rethought for local ingredients and tastes , but never without experimental flair. The egg bhurji is a staple breakfast and street-side snack, but here it is liquefied and served with pav; sea-buckthorn rasam comes as a cold topping on a Melon Rose, sea bass is paired with Alleppey kadambittu and dhokar dalna, a lentil cake curry integral to Bengali cuisine, is served with avocado and sweet corn moss. Sommelier Magandeep Singh has curated the wine list, including a stellar pinot noir from New Zealand. There are heady cocktails too, inspired by the Navrasas, like a Butter Old Fashioned. Among the desserts, it’s the mango yolk with a meringue shell that best testifies to Rooh’s playfully provocative take on foods that remind us of home.

Mango yolk and shell.
Mango yolk and shell.

The tasting menu at Rooh is priced at 2,900 for vegetarian and 3,200 for non-vegetarian, without alcohol. For reservations, call 7303600299.

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