Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

Amritsar, Punjab non veg food | Amritsari Fish, chicken, Kharode

Hello friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. Both veg & non-veg food of Amritsar are popular. In this food journey, I will explore the non-veg food. Right now, I am on Majitha Road, standing outside Beera Chicken. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the chicken served here. Let us go and have chicken for lunch. Do you have tandoori chicken>Yes, we have! Okay, get me half tandoori chicken! Okay? And give me a bottle of water. Thank you! This place has been a very good reference. Chicken is very soft! It is fresh as well. And the masala (spices) are not power-packed at all. You can say that there is a good balance of spices. As I had told you during my Agra trip that I eat non-veg rarely. May be once every 3 or 4 months! But whatever little I have had so far, this is one of the good tandoori chickens dishes. Perhaps, this is why the locals recommend Beera restaurant for good chicken dishes. Very good! Adding nimbu (lemon) has brought out a very good taste to the dish. They have also served this pudina (mint) chutney with it. I’ve heard that apart from tandoori chicken, their Kadhai chicken and butter chicken is also famous. So, after I finish this along with my team,…. …we will order kadhai chicken. After eating that, I will tell you about its taste. And how is the preparation! I will try, while kadhai chicken is being cooked, that I can go into the kitchen and show you the process. I will try capturing that in camera. This is salt. This is dhaniya (coriander powder), Jeera (cumin powder), … …this is red chili powder,… …this is kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves). And these are the costlier spices – dalchini (cinnamon powder), Laung (cloves), elaichi (cardamom)…. …we purchase all these spices in the whole form & grind them ourselves. Sir, can I taste this masala? Yes, Sir! It has a strong flavor of laung. Sir, we have deliberately kept the laung flavour strong in this spice mix. That is because Sir we can use this mix in preparing tea as well & if you use it in your tea…. …your tea will become more flavourful! This is because our tea is very tasty. Sir, the butter chicken, kadhai chicken that we serve is absolutely spicy. Very spicy! Usually, people sell butter chicken, which is sweet in taste, but our dishes are very spicy. The spice mix made of laung, elaichi, dalchini, has a strong flavour of laung in it. One thing that I’ve understood is that in this whole preparation, the main role is that of the spices. Personally speaking, I was enjoying tandoori chicken more in comparison to kadhai chicken. But if one needs to have a proper meal, only tandoori chicken won’t be enough. I did well by ordering kadhai chicken. This is also good. Somehow, I enjoyed eating tandoori chicken more. The curry is good, decent taste! The masala is not over-powering. While eating tandoori also, I felt that masalas are not overpowering. Chicken, when I ate earlier, was soft. Well, before today, I have had only butter chicken and tandoori chicken. This is my first experience with Kadhai chicken. I’ve never eaten it before. Ahh, good experience! I enjoyed eating it. If you ask anyone here about Amritsari fish, the first name that comes up is that of ‘Maakhan.’ On Majitha Road. Right now, I am standing outside the Maakhan Restaurant. To eat fish for dinner! Let us go into the restaurant. For startes, give me fish fry Singhara. Singhara,? Okay! Ten minutes after that, you can serve me fish curry, and with that what will you give me? Roti? You can choose from among Butter roti, garlic naan, lachcha paratha! Plain roti without butter! Okay Sir! So, fish fried Singhara and ten minutes later…. …fish curry! Okay Sir! Thank you! It will 10 minutes for my order to come. Till then, I looked outside, the fish Singhara was getting cooked. Let me go and check out how it is being fried. On coming out, I’ve come to know of two things here. One thing is fish is being fried in sarson oil. Sarson means Mustard oil. According to them, using mustard oil ensures that the fish is crispy and tasty too. Second thing is they remove bones from the fish before frying, so that while eating, the fish is boneless. Along with the fried fish, they have served me green chutney, mayonnaise, lemon wedges. During the first 2-3 times, whenever I’ve eaten fish,… …I’ve been served green chutney, some raw onions and lemon wedges with the fish. But this mayonnaise is like the new kid on the block. Anyways, mayonnaise is being served with almost everything as a top-up. As I had understood outside, the fish is crispy on the outside. From what I can understand, the spices play an important role in the taste of this dish. At the same time, the amount of besan used in the batter, I am not sure how much has been used. But that is also giving good flavour to the fish. Along with the chutney, I am also enjoying the fish with mayonnaise. So, the mayonnaise, that they have served as an add-on…. …is a good thing. I eat fish very rarely. May be just once in 7-8 months! But whatever little I know about fish…. ….as per that, I am finding this good. No benchmarks to compare! Since I eat it rarely, I have no references to compare this with. But if I am enjoying eating it, that means I am liking it too. Curry is very good. Spices are absolutely balanced! Now let me take a bite of this fish. Hmm! It is the flavour of the curry that is present in the fish too. In the fish fry, the dominant flavours were that of mustard oil and besan. Here, obviously, there is flavour of mustart oil but that has been overpowered by the taste of curry. What I think is that they have fried fish pieces and then added them to the curry. I may be wrong there but that is my guess. In the coming few days, I will find out where else I can get even better fish to eat. I will definitely do that. Only then will I be able to compare this fish with what I get over there. As of now, this is good! Good reference! If you come to Amritsar, you can come here and try this. I work with Harish Sir and in non-veg I prefer to eat only chicken. But this is the first time I’ve tried eating fish and I found it very good to eat. I’ve also heard that eating fish has many health benefits. So, when I return to the hotel…. …I am going to do some study on it. Meet the man behind the show! I have with me Mr. Harjit Singh. Sir, please tell me something about your food and yourself! Sir, about myself, I would tell you we have been selling food on Majitha Road since 1962. Since 1962, it was my grandfather, Sardar Suchcha Singh, who ran the restaurant for a long time. After that, he handed over the work to my father, Sardar Malkit Singh. As for myself, I’ve been working in this line since I was 14 years old. It has been more than 25 years since I have been working in this line. Even today, whatever spices we use, whether in cooking, marinating, chaat masala, garam masala,…. ….everything is made by us. We don’t purchase any masala from the market. I was reading the reviews of non-veg food joints in Amritsar. A name came up – Charming Chicken. In the review, people had suggested their butter chicken very strongly. So, I’ve ordered butter chicken for myself. The 3 ingredients that I can see from the top are – Cream, butter (since this is butter chicken) and the third thing is the garnishing of fresh coriander. Rest, I will tell you more after I eat it with the butter naan that I’ve ordered with it. As I serve it, it seems the chicken pieces are small in size. Usually the butter chicken pieces are larger. So, is it a good thing? Yes, it is a good thing to have smaller pieces of chicken in the gravy. Usually, I’ve noticed while eating butter chicken, that at maximum places, the gravy is sweet. Sweet! But here the gravy is not sweet. I had noticed at the Beera Chicken too that…. ….the gravy was not sweet. So in Beera as well as at Charming Chicken… …they have changed the concept of gravy of butter chicken. The second thing about this gravy is…. …that the paste used in this gravy…. …is made with Kaju (cashew nuts). A lot of people also use Magaz (dried melon seeds) seeds in this method. Specially while cooking white gravy. Since Kaju is costlier, some people use magaz in its place but others keep using kaju only. Which is good! One important thing, however,… Within the first few bites of the butter chicken, I realized it has been made in desi ghee! Again, very few restaurants use desi ghee in such a dish! Chicken is very, very soft! So far, it has never happened that I am eating butter chicken somewhere and I can…. ….break apart chicken pieces like this with spoon. This is my first such experience! Like we are eating Kadhai chicken, sorry not kadhai chicken, but any dish of paneer somewhere…. …so we divide paneer pieces into parts, to make for smaller bites. So, here I saw when I tried to cut a piece of chicken lightly, it got divided into two parts easily. That only shows one thing that the chicken is soft. With the pieces being small, chicken is easy to bite into and chew. Somehow, after just one bite, I am feeling like I should go on eating this butter chicken. That is what I feel! So far, I’ve eaten 4-5 spoonfuls, out of which only one was eaten with the bite of roti. The freshness of chicken is evident from its softness. Pieces being small are easy to eat. The gravy, not being sweet, presents a totally new concept of butter chicken. So, to sum up,… …whatever I’ve eaten so far,… …..I have no doubt,…. …that in my experience, this is the best butter chicken I’ve ever had. Just imagine, on Majitha Road, Charming Chicken is a very small eatery. There are other restaurants, much bigger, on this road as well and this road is quite a busy stretch. So, nobody talked about the Charming Chicken. If I was not reading reviews on the Internet, I wouldn’t have learnt of this eatery. This is a small restaurant in size, with hardly 7 tables to sit. But…. …this place is worth coming, worth visiting. I am happy that I found this place. So, it won’t be wrong to say that this place is a hidden gem for non-veg food. I don’t know about other dishes because I haven’t even tried any but…. ….if you come here and eat this butter chicken, you won’t be disappointed. That is my feeling. Rest, what I’ve understood by eating it,… ….one of my best experiences with butter chicken. And to understand the rest of it, as to what is the system with chicken, which we don’t get elsewhere,…. …I will have to talk to the owner and also to the cook, who has prepared our food. Our recipe for butter chicken is totally different. People usually cook butter chicken with tandoori pieces of chicken,…. …but we cook this dish with raw pieces of chicken. We also use spices that we prepare ourselves. Besides, we also take care of the hygiene in our kitchen & we cook our food in a clean way for our customers. I am having butter chicken right now. I really like this butter chicken very much. Its taste, its zayka (flavour), is really the best! We’ve come from Hyderabad. We have ordered tandoori chicken, butter chicken & lachha paratha. We’ve tried butter chicken at 3-4 other restaurants, but this one is the best. I asked their staff for a Thums Up (Soft drink). They asked me to try LMG instead. So, I found the name, LMG, interesting! Its full form is ‘Lemon, Mint, Ginger.’ This is their unique preparation, made with these three ingredients, topped with soda. So, this LMG is an interesting name, that I am having with soda. There is some pulp collected at the bottom of the glass. But anyways, let us mix it and drink. It has a sour, tangy flavour. Now, obviously, these three ingredients are extreme in their tastes. Lemon, mint, ginger! And, add to that the soda fizz! I think this is a good drink to aid digestion. If you drink one glass of this…. …one can feel that whatever has been eaten, will get digested within 15-20 minutes. If you come to this area in Amritsar,…. ….and would like to try anything in non-veg, obviously, if you’ve had what I had, you may want to try…. …something else. But do try this – LMG! You will feel specially happy to have this drink. I am at Pal Da Dhaba, Hathi Gate. This is a small roadside eatery, and I’ve come here to eat Paya (trotters). It is called ‘Kharode’ in Punjabi. In English, it is called trotters. More people have praised the Paya dish served here. Even though, other non-veg dishes are available here. And obviously, I chose what was praised the most in the reviews on the Internet. Although, the dhaba is not that big, it is a small enclosure, with about 5-6 tables for sitting. But since, the reviewers had praised it to the skies, I couldn’t stop myself from coming here. Since Punjabi masalas (spices) are sharp in taste, so, usually the cooks keep… …the amount of garam masala quite high in paya dish. So, here I find the garam masala slightly on the higher side. Rest, let me eat some more before telling you more. From what I understand about paya, the most important thing is its cleaning before being cooked. This is important so that while eating the piece should be absolutely clean, without any debris attached. So, initially, whatever one or more piece I’ve eaten so far…. …that has given me the first feeling of the pieces being clean. Second thing, the pieces have been boiled well. I can say that because the pieces are soft and the meat separates easily from the bone. Before today, the last time I ate Kharode was at the Pahalwan Dhaba in Paharganj, New Delhi. It has been, at least, 5-6 months since. Since then, this is my second experience. The dish there was good too. I was there on a personal visit, so I didn’t shoot a video. But now, I am here in Amritsar for a purpose…. …so I am specially trying non-veg here. My experience is as good as the one I had the Pahalwan Dhaba. In fact,… …even better than that one. As far as I know about paya, and I’ve read it many times, I can say that paya has health benefits as well. For example, it is good for healthy bones. If someone has an issue with bones or joints,…. …they are advised to drink soup made of paya. Especialy in winters! It is too hot to eat during the summer season because of its warm characteristic. But whether you eat it during summer or winter seasons,….. …you should not drink water till 30-45 minutes after eating it…. …because it is warm to eat. So, to sum up, this looks like a good preparation to me here at Pal da Dhaba. The only thing is that this dhaba is a small eatery, and might look shabby on the outside. So,…. ….may be someone may not want to come in. But, if you like non-veg food and are ready to…. …compromise a little on the seating area. This is a good place to come and try this dish, if you eat non-veg food. I am sure, in fact, I am hopeful that if you come here to eat, you will enjoy the experience. I live in Ludhiana. If I come to Amritsar, for whatever reason, I cannot go back without having these kharode. These are so delicious that whenever, in the past 10 years, I’ve got time to come to Amritsar,…. …I eat this dish here. He is my cousin. Ask him about the taste of this dish. Very super taste! Very good! This is a very good dish in Mughlai cuisine. I’ve eaten this dish for the first time and I love its taste. Today, I’ve come to ‘The Yellow Chilli’ restaurant at the Ranjit Avenue, to eat fish for lunch. Amritsari fish is a famous dish! I’ve ordered two fish dishes for lunch. One is Amritsari Machhi (fish of Amritsar)! Generally, Sole fish is used to make this dish. The second dish is ‘Nimbu-Mirch Tawa fish’ (fish cooked with lemon and fish). This fish has been cooked on a tawa (griddle) and it is not deep fried. Amritsari Machhi is deep fried. Now, how it has been served. They’ve served mayonnaise & salad with Amritsari Machhi. And with the second dish, they’ve served sauteed vegetables and tartar sauce. Tartar sauce has been served separately as well as a little bit is poured over the fish also. First, I will taste Amritsari Machhi and tell you about its taste. Generally, in North India, I feel that fish is mostly eaten with green chutney. But in Punjab, people prefer to eat it with mayonnaise. The fish is crispy on the outside but inside, it is very soft. It is boneless, that is what I feel from the first bite. Eating fish with mayonnaise is a new experience for me. I eat fish very rarely. I am not so much hanged on to fish but I can say this much that eating fish with mayonnaise is…. …is a good combination! By eating this fish, I can understand that though mustard oil has been used to marinate it but…. …but it has been deep-fried, not in mustard oil, but refined oil. As per my knowledge, maximum of the fish eaten in North India is deep-fried in refined oil. But if you to West Bengal, there only mustard oil is used to cook fish in any manner. That is a big difference between the East and North parts of the country. Actually I’ve noticed one more thing that this dish has a prominent flavour of Jeera (cumin). So, that kind of makes me feel that jeera has also been used in the marinade. By the way, I’ve also read it somewhere that jeera is used while cooking Amritsari machhi. That seems true while I’m having this fish. So far, I’ve had 3-4 pieces of Amritsari machhi. I’ve enjoyed the taste of this soft machhi. Spices are in a decent amount, kind of cosmopolitan taste, if you want to be specific,…. …so that people coming from all the regions can enjoy it. The fish is marinated well. A lot of establishments take a short-cut by marinating the fish just for 15-20 minutes…. …as a result of which the marinade isn’t absorbed into the fish. One flavour that I could detect was that of jeera and the second one is that of mustard oil. Used in the marinade. Taste is good! Now before I eat this further, let me try this fish and find out about its taste! The name of this fish is ‘Nimbu Mirch Tawa fish.’ While placing the order, I was told that this is cooked on a tawa (griddle) and is not deep-fried. Let me also serve some tartar sauce on the plate. Being cooked on the tawa, not deep-fried, means oil is very limited in this dish. I can feel the slight sourness of lemon in it. Besides that, I can feel chilli flakes while eating, but not to the extent of being too hot. But just a feel of some chilli flakes inside. This combination is okay! With the tartar sauce! It won’t taste as good with mayonnaise as it is tasting with tartar sauce. Fish is so soft – both on the inside & outside. It is good that I ordered this fish along with Amritsari Machhi because…. …I’ve already had Amritsari machhi, so I recognize its taste & I know what to expect. Plus, deep-fried Sole fish is available at many places in India and I’ve had it a few times already. This is my first experience with this type of fish. Sauteed vegetables include broccoli, carrot, beans, etc. I am enjoying eating the fresh vegetables as much as I enjoyed this fish. This lunch has been a very pleasant experience here at The Yellow Chilli! In fact, when I had come here, I just wanted to eat Amritsari Machhi. I had not thought of eating this dish. But now, after eating lemon mirch tawa fish…. …I am deeply satisfied that I didn’t order any roti or naan with it. Just this Amritsari machhi & this fish! If you come to Ranjit Avenue and you like eating fish…. …and if you want to try something other than Amritsari Machhi, then I think…. …you should try this. Just thought of sharing this with you – this restaurant The Yellow Chilli…. ….is owned by the famous chef Sanjeev Kapoor. This restaurant chain runs, I don’t know the exact number, but must be 25-30 outlets in India. Plus I know that he also has a number of restaurants outside India. Whenever I want to see a food preparation, to enhance my knowledge, I search on YouTube…. ….for recipes by Sanjeev Kapoor because…. …he is so known and so popular. In India, in food, he is a stalwart. So, it was a good experience coming here. I am repeating myself, this particular fish, with very little oil in it,…. …since we had so much oil in food in Amritsar so far,…. ….so, I have liked this fish very much, with some lemon juice on it. Plus eating this fish cooked on a tawa has been an amazing experience. Another thing that I would like to highlight is that the ambience here is good. A fine dining experience! If you want to experience this kind of food in Ranjit Avenue, you can come and explore this place. For non-veg as well as for veg food. Last night I was reading online to see what are the non-veg food joints that I may have missed. So, the name Chawla’s came up at the Ranjit Avenue. Someone had written a review saying one should try their Cream Chicken for sure. So, I’ve ordered Cream Chicken for myself along with one more dish…. …it is called Khurchan and both dishes are chicken based. Khurchan is a dry dish while Cream Chicken is a gravy dish. So, after eating both, I will tell you about the taste. While placing the order, I tried to understand what Khurchan is, I couldn’t get it from its name…. …so I was told that it would have small chunks of chicken in it, which I can see. Plus I was told this dish has 3 types of gravies in it. Veg gravy, mutton gravy and chicken gravy! So, this seems to be a different concept. I didn’t have any knowledge about it so I will eat and let you know about it. With the dishes, I’ve ordered garlic naan and lachha paratha. This dish is called Cream Chicken. If I am asked…. …what could be a second name for this dish, I will say…. …Kali-mirch (black pepper) chicken! Because I can taste Kali mirch in this chicken. The flavour is dominating the taste of this dish. But this dish doesn’t have the spice element of kali mirch, just its flavour. The amount of spices in this gravy…. …I don’t have words to praise those spices! I feel, after having the first two spoonfuls, that I should have more of this gravy. The main ingredient in this, obviously, is cream! Since the dish is called Cream Chicken, it has got to have cream in it. Plus it has milk in it. I don’t know how much of milk but milk is part of the preparation. Garlic naan is also very soft to eat. And the kind of crispiness we expect from a naan…. …this naan is almost like that. By eating this dish, I can understand that the prime reason for the extreme softness of this chicken…. …is that it has been boiled for long. That is why, it is so soft. Overall, awesome gravy! Soft & tender chicken! To sum up, the reviews on the Internet, about the Cream Chicken…. …are totally justified! Good that I came to this place and ordered this dish. While placing the order I was told that this dish has small chunks of chicken. Second thing, while placing the order, I had asked about what else goes into Khurchan, I was told that…. …that there are 3 masala gravies combined in it. It is exactly like that to eat as well. Veg, chicken, mutton – all three gravies have been added to this dish. So, very difficult to pinpoint the actual taste of gravy in it. I’m sure…. ..the taste is of all 3 together. The next thing that I’ve noticed in this gravy is that…. …it is dry. So, the three gravies must have been originally liquid…. ….but those have been sauteed well, to turn it into this dry consistency dish. There is no comparison between this dish and this dish. Because the concept of both the dishes is different. One has gravy and the other one is dry. But trust me, both the dishes are awesome! Personally, I am going to log on to Trip Advisor tonight and review this dish because…. …no one had mentioned about eating Khurchan anywhere online. In the 5-7 reviews that I read online, it was mentioned to try this Cream Chicken. But I find this dish also to be good. While eating I was thinking what could be the closest match of the chicken chunks in this dish! I could think of two closest matches…. …one would be the flesh of Tandoori Chicken, a little bit like that…. ..Second thing… …the taste of chicken in the Tawa Chicken dish…. These two dishes would be the closest match for this type of chicken. I’ve already told you about the gravy. I told you about this gravy as well. So, to sum up,… …good place. A fine dining place in Ranjit Avenue. Chawla’s is a known brand. People recognize it. I searched for it on Google Maps and easily found my way here. Our Amritsar food journey ends today. Now, going back to pavilion. So, tell me your views about this video. As always, I shall wait for your comments. If you have any suggestions regarding Visa2explore…. ….and our further growth, please share the same with us in your comments. I will be glad to receive your comments. Thank you so much for your time!

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