When I think of Tewari’s, I see orange.
Impossibly small, orange pearls of boondi, perfectly fried in desi ghee and dunked in syrupy sugar, only to be molded into these spherical little marvels that I honestly cannot and will not ever get enough of.
Its laughable almost that I should be talking of a sweet like this, because I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth. For clarification, I’m the dark chocolate loving,meethi chutney disliking kind of freakazoid as far as sugar goes. But every rule has its exception and this piece of sin in every bite is mine.
However, this post is a little about me discovering there is infact more to this old gem of a place than their ladoos alone. So when I heard that Tewari’s has savoury stuff to offer, mom and I set out one evening to sample their fare.
The Charni Road branch is fairly compact. We walked in to a wafting aroma of ghee and the calories that will presumably follow. What helped me assuage the guilt was actually this priest sitting at a corner of the joint chanting prayers amidst a mini cloud of agarbatti smoke. Almost made me feel like the gluttony I was to embark upon was holy and therefore forgiven.
Most of the room is understandably taken by a large display with all their sweets, which are measured and sold on demand at a counter nearby. To the side are a couple of tables, constantly occupied by the teeming yet fast moving bunch of customers who walk in every evening.
Tewari’s has a small yet interesting menu of fast food items available. We decided to go for the following:
To someone who hasn’t tasted a Raj Kachori, it’s a literal representation of Indian “umami” in textures and flavours.
You have the large crispy outer shell housing a chaotic yet delicious bunch of ingredients. You get the dry savoury dal at the bottom, topped with raw and crisp red onion, softened pakoras, boiled and slightly salted chunks of potatoes, all slathered with a generous helping of creamy yogurt, a spicy mint chutney, a sweet and sour tamarind chutney, crunchy sev, fresh coriander leaves and a sprinkle of chaat masala.
It’s packed, and I really do mean packed with flavour. Every bite results in a new combination of ingredients and the hard shell doesn’t get soft and holds all the madness within till the very last bite.
All this being said, it can get a tad overpowering after a few bites for those rare people who don’t love chaat (basically, me). Despite that, I’d recommend it to anyone who hasn’t given it a shot yet.
Matar Poori and Aloo Dum
A take on the fairly well known Bengali staple Motor Shutir Kachuri and Aloor Dom, what it essentially is potatoes in a spicy and tangy gravy served with pooris, kneaded with a flavoured raw pea mixture within.
The pooris with their brown exterior and bright green interior were really interesting to look at, and the pea flavour definitely comes through with every bite. The Aloo Dum is hearty and satisfying and easy to mop up with the pooris, which negates the need to use the green chutney served on the side.
We definitely went there with the intention to order more, but the huge portions put a stop to that, unfortunately.
And to those wondering, of course I still had a ladoo at the end. I would stuff that thing in even if I was full beyond compare. I just didn’t have the time to take a picture. I guess with their motichoor ladoos, I never will.
To sum it up, delicious, fresh food that you can definitely snack on if you find yourself in the vicinty. I intend going back for their samosas the next time. Any excuse to inhale those orange ladoos again. Any at all.