On this Saturday night, four of us visited Zaffran restaurant in N-Block market of Greater Kailash I. The restaurant is on the third floor and can be easily reached by lift. The restaurant has followed a simple décor with bamboo curtains and awning and provides comfortable dining and seating arrangements for small as well as large groups. The beauty of the restaurant lies in its contemporary look with glass walls and an open kitchen.
For starters we ordered a Tandoori Bada Jheenga and Chapli Kabab. The Tandoori Jeenga had five tiger prawns cooked in tandoor and presented with its orange shells, onion rings and slivers of capsicum, colourful bell peppers and lemon wedges. The prawns were cooked to perfection – succulent, slightly charred on the edges and with a hint of ajwain. Though expensive, this dish deserves a 4.5/5.
The Chapli Kabab (again a 4.5/5) also were presented well and they were really tasty and filling. The menu claims that it is an Old Delhi recipe. But these kababs certainly do not have an Indian origin.
According to Pakistani freelance journalist Bisma Tirmizi , the origins of Chapli Kabab are as follows: The province formerly known as NWFP and the eastern region of Afghanistan can proudly lay claim to the spicy flat meat patty, however, it stands as a favourite throughout Pakistan and India. Though some kababs are made using sheep, lamb, chicken or goat meat, the chapli kabab is a purely beef, and at times lamb fare. Chaprikh is a Pashto word meaning flat, and chapli is a derivation of this particular word; hence a flat round kabab. The Pakhtun recipe uses a perfect combination of meat and atta (wheat flour), thus this kabab in particular is lighter in taste.
The ingredients used in the preparation of chapli kababs are indigenous to Afghanistan therefore the use of pomegranate seeds and dry coriander seeds, which make the chapli kabab so unique in taste. The outcome is perfect on the palate and thus the region and the original chapli kabab makers deserve the highest grade on sharing this delicious local classic with the rest of the world.
We were quite stuffed by the time we finished these two dishes. So, we kept our main course simple. We ordered a Martaban Meat, Dal Makni and Pineapple Raita with few Tandoori Rotis and a Mirchi Parantha.
The Martaban Meat had boneless mutton pieces in an achari gravy served in a Martaban jar (of course!). I found the meat little fibrous, but the gravy was super tasty. It is 3.5/5 for this dish.
The Dal Makni as expected did not disappoint. It had perfectly cooked lentils in a creamy gravy and the texture was perfect. A 4.5/5 for the dal.
The Pineapple Raita gave a sweet and tangy twist to the meal.
The Mirchi Parantha was little intimidating with its red colour. But it was mildly flavoured with paprika. The Tandoori Roti also was good.
I found the restaurant little noisy, probably because it was a Saturday night and it was packed with families with lot of kids. But, Zaffran offers uninhibited North Indian cuisine at its best! It’s a 4.5/5 for this one.