The Potbelly, Chanakyapuri

After their success at the Shahpur Jat outlet, the Potbelly cafe was approached by Bihar Niwas to open up their restaurant here. The restaurant here enjoys a huge amount of space with a large sprawling garden area, small outdoor seating with covered umbrellas and a spacious area indoors. They have maintained the quirky theme with colorful interiors, kitsch lights and printed chair covers.

Having been to the Shahpur Jat outlet before (link to my review is at the end of the blog) I was all prepped to try other dishes on their menu. Now my skepticism was out the window. I was more confident with what each dish would look and taste like and was able to make better informed decisions. In a nutshell, I would say this is basic Bihari cooking done right!

Get Set Gobble:

~ DrinksApple cinnamon ice tea was refreshing and and with lots of chunks of apples and reminded me of a sangria. The chaach (salty lassi) was a popular choice as many people on the table wanted to have some salty buttermilk. Another drink I tried was the sattu cooler and can u tell u, I probably went too wild in my choice..this wasn’t for my taste buds. I did change over to a chocolate oreo shake and immediately felt at home with the flavours. Their chai was very popular as it was warm and tasty and went as a great pre-meal drink with the pakora baskets we ordered. Also another plus point was the fact that we filled endless cups of tea and the pot just kept on delivering!

~ Phataka french fries – Potato fries served with onion, capsicum, masala and cheese. this was almost similar to a Chinese stir fry with sauces and mini cut vegetables. It’s a good dish but doesn’t stand a chance among the more authentic Bihari fare that came up next.IMG_2252

~ Baggia basket – Pockets of rice flour stuffed with spiced channa dal tempered with spices and served with tomato chokha and coriander chutney. This was a new dish for me…as in never before in my life have I tried something like this. It had a chatpata flavour but somehow the texture did not suit my palette. Many I went too experimental with the menu here 😛

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~ Pakora basket – Assorted chukkas of aubergines and potatoes fried to a golden crispy perfection alongwith  saboodana pakoras, pyaaz kachri and served with coriander and tomato chutney..what’s not to love?! Everything is crispy fried and tasty. Well I guess the only draw back would have to be the oiliness…but once in a while I’m good to forgo my diet rules 😛 DO ORDER

~ Parontha basket – Well the vegetarians on the table needed something and they went for this option. Having tried this previously I was able to help them understand what they could expect from the dish. It came with three stuffings; one with peas, one with sattu and one with onions accompanied by pickle and raita. These paranthas are well stuffed and quite delicious. DO ORDER

~ Meat pakora – These are assorted pakoras with mutton and chicken fried to golden crisp and served with chutneys. This dish did not fail to impress and was crispy to perfection. It has a dark reddish exterior from being fried. Having tried this previously, I was prepared for the crunch 🙂 MUST ORDER

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~ Channa dal and pyaaz kachri basket – These pakoras were made of masoor dal and onions and served with tomato chokha and coriander chutney. These were super crisp and tatsy. No doubt we went on afried item spree but the guys really wanted something indulgent with the chai…so pakoras it was!

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~ Keema ghoogni – A concoction of mince meat and black channa served on fried flattened rice or chiwda  with parwal chokha and garlic chutney, this dish was super tasty. I am more familiar with ghooghni being prepared with yellow peas so the use of black channa was new for me. It had a good chilli kick. Tip: Make sure you mix the bowl well before taking in a spoonful as all the items are layered one above the other. MUST ORDER

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~ Fish chokha on marua roti – Fish paste served on ragi/buckwheat crispy pooris with coriander chutney and tomato chokha. To put it in an easy way, the dish was almost like papdi with fish toppping instead of aloo masala. The rotis were crispy and had the mash on top. Just a note of advice, it has a strong taste of mustard oil. I am not much of a sarson oil eater and personally it was slightly pungent for me.

~ Maher – This was spiced yoghurt based hot rice dish served with garlic potatoes and pickle. This was a real surprise dish and a crowd pleaser. I thoroughly enjoyed the taste. MUST TRY

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P.S. The pooris in this pic are from another dish. The server placed them in this by mistake.

~ Golmirch chicken – Boneless chicken in creamy pepper preparation served with lachha parantha and saboodana pakoras. This is a perfect meal for one! The chiocken pieces wer5 absolutelty tender and the gravy was simply lip smacking. IT wasn’t too high on pepper and the creamy curry had a nice balance. MUST ORDERIMG_2220

~ Litti chokha/chicken – Trademark Bihari dish of whole wheat balls stuffed with spiced sattu served with khada masala chicken and aubergine chokha. If you have visited a Bihari place and not had litti chokha, you can mark the visit as incomplete. This is a staple food in the state and I really loved the fact that they had a non veg adaptation for it. The littis are made out of wheat and stuffed with sattu.

Tip: These balls seem small in size, but once in your tummy they swell up, so one must go easy on the portion we eat. My friends also oredered the vegetarian version and enjoyed it as much. It came with a portion of channa dal instead of the chicken. MUST ORDER

~ Champaran style mutton – Boneless mutton in thick pepper gravy served with moong dal pooris and pudina aloo raita. I had tried this previously and the taste was as good. The gravy is thick and spicy. MUST ORDERIMG_2221

~ Sarso machhli steamed– Mustard based fish curry served with rice. The fish was chopped in smaller pieces and had a light by thick gravy coating it. The little rotis made of rice flour were an interesting combination of flavours and textures with the soft fish and the thick crispy roti. MUST ORDER

My friend ordered the dish and somehow for the life of us, neither one can remember what the name of this dish was. Alternatively it could be the Posta dana machhli.IMG_2241

~ Apple cinnamon cake – Sweet endings to a heavy meal were provided by a warm apple cinnamon cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Quite good!IMG_2217

Go for:

Bihari cuisine. Enjoying the sun in the lush green gardens during Delhi winters. To satiate those taste buds with crispy and spicy combinations.

Also checkout my previous review of their other outlet The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe, Shahpur Jat.

The Potbelly Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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