Sagar Ratna is a fully vegetarian restaurant located in Jumeirah Lake Towers and was our destination for a small gathering with friends. My family is from Rajasthan so they were particularly pleased with the dishes on offer at the restaurant and suggested we try it out. They are located right by the lake and have the option to dine indoors or outdoors. Being too hot, we had to choose to sit in but, a meal by the lake on a cool summer night would be a great idea too. Inside they have a small seating for about 18-20 people.
The space is well lit up and has a blue and white themed interior. You can walk up to the end and take a look at the food counter housing all sorts of delicious treats like samosas, kachoris and vadas on display.
The service is fairly quick and we were pleased with the portion sizes along with their overall pricing. The food is a little rich but if you are from Rajasthan and are feeling a little home sick, we reckon this is the place to go.
Get Set Gobble
As we sat down we were served a bowl of roasted papads. We ordered the Dhunkaar chaach, Sweet lassi and Nimbu pudina Jalzeera to refresh ourselves. The chaach was something new for me to try and is actually made with a smoky flavour, hence the name. Spices are tempered in ghee over hot coal and added to the yoghurt drink to give it a unique flavour.
We were immediately tempted to try some of their crispy treats and ordered the Marwari shahi samosa. The samosas are fairly big in size and filled generously with a mildly spicy potato mix. They were crunchy and delicious, just as we hoped they would be. The Jodhpuri mirchi vada had a large chilli pepper stuffed with the potato mix, dipped in a batter and deep fried. Do not worry, the chilies are not that spicy at all.
One of my favourite snacks from Rajasthan would probably be the crispy kachoris. We tried the Jodhpuri moong dal kachori and Jodhpuri pyaaz kachori that were both delicious. They had a crunchy exterior and a generous filling inside. It paired well with their green and tamarind chutneys.
The Jaipuri chaat is a palak patta chaat topped with yoghurt, vada, sev, pomegrantes, coriander, green and tamarind chutney and, is basically a crispy and tangy treat. It was refreshing and enjoyable. We also tried the Mehrangarh kebab platter that was a great way to get a mix of different kebab options on the plate. The Mushroom galawati was probably my favourite that had a little spice and mild sweetness to it. The platter also had Paneer tikka, Hara bhara kebab and Jodhpuri bharwaan aloo that were well prepared.
For the mains we wanted to try some of their traditional preparations and were immediately drawn to the Jodhpuri gatta curry. Owing to the shortage of fresh vegetables in Rajasthan, gatta is a popular preparation made with gram flour. The gatta was full of flavour and the yoghurt gravy did complete justice to the dish. The Jodhouri Bharwan bhindi had a very flavouful tomato masala stuffed into the ladyfingers. Though the bhindi was not cooked soft enough to my liking, that masala was simply mind blowing. I remember scraping off all of it. 🙂
The Paneer Lababdar was another delicious curry on their menu. The restaurant do seem to know what they are doing with their curries as we equally enjoyed the flavour profile of this one as well. This paired very well with their Masala kulcha stuffed with a potato mix and the Khasta roti that is made with wheat and suji flour. The Jodhpuri kabuli was a new dish for me to try and as soon as it was served on the table, I immediately felt pleased with our choice. It is quite an eye-catching bowl of rice with pomegranates, peas, onions, ginger, coriander and bread. I loved all the crunchy textures in the rice and the mild spice in it. This rdish is perfect to eat simply by itself or with a bowl of curd.
You cannot come into a Marwari restaurant and pass up the offer to try their thali. My dad is a huge lover of all things Rajasthani and the Marwari special thali was more than just a plate of nostalgia for him. The thali came with the traditional dal, baati and churma that is a staple food item during winter months. The spicy daal paired with the deep fried baati and the sweet churma is a heavenly triangle of flavour combinations. Their were two chutneys, spicy green chilli and garlic, that are essentially synonymous with Rajasthani food. The thali also has a bowl of the gatta curry we so love and rice. There is also a glass of chaach, a tiny pitcher full of ghee, fresh salad and papad. The bonus is that the thali is unlimited as long as you do not share. Full points for the items and pricing on that. My dad is hooked onto it forever now!
No Marwari considers their meal complete unless it ends with something sweet. So no matter how stuffed we were with our mains, there is always room for desserts. We ordered their Rabri ghewar that was presented so beautifully. It was a burst of colours and looked picture perfect. The Gulab ki kheer was prepared with rose petals sprinkled onto this sweet rice dessert. The Bikaneri gulab jamun did not fare as well as the rest of the items and we found that the Rabri was too thin.
Overall we had a great meal and were quite happy to have found a little piece of Rajasthan here in Dubai.