Most people know Samrat Restaurant for their "Gujarati Thali" but I was introduced to some hidden treasures in their Menu trove that not many people may know about.
For the record, I did crinkle my nose and made a face when I first heard of that "uncle types" dishes when I went to Samrat for the first time in 1996. But in all humility I accepted my mistake and have loved those superb hidden dishes ever since.
So, whenever I go there I order these dishes. Even when I am alone. I tell the waiter that I am going to order my same favourite dishes, eat what I can and then parcel the rest.
Enough with the suspense. Here's my regular order:
- No starters, at most a Jal Jeera and a masala papad
- Straight to main course
1) Makai Nu Shaak - I have never liked sweet vegetables much but I love this Makai Nu Shaak that comes in white gravy. The big American corn pearls that are sweet and then they have thin ring slices of chilly that add that zest to the vegetable. The sweet and spicy combination is sublime. I love the fact that this vegetable is so different from the regular red colored gravy that has all the same spices. Must order.
2) Paneer Lazeez - This is not out of the world or something. But just Paneer in red gravy to contrast Makai-nu-Shaak. Float / replacable.
3) Reshmi Paratha - These are "rumaali rotis" folded and toasted in butter / oil so that they are served crispy crisp. Again a superb change from the regular naan, roti, etc. Must order.
4) Palak Garlic Corn Rice - now here comes the finale. I was never a rice eater and and not much of a Palak guy at that time, in my youth. I was about to pass this dish the first time, when the vapours from the "handi" reached my nose and all the beautiful spices and aromas floored me forever. I tried some and appreciated the beauty of it all. Amazing spices cooked into that handi (fantastic, fantabulous, mind blowing chai wala). I must admit this was a bit too hot and spicy for me but here comes the clincher... this Palak Garlic Rice goes so well with the Makai nu Shaak. It blends so well and brings out the best juices and tastes. Discovering this combination was my Oh My God (OMG) moment! Must order.
I travel from Juhu once a year to Samrat to eat exactly this combination and always parcel the rest. It's been 14 years since I discovered this combination and I still love it.
You guessed it right. I am leaving in about hmmm 5 minutes for Samrat. It's a Sunday morning and we have lunch planned with my wife's parents at Samrat.
Hope you guys try this and enjoy as well.