Tasallibaqsh (gurgaon india)

Tasallibaqsh is an event conducted in gurgaon every week 6 months in a year – food, conversations and more. U can contact the organisers here

In a NUtshell:

An unforgettable evening with some great conversations and simply unparalleled food cooked by one man as his staff was away on leave!!!!

Address & other details: tasallibaqsh

Meal for 2: ₹3000 onwards

Cuisine type : vegetarian & non vegetarian

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No bill

I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster

Short description- in case u r in a hurry

Introducing Shivendra sharma – a person with a pretty steady career in Micro finance, who decided to give up the job and start a restaurant, later a homestay in Leh and then this super interesting concept of tasallibaqsh in gurgaon.

Every year he spends 6 months of summer at Leh where he is into farming & also runs a home stay. In future he Plans to start rearing animals as well in Leh.

In the other 6 months, he conducts tasallibaqsh every Week at the terrace of his home in gurgaon. It’s about ‘slow food & conversations’.

There is a Facebook page where he posts the events every week and people book their seats. He also does Special table for minimum 6 people & Maximum 12 people.

He mentioned that this season there were multiple events in many weeks as more and more people wanted to experience this.

Shivendra has a team of guys who cook in gurgaon for 6 months with him and then move to Leh for this homestay in the other half of the year. Food historian, journalist , Pritha sen partners with Shivendra on largely vegetarian recipes and desserts.

I was curious and asked about the Name tasallibaqsh. Shivendra said that in his younger days he saw this word used in scooter repair shops of the Hindi belt – yaha Kaam tasallibaqsh hota hai. He found that word intriguing and picked it up for his new project.

The menu at tasallibaqsh keeps changing constantly and it is always a set meal served one after the other.

Shivendra is a genius in smoking / curing meats & fish / meat recipes. He picks up Influences / dishes as it is, from different parts of the world. A typical meal of 10 dishes can have something from say Arunachal Pradesh , Kashmir, Mexico, germany, Punjab, bangladesh etc etc in no particular order.

In his earlier days of tasallibaqsh he used to source exotic meats like Buffalo meat from Arunachal, Black rice from Manipur etc etc. Nowadays he concentrated on the best ingredients available in the local market, imports / flies in his meats at times.

Pritha curates the Bengali menu in the new yet super popular restaurant in south Bombay ‘mustard’. She also is a culinary partner in many projects across the country , like weaver’s place in Nagaland. At tasallibaqsh she creates vegetarian dishes with Shivendra.

The event happens in the terrace of shivendra’s house. The table can accommodate maximum 12 people. It is covered in the top and hence is good for winters or slight rains.

People book themselves for an event and at the event meet & sit with strangers, open up over few hours of conversations & slow food and maybe make friends too.

Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:

In the whole meal there was no rice / roti.

We started with meat stuffed Chillies. Shivendra described it as ‘chillies in place of maida wrap. The Mutton mince was roughly chopped, juicy and tasted super yumm. The chilly was very flavorful, somewhat like bell pepper, though not exactly the same. Super loved it. Rate it 4.5/5

Then came a salad made from Fresh vegetables of the season. It had Rocket leaves and mixed greens with homemade honey mustard vinaigrette.

However the magic ingredient in this dish was the Feta – we asked about where he got such nice feta and he said it was home made!!!

Rate the salad 4.75/5

Then came Silken tofu cubes wrapped in fresh greens & a sweetish dressing on top. I generally do not like tofu dishes served In india. They seem to be used as an exotic substitute to paneer in many places. However This version of tofu was very nice. Crisp outer layer, super soft tofu wrapped in crunchy greens. Rate it 4/5

Beans and snow peas tossed in black sesame, & garlic was a crazy good dish. Crunchiness of both the veggies was the best part of the dish. Seasoning was perfect. Garlic flavors spruced up the otherwise low flavor veggies. Sesame added intrigue. Rate it 4.75/5

Smoked chicken drizzled with bhut jalokia infused oil was the next item we were served. It was magic in the plate. Bhut jalokia (a very hot pepper from upper assam / Nagaland) did not make every bite hot but it gave a strong flavor & a distinct hot aftertaste. Smokiness of the smoked chicken was superb. Rate it 4.75/5

Shivendra smokes his meats. He also sells smoked meats in packets.

Smoked pork was a different level altogether. The best I have had in a decade I Wud say. Soft, smokey, strong porky flavors , perfect balance of taste…. wow. Rate it 4.95/5

Shivendra made a Millet pancake right in front of us, on his portable gas oven (which can be carried during road trips). Loved the softness & the perfect balance of taste. Rate it 4.5/5

Sautéed Kashmiri haaq saag was the next dish. This was the first time we had Haaq in this form. So far we have always had in a soupy form. Loved the saag. Perfect seasoning. Enjoyed having this with the pancake. Rate it 4.5/5

Knol khol leaves and radish leaves stir fried was fab again. We loved having it with the pancake. Shivendra suggested that we add some smoked pork to the combo & it really came out well. Loved it. Rate it 4.5/5

Amla chutney was a strong, tangy Chutney with a bit astringent feel. Very nice. Rate it 4.25/5

Radish leaves chutney was outstanding. Robust. Flavorful. Rate it 4.5/5

Then came Leaf grilled fish. The fish was flaky but suboptimally juicy. It tasted very good. Rate it 4/5

Salt crusted pork belly was unbelievable & unreal . It was the Best pork belly we have had in last 15 years – it was so juicy that we cud almost drink the juice. So perfectly crisp outer layer that it was unparalleled. Loved The softness of the meat & it’s flavors. Perfect balance of fat & meat. I a salivating a week later as I remember this dish. Rate it 4.95/5

For dessert we had Baked guava with salted honey dressing. I had noticed 2 balls wrapped in aluminium foil, in the barbecue pit. It turned out to be baked guava. Super loved it & the dressing of salted honey. Rate it 4.75/5

Overall rating of food at tasallibaqsh averages out to 4.6/5

Look forward to another session next winter.

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