In a NUtshell
We are now getting addicted to the food by full time (week days) corporate lawyer & part time (weekend) home chef, sanhita – home delivered* all over delhi NCR from Chittaranjan park. Low on oil, traditional cooking methods, no short cuts, best ingredients, attempt to Perfection in each & every dish – all done single handedly by one person (no domestic help).
Address & other details:
Facebook : gusto by sanhita
Instagram : gusto by sanhita
WhatsApp : +91 98104 27956
Meal for 2: ₹1000 onwards
Cuisine type : vegetarian & non vegetarian
Disclaimer 1: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
YUMMRAJ rates all the food items & then gives 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
Disclaimer 2 – Unlike most restaurants we eat at / home chefs we order from, we know sanhita in person. We met her about a decade back at a food pop up in gurugram & have been in touch socially since then. We Have tried to make sure that this does not bias our review.
Like I mentioned, sanhita is a full time corporate lawyer. Pre COVID 2020 she used to travel extensively for work round the year. Maybe the Lockdown prompted her to start something different & she launched this home chef business end of last year.
She still works as a corporate lawyer on weekdays & on weekends she is a home chef.
The cuisines (that I remember) she has covered so far, are as wide as north east , Ceylon, south of india, Bengal, Burma etc.
Ordering process –
We ordered on three occasions. In the ‘detailed description’ section you will find details of food that we had in all the 3 days.
Every Monday/ Tuesday sanhita posts the menu for weekend (Saturday, Sunday) on social media. Her posts r outstanding – as much as the food are. She writes very well & adds stories, nuances, facts to those write ups.
Delivery * –
Seeing those social media posts, people send an order request thru WhatsApp number. Sanhita confirms if she has slots left. Once she confirms, full payment needs to be made thru paytm etc. to confirm the slot. No payment is equal to no booking.
Sanhita keeps the food prepared, packed. It needs to be picked up from her Chittaranjan park home. What we usually do is that we get the food delivered to gurugram thru instant courier companies like wefast (example – we spent ₹245 yesterday on wefast for this).
The food –
Sanchita’s food is usually very high on flavors & taste. We have found it better than any commercial establishment that makes the same food.
She uses very little oil in her foods. Most of the oil that you spot /taste/feel in the curries are actually animal /fish fat from the pieces being cooked.
The kitchen is singlehandedly managed by sanhita, without domestic help. She also does not do short cuts & relies on (sometimes) tedious processes like using sil batta for better texture, than using a mixer.
The ingredients used by sanhita are also chosen with care. So far we have had one of the best meats , seafood & fish from her in terms of quality of ingredients (as compared to restaurants and even some other home chefs).
Most of the food we have had so far have been excellent.
Best part – this food does not feel heavy after a meal. Yet this food is enormously capable of giving joy.
Very highly recommended by YUMMRAJ
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
In this section you will find description of the following dishes:
Day 1 – Tripuri food
Day 2 – Bengali
Day 3 – Burmese
We have paid on two occasions. One (bengali) was a gift from a friend – she paid. So we don’t have the bill.
‘A pottage with seasonal vegetables, fermented fish & fresh fish , with herbs flown in from the northeast’ read the insta post.
That sounded interesting enough & we decided to order.
This dish is not recommended for those who are not hardcore fish /seafood eaters. What might put off some people is what others love – the strong fishy flavors & aromas. Unmistakable. Robust flavors.
We got to know that No additional oil is used for cooking, other than the fat in the ingredients.
When we asked why this dish was so different, this is what we got to know – mature fish belly was cooked in fermented fish base & then Deboned.
Then vegetables were also cooked for 8-10 minutes in fermented fish base, till they were somewhat firm but not over cooked . Then the vegetables and fish were mashed together using a wooden pestle!!!!
Absolutely new & unique experience for us.
Rate the dish 4.75/5
wahan mui – pork curry made with Belgian pork belly & shoulders, with spices from the north east.
We absolutely loved this & wondered how this unique flavor came. We got to know afterwards that Pork was cooked in raw turmeric paste, red chilli paste. After the meat rendered fat, Onions, ginger & garlic were sautéed in the rendered fat. Finally wild chives and other herbs were added!!!! Wow. No wonder.
Rate the dish 4.5/5
Both these dishes, we were Told, are a part of Tribal Tripura food. What’s amazing is that it’s so delicious & bursting out with flavors, while being ‘zero oil’.
We also got a complimentary Pulled pork (totally unexpected, out of the blue) –
The pork had a Smokey barbecue flavour with a hint of Mexican spice.
My most favorite chef – anonymous cooked this the next morning – she made tacos with this pulled pork, home made salsa, roasted red bell peppers, coriander leaves.
The tacos were leftover whole wheat chapattis. The pulled pork (made from boneless Belgian pork) was outstanding- juicy, bursting out with flavors. I have almost never had such a good pulled pork in india. The home made salsa had chargrilled fresh jalapeno pepper, garlic, desi tomatoes , all from organic farm khhetu . What a breakfast!!! Waah.
Rate the pulled pork 4.95/5
This was an outstanding platter. check out the menu here. .
Kankrol stuffed with fish was absolutely new for us. Kankrol is a vegetable which somewhat looks like a karela (overall shape & structure), with a totally different outer surface than karela. It is also not bitter. It has an outer part & the middle part has seeds, like in karela. So the seeds part was taken out, stuffed with fish & the whole veggie crumb fried.
Never had this before. The fish retained its flakiness. Loved that bit. The overall taste was excellent. The outer layer was enjoyably crisp. Rate the dish 4.25/5
Kumro pata makha was completely new for us as well. Leaves of pumpkin plant & other ingredients blended together & cooked. Stunningly good & refreshing. We enjoyed it with rice. I was thinking that it will make a great dip with home made nachos or nimkis. Rate it 4.5/5
The aarh fish curry inspired by Burma (a family recipe of sanhita) was totally new for us as well. Outstanding gravy. Great piece of fish with a good amount of fat (perfect ratio). Loved it. Rate it 4.5/5
Raw mango & Katla fish jhol was too good. A bit if the thin gravy seems to have leaked from the packing. So it was slightly dry. However we liked the choice of fish peti (belly region) that gave it a nice mix of fish & fat. The raw mango flavors were very well incorporated. The gravy was slightly sour due to big slices of real raw mango. Rate it 4.25/5
The gondhoraj murgi was the best gondhoraj dish ever, in my memory. It was bursting out with flavors of gondhoraj lebu (an aromatic variety of lemon). The curry seemed to have a lot of excess oil floating but that was the fat of the chicken & the juices that came out while cooking chicken with skin. Wah. Rate it 4.75/5
Chingri muitha (kind of balls made from prawns), cooked in a thick gravy was very good. Rate it 4/5
Aam kheer was very good too. Ripe Mango & reduced milk combination. Perfectly sweet. Rate it 4/5
Loved the jaam makha too.
In short, Perfection in each & every dish.
Sanhita had posted a very detailed Note about this dish on Facebook. I have pasted it at the end of this post, in italics, verbatim.
We have all eaten ‘khao suey’ at different restaurants in india.
Flat noodles made a sea of difference to texture
It absorbed & transferred the gravy to the mouth effectively.
The Flavours Of seafood were very well embedded in the gravy.
The condiments were made with extreme attention to detail.
Loved the devilled eggs – sweetness from the onions made it even more interesting. Actually, the Eggs were just outstanding – too good texture. Rate it 4.95/5
The crisps were super good.
The crushed Peanuts were just perfectly crisp.
Browned, Fried onions were juicy, sweet & crisp at the edges.
Green Chillies & Chopped Coriander leaves added to the flavor & taste.
Fish sauce in the base did magic.
The prawns had outstanding texture – I wud never expect such prawns in delhi NCR. I wud expect such amazing prawns from a fresh catch at Sassoon dock, mumbai. Rate the prawns 4.95/5
Rate the dish 4.95/5 overall
Laotian Pork Sausage & fermented beans salad
We were told that The salad tastes better when chilled. Fermented bean is one of the key ingredients. Sanhita instead used fermented bean powder. The result was good. The balance of taste of salt vs sour was not optimum. The beans were crunchy & nice. Rate it 3/5
The hand made at home, sausage was simply Outstanding. In a blind test, we were able to understand that The sausage has a Hand made kind of texture. We asked & got a confirmation that we were right.
The sausage was lumpy, Juicy, Bursting out with flavors & thoroughly random in every bite – coz it’s not machine made. Wah. Rate it 4.75/5
Overall rating of food at gusto by sanhita averages out to 4.4/5
Look forward to enjoying many more meals ….
Verbatim – Sanchita’s Facebook post.
Ohn no khaukswe
Burmese coconut curried noodles
Khaukswe means noodles.
khauk = knock, swe = pull.
The name comes from the constant knocking and pulling of the dough to make these hand-made noodles. Therefore the correct spelling for this dish is khaukswe and not khaosuey or khao soi, খাও শুয়ে etc. Irrespective of the spelling confusion, it is found not just in Myanmar, where it originated but in multiple forms, in various avatars with local adaptations across the subcontinent.
In colonial times when Burma was a part of undivided India, traders & professionals from all over the country went to seek fortunes there. Many of them, like my great great grandfather ( from both sides paternal & maternal) found recognition and wealth there. They made Burma their home for generations till the time, the Burmese nationalists movement forced them to leave. That exodus was horrendous, people were forced to leave behind everything in matter of hours and board whatever transport was available to them. (Part of my family fled & part stayed back, to care for the family estate. That side of the family continue to live there.) The wealthy boarded ships to India, some hopped onto boats and the vast majority, walked on foot, through a difficult unfamiliar unfriendly terrain to reach India. Enroute India, thousands died and their bodies had to be left on the wayside because the journey couldn’t be stopped. The lack of resources and also the fear of being killed & losing some more, if they halted, forced them to keep moving till they reached a comparatively safer area. This trauma is largely officially undocumented. Governments in power tend to overlook such human misery.
छोटी सी बात!
Back to curried noodles.
In coming back, they brought the cuisine of their adopted land with them and this is the reason why a dish of Burmese origin found favour in the subcontinental kitchens, from Calcutta to Madras to Surat to Karachi covering Presidency towns, garrison towns, industrial townships and various trading posts.
The popularity of this curried noodles can be attributed to its adaptability. Rice noodles when dunked in hot creamy soup, absorb flavours well. Coconut cream mellows strong spice notes, lends a smooth luxurious texture, a glorious mouthfeel.
Many a times at home I adopt shortcut route to ecstasy by adding banana stem (থোড়), carrots, broccoli, beans or any other vegetable with a slight crunch to left over chicken or mushroom curry and then blend in coconut cream into the simmering pot for 8-10 minutes. Next step is to pour a few ladleful of molten gold over pre soaked rice noodles and dress it up with refrigerator staples – fresh chopped coriander, chives, onions, green chilies, lime & crushed peanuts. This is curried noodles in its simplest form without the jazz of fried onion, fried garlic flakes & friends. On days when I feel fancy, I add / innovative add-ons as I feel like for there’s no end to what adaptations a bowl of khaukswe can tolerate. My current favourite add-on is oven baked crisp kale chips and crackling spinach.