Hummus & Pita Bread

This is a part of the series ……. For the Chef in u

Contributed by YUMMRAJ’s favourite Chef ANONYMOUS

Super easy to make & Super good to eat……………

homemade hummus

I had Middle Eastern food – Hummus for the first time in Varanasi – one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest city in India. I liked it instantly.

Since then I had been tasting this at different places in Delhi NCR & liked it.

In one of my net browsing sessions I stumbled upon a recipe to make Hummus & that made me think – Is that really so easy?

So I started my experiments in the kitchen & here is my version. Let me tell u that on every occasion I have served this, our friends have been seen finger-licking.

Interestingly, this homemde hummus actually comes out to be much better than what is served at most Restaurants in Delhi NCR.

kabuli chana / chick pea

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Cafe Bel Cibo (Ground Floor, Ninex Mall, Sohna Road, Gurgaon)

In a nutshell:

Cool interiors, nice ambience, warm staff, good place to hang out with friends, good for a date as well, but food – average, inconsistent – good at times & bad at other times.
cafe bel cibo

Address & other details: Cafe Bel Cibo

Meal for 2: Rs. 800 onwards

the interiors - long shot

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Ninex Mall

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

You’d love the atmosphere. A bright colorful interior with lots of super cool detailing, a large graphiti,

cool graphiti on the wall

nice little figurines,



books & other stuff on shelves

……………… The interior designer excelled in his / her work.

I heard from two different sets of foodie friends that this new place is good. Both of them have had good experience here. So decided to go there for the first time to have some pizzas.

cool NO SMOKING guy on the wall

We were impressed with the look of the menu card as it arrived – the design, looks & feel.

the cool menu card

Menu options were focused, not too many & not too less – soups,salads, pizzas, pastas, lasagnes, starters, sides & a mezze platter.
Service was good.

The food looked great & very appealing. Some of the food was good. Rest was a disaster. Since my friends have liked it on previous occasions, I guess it was my bad luck – maybe the chef was not around / absent / left the restaurant & the trainee / someone novice was around to cook our food.

Cool Presentation of food

Whatever be the case, it was frustrating to pay full price for the food & get something stupid on the plate. In fact if u r as unlucky as me, U might also turn up there on such a bad day.

I am surely not going back there to re-try & waste my hard earned money.

We ordered a mezze platter, a pesto based pizza & a Belgian Chocolate drink & fresh lime soda. A part of the platter was good, part average. The Pizza was a disaster. The Chocolate drink was good but not what we expect in Belgian Chocolate. It turned out to be like a Belgian ‘Milk Chocolate’ – not dark. The fresh lime soda ‘sweet & salt’ was ok.

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading:

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Mediterra (Sayaji Hotel, Vijaynagar, Indore)

In a nutshell:

Pretty interesting food & nice decor with some masterpieces.

line up of dips at Mediterra

Address & other details: Mediterra

Meal for 2: Rs. 2000 onwards

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

Situated on the top floor of Sayaji Hotel, the restaurant gives a bird’s eye view of the city. It is open air & has natural heaters – wood-fire pits for cold winer evenings.

When my friend suggested that we go for Mediterranean food, I asked ‘Is the environment noisy or we can sit & talk? We finally decided to go here – Food was not my agenda as we needed to discuss something important. I had low expectations from a Mediterranean Restaurant at Indore – with the background that even in a ‘full of restaurants’ city like Delhi, it is difficult to find outstanding Mediterranean food.

The starter platter was quite ordinary, the prawns in arabian spices was mind blowing good, so was tehlamb rack, vegetarian phyllo wrap was very good & the Marinated Cottage cheese with stuffing of parmesan & sundried tomato was quite interesting.

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading:

Before the meal arrived, we were served a platter that was on the house – all looked good but turned out to be very ordinary. Dip made with Belle pepper paste, a hung curd & grated cucumber that tasted exactly like hung curd & grated cucumber!!!! A paste made out of aubergines & herbs (similar to baingan ka bharta) & hummus – look forward to a Hummus recipe that u can make at home & it will taste much better than this – coming up soon on yummraj.

the starter platter that is served 'on the house'

The ensemble also had golden fried garlic in olive oil, sun dried tomato in olive oil & some excellent breads of different shapes & sizes. Only the plain bun kind of bread was bad – not soft, not warm & almost tasteless. In fact it is so hard that if it falls from the table, u might hear a thud as well!!!

ensemble of breads

For starters came Rubyan Mashawi prawns – marinated in Arabian spices. This was the first instance when I started taking the place eriously. That feeling increased with every bite – soft, tasty prawns marinated in Arabian spices & herbs. The sauce had a buttery texture & with every bite the prawns were bursting with flavors & juices inside the mouth…………..Magical. The plate was wiped off till the last drop.

the outstanding tasty prawns

Post this sudden unexpected experience, I requested the Serving staff to suggest something between a lamb rack & a grilled salmon. I said ‘After such a great experience the next dish should be as good or better. He did not want to take a risk & hence the Chef was there with us. He suggested the lamb Rack.

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Fresc Co Restaurant (Ambience Mall, NH8, Gurgaon, Terminal 2, Domestic Airport, New Delhi)

In a nutshell:

A roller coaster experience for us & our tastebuds, an evening with moments of dissappointments & ecstasy…………thankfully eventually we walked out smiling.

The warm interiors of Fresc Co

Address & other details: Fresc Co

Meal for 2: Rs. 1200 onwards

Cuisines of the countries that are served at Fresc Co

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

Day 1 (Ambience Mall):

We walked in seeing a huge poster of Pizza with seafood, took a seat, waited for the waiting staff to reach us (which incidentally took a while), & to be told that it is not being served. So we asked, ‘why do u have the picture outside?’ – pat came the answer ‘sir, we change our menu card often. We do not have this any more in the current menu’………….. was that a joke??? Isnt one supposed to replace product advertisements for which the product has been discontinued? Very frustating start.

The Huge picture of seafood pizza outside Fresc co which is not a part of the menu!!!!!

The overall service was slow, it was very difficult to make an eyecontact with the staff even though at times we saw them chatting near the counter. It felt like Castaway Tom Hanks in the island trying to wave at the aircrafts flying above to rescue him but those guys r busy flying.

Must mention that when they are at the table, they are very nice to us & in fact some of them are real smart & have good product knowledge.

What surely needs a mention is the live music. That is something for which we might revisit – performance by Gregg on Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings.

They have some good vegetarian & nonvegetarian buffet spreads. I wud not drive from home to go & eat at that buffet again but if I am around & am hungry, will surely consider this as an option. Fresco at the Domestic Terminal however feels like an Oasis – Relatively much higher standard of food than the regular fast food kind of chains that r present at the Airport. Infact I have eaten more often at Fresco in the airport than at AmbiMall.

Excellent Sicilian Pizza at Fresc Co

In alacarte we had some cool Greek style prawns, some weird Chelo Kabab, an excellent Sicilian Pizza & a very enjoyable virgin mojito.

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