If Buddha were to be alive today (he is alive symbolically, though), he would have seen how his simple food habits have piqued everyone’s interest. What was a matter of convenience for him – a humble bowl – has become a riveting food trend. We, too, much like Nigella Lawson, are in love with it.
The love for eating our food out of a bowl (Oh! the simple joys of life) took us to Monkey Bar, the gastropub with high glass ceiling in south Delhi that has rolled out One Bowl Winter menu recently. There are 12 bowl meals to choose from – no frill, only flavours – are created to resemble our mother’s recipes, wherever in the world she be... Moroccan vegetable tagine of mixed vegetables, chickpeas, prunes, almonds and olives, served with couscous sprinkled with aromatic za’atar, Korean Bibimbap with gochujang steak and pink sticky rice, topped with fried eggs, prawn pad Thai noodles tossed with prawns, cashews and vegetables in a sweet sour sauce, kadhi with fragrant basmati rice and crisp fried bhindi, creamy rajma served with chilli pickle, spicy yogurt, spinach pakoda, tawa aloo and rice, Bengal’s famous fish marinated in mustard served with gobindobhog rice, fiery Goan xacuti paired with barnyard millets, aromatic Kashmiri mutton yakhni paired with saffron pulao.
One bowl that took us by surprise was the wild mushroom khichdi. To be honest, we are not a big fan of this staple Indian meal, unless mom’s in a bad mood. At Monkey Bar, the creamy moong dal khichdi is made with slow cooked wild mushrooms like shiitake, oyster and button mushrooms prepared with a combination of Indian spices and moong daal. The chef told us that the idea was to rediscover a popular dish that we have been having at home for ages. Absolute delight! We also liked sesame teriyake chicken bowl with teriyaki glazed chicken on a bed of sticky rice with a portion of kimchi and broad beans.
The one-bowl meals, as we were informed, have been created by our chefs, borrowing from family recipes and travels across the world. So, as the mercury dips time, get a warm hug of these meal bowls.
One Bowl Winter is on till January 15, 2018 at Monkey Bar in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore.