Afghan Delhi Restaurant – A Morsel from Kabul

While riding towards Saket, after crossing Malviya Nagar Metro Station there is this market on the left hand side which is quite busy and quite unlike your suave South Delhi Markets. In those markets there is a section bang opposite Max Hospital where you see signage written in Arabic script besides English and it is not a usual sight in that part of the town. On Closer look you will see few eating joints nestled between them, and I am assuming that Max hospital gets lot of Medical Tourism from Afghanistan, and those places are to cater to  visitors from Afghanistan. 
Though I have been wanting to check those eateries out for last 2-3 years, but never got an opportunity. But tonight was different. Tonight after a Full Power session at a friend’s pad in Hauz Khas we were thinking about the places to visit for dinner and somehow those Afghani joints were on top of my mind as I was returning from Saket itself. And before we knew, we got in the car and reached Max Hospital around 10:30 pm, where we spotted Afghan Delhi restaurant, sans any customer however still catering food. 
My earlier experience with Afghan food was at Kabul Delhi Restaurant in Lajpat Nagar and I somehow knew that we should not expect spices in the food here and for our Indian taste buds the food is very bland. This time I knew what I was getting into and I feel was well equipped to savor & appreciate subtle flavors.
Walking into the place, it was a small restaurant which 4-6 tables and two sitting platforms in corners complete with round pillows. Platforms where you can sit down cross legged with your group of 4-6 people and enjoy food in a communal way. Cleanliness level was 6/10 types, however then it was late and they were almost closing down. 
Anyhow our waiter was from Kabul but spoke decent Hindi, which he said he has learnt over the last 2-3 years he has spent working in Delhi. A bit through our sheer enthusiasm and a bit through our expressions, besides whatever language based communication that was happening, our waiter understood what we were looking for. We waited for 15-20 minutes enjoying the Afghani numbers along with some classic Bollywood music that was being played on the LCD screen in there. To quench our thirst we were served Afghani Lassi which was filled in 500 ml bottles of a popular water brand. The Lassi was basically Chhach flavored with bits of Mint, Coriander and Cucumber. It was well appreciated by all three of us and found it to be very refreshing.
Though those 15 minutes seemed like an eternity however the first sight of what came out was good enough to tell us that the wait for well worth it. What came out was a meal that not only was well cooked, but gave us exactly what we wanted but were not able to communicate. There were Kebabs, there was a veg and non-veg main course dish and then there was a rice dish.
Our Afghani Dinner
Dinner on Table
Afghani Lassi
Afghani Lassi – Chhach with Cucumber, Mint & Coriander
We were served two types of Kebabs – Mutton and Chicken. As expected there were no spices expect salt and black pepper sprinkled on top, and we squeezed some lime juice on them. What came out was very well cooked chunks of meat, in which you could appreciate the actual flavor of meat, much different for Indian kebabs to which I feel spices add lot of detail. In Afghani food they do not serve Chutney & Pyaz, that we have come to expect with our kebabs and if you ask for Chutney, they most probably would return with a bottle of ketchup for you. But these were served with a decent enough salad, some cabbage, Tomato, Cucumber, Chilies, Capsicum etc. If you like eating your meats, followed by some vegetables, you gonna enjoy eating these, I did. There seemed to have no oil/butter/cream on them and were simple grilled meats. 
Chicken Kebab
Mutton Kebab
There was a portion of Chicken Korma and if menu price of Rs.150 was any indication, it was a BIG frigging portion. Again no spices, simple chicken cooked in Tomoto and Onion gravy, and was the Okra (Bhindi) that they served as other main course dish, simple onion and tomato base. Both the dishes went very well with the bread that was served. The Cold Afgani bread, which for lack of better word I can only describe as a cross between Khamiri roti & Sheermal that you get in some Muslim owned eateries in Delhi (Karims,Changezi etc). It was cold, it was thick and it was dense, however not chewy & well cooked. 
Chicken Korma
Okra
Afghani Bread
Last but not the least : Kabuli Pulao – What an absolute delight it was. Rice, Raisin, Meat & Fat. Oh and some grated carrots too. Yup, that is all I felt was in there. Slighty sweet, it bears a very close resemblance to legendary Parsi dish – Berry Pulao. The similarity is not uncanny as ethnically Parsi’s are from Iran or Persia which is a neighboring country of Afghanistan. Chunks of meat that break with your hand, mixed with very flavorful rice and then those raisins. Mashallah! πŸ˜€ 
Kabuli Pulao 
Kabuli Puloa – Meat Chunks
Mutton Kebab, Chicken Kebab, Chicken Korma (HUGE Portion), Okra, Kabuli Pulao, Bread and 4 bottles of that Afgani Lassi – The Bill was Rs.790 – No Taxes, No Service Charge. Left us with a smile and those boys a Rs.100 note which they accepted with broad grins on their face. 
Menu of Afghan Delhi Restaurant
For vegetarians it seems to be no go place, however if you can or do enjoy your meats for their own flavors then you should give it a try and see if it floats your boat. Though I love my spices, however its a place that I am definitely going back to, to try more dishes and to savor something which is so Desi yet not so Desi.   
PS : Its located almost bang opposite the Max Hospital in Saket, for timings and other details you can call on the numbers which are mentioned on their board – 8800403753 & 8800403763,
Afghan Delhi Restaurant
Afghan Delhi Restaurant – From the outside
 Food Enthusiasts of Delhi & Shashank Aggarwal own the copyrights of all pictures and content. To use pictures OR content in any way commercially OR non-commercially connect with shashank@foodenthusiastsofdelhi.com.

Author: Shashank

CFE – Cheap Food Enthusiast Entrepreneur by birth, hippie by heart he is here just because he loves to eat. This adventurous biker is constantly looking for new avenues to satisfy his insatiable hunger for food & life. Though he loves sugar dense food, there is nothing sugar coated about him- brutally honest with his words, he often ruffles feathers with his stark naked opinions about food, fancy restaurants & orthodox ideas.

2 thoughts on “Afghan Delhi Restaurant – A Morsel from Kabul”

  1. A very informative and balanced review. I have been to MAX many times and saw this one on across the road but could not muster courage to go inside. Next time sure even if only to have Bhindi & Afghani Naan πŸ™‚

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