The Yellow Chilli (TYC) is a renowned Indian restaurant owned by Sanjeev Kapoor. I remember watching him on the show Khana Khazana during my childhood years and today one of his own restaurant franchise has opened in Muscat!
Sanjeev Kapoor is one of my favourite chefs and also a very recognized face in India. He runs a successful TV Channel called FoodFood and has written several cookbooks. His recipes are simple, trustworthy and his international audience has been increasing with the number of TYC restaurants arriving outside India.
Last week I had the good fortune of being invited by Creative Communications to a food tasting event at TYC. The restaurant is located at the Walk inside Al Mouj Muscat and a second branch of TYC will be opening very soon in the Panorama mall.
The décor at TYC embodies an authentic Indian experience in a contemporary setting. We dined at TYC as part of a bloggers’ dinner and TYC took the difficulty of choosing from its extensive menu by serving us a selection of their highlight dishes. There was food aplenty, and it was a delight to have to the opportunity to taste so many different things. Executive Chef Manoj Radi and Business Head of Mazaya Oman – Mr. Tirthankar Basu gave us a good company for the evening with knowledgeable insight into TYC and its prized recipes.
Peru Pyala was served to us as a welcome drink which is also one of TYC’s signature beverages. The drink constitutes a mix of peru (guava) juice, lemon juice and a hint of mint, served in a glass rimmed with red hot chilli. Yum! The combination of flavors was just magical.
We started with soups before moving onto starters, main courses and then desserts. TYC’s signature soups were served to us first – Coconut and Shrimp Shorba and Tomato Basil Shorba.
The Coconut & Shrimp Shorba had a pleasant aroma and an outstanding flavor. Generally I’m not fond of tomato soups yet the Tomato Basil Shorba was warm and comforting.
Next up was Dahi Puri and Palak Patta Chaat from Sanjeev Kapoor’s popular chaat recipes collection. Dahi Puri was something new to the non Indians diners at the event; they loved it and so did I. It consists of a stuffing and yogurt inside the puri generating a complex zing of sweet, spicy and tangy flavours. The puris were crisp and dry even with yogurt in them! Not something I see often.
Battered spinach leaves are deep fried and then layered with yogurt, chaat masala, chutneys, sev and pomegranate seeds to create the very delicious Palak patta chaat. You may taste a hint of bitterness due to the spinach but it kind of gels with the rest of flavours.
Next was the Lemon Grass Chicken Tikka which was strongly accentuated with lemon grass giving out flavours that reminded me of Thai food. The Papaya Peanut Kachumber accompanied the chicken and it was very similar to Som Tum Thai. I did not enjoy the salad because I thought the peanut flavour was quiet overwhelming.
Chana Jor Garam Tikkis are potato patties coated with crunchy chickpea flakes. The tikki lacked tenderness yet delivered the flavours it promises in its name – garam and masaledaar.
Shabnam Ke Moti are delectable mushroom caps stuffed with cheese and cooked in the tandoor. Loved this dish – very tasty and appetizing.
One starter that I want to particularly highlight is the Raan Buzzkazi. The roasted leg of lamb was so tender I could cut it with a fork. Although this starter is expensive the flavour it generates is splendid, the texture is flawless, the serving portion is great and it truly deserves to be a signature dish. I think this one just made my night.
Khusk Jhinga is a very interesting starter wherein jumbo prawns are coated with roti shreds to create a really really crisp and scrumptious outer layer. The prawns are flavoured with coconut and garlic then deep fried to perfection. Another dish personally recommended by me!
Amongst the main dishes were Shaam Savera, Mushroom Mutter Hara Pyaaz, Lalla Mussa Dal, Manglorean Fish Curry and Nalli Rogan Josh.
Sanjeev Kapoor’s signature dish Shaam Savera was served first. The menus at TYC outlets vary a lot but every one of them has Shaam Savera in it. The dish includes spinach koftas filled with cottage cheese served on velvety gravy. The recipe had a rich texture and a mouth watering aroma yet the taste was too sweet for my palate.
Mushroom Mutter Hara Pyaaz is a vegetarian dish – tasty with lots of peas and lots of chopped mushrooms blended in tomato onion masala.
Succulent pieces of lamb shanks in thick delicious Kashmiri gravy resulted in a beautiful recipe of Nalli Rogan Josh. I must say the lamb dishes by TYC are just outstanding!
The Lalla Mussa Dal was gorgeous! It had an extremely creamy texture and was so yummy I was having it plain without rice or roti. Totally signature-dish worthy!
The Manglorean Fish Curry was fabulous as well. I don’t know what fish was cooked but it was amazing and the gravy tasted like spiced coconuts.
The last main dish was Murgh Noormahal Biryani and I think it tasted a lot like the one at Qureshi. Rich flavours and delicate hints of spices in between juicy chunks of chicken.
The Makhan Elaichi Mousse had a very impressive presentation. It gave the impression of a butter cream river flowing out of a matka (clay pot). Taste wise the elaichi crackers were crunchy and the mousse was fluffy, buttery and sweet.
Gulab-E-Gulkand was served in a margarita glass with flawless mini gulab jamuns dipped in milk pudding and garnished with sliced pistachios. I liked this dessert better than the elaichi mousse and I think one serving is good enough for one person because I could eat the entire thing alone!
There was so much food that evening I may have forgotten to mention them all here but I surely did highlight the ones I loved. Do have a look at TYC’s menu; the names and descriptions of the food items are guaranteed to make you hungry.
TYC promises a delicious meal with an inviting ambience, good service and good value for money. A great place to have real Indian food which is presented with flair and offers remarkable taste.
- Ambience: 9/10
- Service: 8.5/10
- Food: 8.5/10
Restaurant: The Yellow Chilli
Location: The Walk, Al Mouj Muscat, Oman
Restaurant hours: 12 noon to 3.00 pm, 6.00 pm to 10.30 pm
Contact number: +968 2454 1717
Restaurant website: http://theyellowchilli.me/