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Desi Di: This Chennai Restaurant is a Pot-Breaking Joint that Experiments with Traditional Food

A daring experiment indeed in these days when the urge is for instant gratification

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Country Chicken Dish served at Desi Di
Country Chicken Dish served at Desi Di. Wikimedia
  • Chef Aaron Coutinho taps hard around the pot till it develops cracks and removes the top quarter portion to reveal the country chicken inside
  • There is an old payphone instrument that was ubiquitous in the 1980s, a hand-wound gramophone, the front portion of a Tata truck, vintage tables and steel chairs
  • One of the wall paintings is that of an attractive Rajput princess wearing shades and holding a smartphone

Chennai, August 21, 2017: The newly-opened Desi Di Restaurant is certainly a pot-breaking joint while trying to be a path breaker. So, what’s a pot-breaker?

‘Country matka chicken’ is one of the dishes on the menu and it is served in style. An aluminium  tray holding rice bowls, a sealed mud pot, an onion plate, dal and other items are brought to the diner’s table.

Chef Aaron Coutinho taps hard around the pot till it develops cracks and removes the top quarter portion to reveal the country chicken inside. Curious diners start clicking pictures of the pot-breaking ritual with their smartphones.

At Rs 1,599, the dish is one of the costliest at Desi Di. And it tastes good, with the portion size enough for four. It’s a meal in itself.

“This is one of the four dishes that need to be ordered 24 hours ahead. The country chicken has to be marinated for several hours before it can be cooked,” Coutinho explained.

A daring experiment indeed in these days when the urge is for instant gratification.

Desi Di is conceptualized as a restaurant reminding people of a bygone era. Outside the restaurant door, is the wheel of a cart-turned-reception table with sharbat bottles and a “Welcum” board on it. The word welcome has been deliberately misspelled to remind one of what is normally seen outside some rural shops, said a staffer.

Also Read: Sanjha Chulha: This Famous Eatery from Kolkata Feeds the Underprivileged with their Food ATM

The interiors also offer some nostalgia. There is an old payphone instrument that was ubiquitous in the 1980s, a hand-wound gramophone, the front portion of a Tata truck, vintage tables and steel chairs.

One of the wall paintings is that of an attractive Rajput princess wearing shades and holding a smartphone.

Soon after taking a seat, mocktails – lemon barley shikanji and red hibiscus iced tea were offered. Served in a tall beaker with a long straw, the red hibiscus tea was refreshing. “The drink is made with dried leaves of hibiscus and flowers,” Coutinho said.The lemon barley shikanji had a mild jaljeera taste.

By this time, the starters – vada pao (open-faced steamed bun), arbi (colocasia) pakoda, tandoori phool gobhi (cauliflower) and mirch pakoda had arrived at the table.

The arbi pakoda was served in an aluminium tumbler while the mirch pakoda came in a tiffin box that children used to take to schools in the 1970s.

“I used to take my lunch to school in a box like that,” a middle-aged female guest at the next table was heard commenting.

The vada pao and arbi pakoda were divine. “Instead of finger chips made with potato we decided on arbi,” Coutinho said.

Non-vegetarians can bet on a country chicken Afghani kebab. Similarly, the spicy mushroom khakra ya papad was nice and crispy and did not get soggy.

“As for dips, we decided to go for locally available veggies like makkai (corn), radish, ridge gourd or pumpkin,” Coutinho explained. The restaurant’s radish chutney was good and could go with all the dishes.

Also Read: Adopting these Ancient Food Practices Will Help You to Live a Healthy Life

Desi Di offers various items for light and heavy meals. Seafood lovers can choose prawn balchao stuffed calamari on a bed of lapsi/broken wheat. When bitten, the prawn and squid give out a nice flavor.

Vegetarians can try out Gujarat’s stuffed panki with varied stuffings. It was time to go for kala-khatta soda to ease the tummy for other dishes.

Coutinho came to the table carrying a charcoal burnt unshaved coconut. On opening the coconut top, the smell of cooked prawn and mustard oil wafted out. The dish was good with rice, but a dash of additional chilli is needed for the southern palate.The spicy Goan fish curry with brown rice (or if you wish, basmati or ponni rice) was also good.

On the other hand, the vegetarian paneer khurchan accompanied with dal tadka went well with rice and roti. The masala millet kichadi with Gujarati Kadi was also good.

For dessert, the gulab jamun cheesecake, gajar ka halwa,  falooda, and kulfi were on offer.

FAQs

What: Desi Di

Where: Integral Club, Pilkington Road, Ayanavaram, Chennai

Cost for two: Rs 800 plus taxes/Rs 1,599 if ordering the specialty, but remember, this is ideal for a group of four (IANS)

 

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Nearly Half of the Teenagers in the US and Japan are ‘Addicted’ to Smartphones, Says New Report

Nowadays, one of the worst things that can happen to us is, like, 'Oh, I left my phone at home,'

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smartphones
Brian Vega, left, Peyton Ruiz, second from left, and Max Marrero, right, check their smartphones at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, Florida. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) (VOA)

California, October 12, 2017 : About half of teenagers in the United States and Japan say they are addicted to their smartphones.

University of Southern California (USC) researchers asked 1,200 Japanese about their use of electronic devices. The researchers are with the Walter Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. Their findings were compared with an earlier study on digital media use among families in North America.

“Advances in digital media and mobile devices are changing the way we engage not only with the world around us, but also with the people who are the closest to us,” said Willow Bay, head of the Annenberg School.

The USC report finds that 50 percent of American teenagers and 45 percent of Japanese teens feel addicted to their smartphones.

SMARTPHONES
Willow Bay, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism, Sept. 28, 2016, in Beverly Hills, California. VOA

“This is a really big deal,” said James Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, an organization that helped with the study. “Just think about it, 10 years ago we didn’t even have smartphones.”

Sixty-one percent of Japanese parents believe their children are addicted to the devices. That compares to 59 percent of the American parents who were asked.

Also, more than 1-in-3 Japanese parents feel they have grown dependent on electronic devices, compared to about 1-in-4 American parents.

Leaving your phone at home is ‘one of the worst things’

“Nowadays, one of the worst things that can happen to us is, like, ‘Oh, I left my phone at home,’” said Alissa Caldwell, a student at the American School in Tokyo. She spoke at the USC Global Conference 2017, which was held in Tokyo.

smartphones
People look at their smartphones in front of an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo. VOA

A majority of Japanese and American parents said their teenagers used mobile devices too much. But only 17 percent of Japanese teens agreed with that assessment. In the United States, 52 percent of teens said they are spending too much time on mobile devices.

Many respond immediately to messages

About 7-in-10 American teens said they felt a need to react quickly to mobile messages, compared to about half of Japanese teens.

In Japan, 38 percent of parents and 48 percent of teens look at and use their devices at least once an hour. In the United States, 69 percent of parents and 78 percent of teens say they use their devices every hour.

Naturally, that hourly usage stops when people are sleeping, the researchers said.

SMARTPHONES
Young people using smartphones. (Photo courtesy Kuvituskuvat via Flickr) (VOA)

The devices are a greater cause of conflict among teens and parents in the United States than in Japan. One-in-3 U.S. families reported having an argument every day about smarthphone use. Only about 1-in-6 Japanese families say they fight every day over mobile devices.

Care more about devices than your children?

But 20 percent of Japanese teens said they sometimes feel that their parents think their mobile device is more important than they are. The percentage of U.S. teens saying they feel this way is 6 percent.

In the United States, 15 percent of parents say their teens’ use of mobile devices worsens the family’s personal relationships. Eleven percent of teens feel their parents’ use of smarthphones is not good for their relationship.

The USC research was based on an April 2017 study of 600 Japanese parents and 600 Japanese teenagers. Opinions from American parents and teenagers were collected in a study done earlier by Common Sense Media.

Bay, the Annenberg School of Communications dean, said the research raises critical questions about the effect of digital devices on family life.

She said the cultural effects may differ from country to country, but “this is clearly a global issue.” (VOA)

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Vintage Phone Museum: The museum having rare collection of classic cell phones opens in Slovakia

The museum has around 1,500 cell phone models

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Old Nokia mobile phones are placed on a shelf inside of a private museum of phones in Dobsina, Slovakia
Old Nokia mobile phones are placed on a shelf inside of a private museum of phones in Dobsina, Slovakia. VOA

Dobsina, Slovakia, September 10, 2017: As new smartphones hit the market month in month out, one Slovak technology buff is offering visitors to his vintage phone museum a trip down memory lane – to when cell phones weighed more than today’s computers and most people couldn’t afford them.

Twenty-six-year-old online marketing specialist Stefan Polgari from Slovakia began his collection more than two years ago when he bought a stock of old cell phones online. Today, his collection at the vintage phone museum boasts some 1,500 models, or 3,500 pieces when counting duplicates.

The vintage phone museum, which takes up two rooms in his house in the small eastern town of Dobsina, opened last year and is accessible by appointment.

The collection includes the Nokia 3310, which recently got a facelift and re-release, as well as a fully functional, 20-year old, brick-like Siemens S4 model, which cost a whopping 23,000 Slovak koruna – more than twice the average monthly wage in Slovakia when it came out.

“These are design and technology masterpieces that did not steal your time. There are no phones younger than the first touchscreen models, definitely no smartphones,” said Mr. Polgari.

“It’s hard to say which phone is most valuable to me, perhaps the Nokia 350i Star Wars edition,” said Mr. Polgari – who uses an iPhone in his daily life. (VOA)

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Love Hot Served Food? Caution: These 10 Foods May Turn Toxic Upon Reheating

Here is the rundown of 10 foods that you ought to abstain from reheating to keep its supplements rich

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Reheating some food may be dangerous to health. Pixabay

Sep 01, 2017: Food function as the fuel for your body and you should put every effort to have a robust and healthy food. The foods you devour include supplements, vitamins, fiber, protein, and minerals, which combine to help your body keep going.

Many of us indulge in the practice of reheating the food while eating. But few nourishments could transform into dangerous components in the wake of reheating. The reality will astound you, however, don’t stress.

Here is the rundown of 10 foods that you ought to abstain from reheating to keep its nutrients rich.

1. Rice

Rice. Pixabay

Most of you store rice in the wrong way, which in turn, can be toxic. The spores available in the raw rice can turn into bacteria, which multiply at the room temperature and may induce diarrhea and vomiting.

2. Potatoes

Potatoes. Pixabay

Potatoes are the favorite for many of us, but shockingly, potatoes lose their nutritional value when reheated. Toxic potatoes can breed illness, nausea, and induce food poisoning.

3. Spinach

Spinach. Pixabay

Just like any other green leafy vegetable, Spinach is rich in iron and nitrates. Upon reheating it, the nitrates turn into nitrites which can lead to cancer in living tissue.

4. Oils

Olive Oil. Pixabay

Some oils such as grape seed oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil, hazelnut oil, and avocado oil have extremely low smoke limits.If you reheat them, they become unhealthy to devour.

Also Read: List of 8 Food Items to Battle Depression and Anxiety 

5. Egg

Egg. Pixabay

Reheating eggs at high temperature makes them poisonous and upon devouring them, your digestive system may fall sick.

6. Chicken

Fried Chicken. Pixabay

Chicken, the rich source of protein also create a negative impact after reheating. Eating such chicken may become a problem for you.

7. Turnips

Turnips. Pixabay

Turnips contain nitrates which can become toxic for health if reheated. Ordinarily, turnips are used in preparing soups.

8. Mushrooms

Mushrooms. Pixabay

Here is one thing about Mushroom, everyone should know: It should be utilized on the same day they are cooked, as they are a rich source of protein. Mushrooms upon reheating may change its structure which can be harmful to your body and causes severe heart problems.

9. Beets

Beetroot. Pixabay

Beets also include a high proportion of nitrates, which upon reheating can turn into nitrites and can prove to be problematic for your health.

10. Celery

Celery. Pixabay

Celery also carries a high rate of nitrate. It turns into nitrites after reheating, which increases the risk of methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder.


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