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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
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  • 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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Copyright 2017 NewsGram

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YouTube Becomes The Most Used Application For Music: Report

This report also shows the challenges the music community continues to face.

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The YouTube Music app is displayed on a mobile phone in Los Angeles. VOA

If you are listening to music, chances are you’re on YouTube.

A music consumer report by the industry’s global body IFPI published Tuesday found that 86 percent of us listen to music through on-demand streaming.

And nearly half that time, 47 percent is spent on YouTube.

Video as a whole accounted for 52 percent of the time we spent streaming music, posing challenges to such subscription services as Spotify and SoundCloud.

YouTube
The content-sharing platform is also adding a tool, thus, allowing creators to add or remove non-skippable advertisements in bulk. Pixabay

But while Spotify’s estimated annual revenue per user was $20 (17.5 euros), YouTube’s was less than a dollar.

The London-based IFPI issued a broader overview in April that found digital sales for the first time making up the majority of global revenues thanks to streaming.

The report published Tuesday looked into where and when we listen to music.

It found that three in four people globally use smartphones, with the rate among 16- to 24-year-olds reaching 94 percent.

The highest levels were recorded in India, where 96 percent of consumers used smartphones for music, including 99 percent of young adults.

YouTube
YouTube music will separate the movies and music section on the platform. Pixabay

But music does not end when we put away our phones, with 86 percent globally also listening to the radio.

Copyright infringement was still a big issue, with unlicensed music accounting for 38 percent of what was consumed around the world.

“This report also shows the challenges the music community continues to face — both in the form of the evolving threat of digital copyright infringement as well as in the failure to achieve fair compensation from some user-upload services,” said IFPI chief Frances Moore.

The report noted that “96% of consumers in China and 96% in India listen to licensed music.”

Also Read: Google Maps Gets A New Update That Lets You Access Music

It did not, however, say how many of those consumers also listened to music that infringed copyrights.

Overall, the average consumer spent 2.5 hours a day listening to music, with the largest share of it consumed while driving, the industry report said. (VOA)