Rajasthani cuisine is quite different from all other Indian cuisines and the preparation is very interesting too. Possibly due to the royal heritage of the region, or because of the distinctive characteristics of the cuisine brought about by the region’s extreme climate conditions and scarce vegetation. Rajasthani food is very flavourful and contains a significant amount of ghee, without which a dish is incomplete. Rajdhani, the vegetarian thali restaurant has made quite a name for itself serving delicious Rajasthani and Gujarati dishes. We were lucky enough to visit the newly opened restaurant in Karama. It officially opened on 22nd October.
Our verdict: Wholesome, generous portions of various vegetarian dishes that are perfection in their own right. Come with a big appetite and be prepared to leave with your stomachs full and hearts content. It’s still as good as we remember it, perhaps even better.
For those of you who have experienced eating a Rajasthani thali, you know the drill. For those of you who don’t, here’s how it works in a nutshell. The plating arrangement consists of a large steel plate (thali) with smaller little bowls within it. Each of these are filled with various vegetarian dishes, dals, dal baati (a Rajasthani delicacy!), khichdi, pulao and desserts, while the empty space in the thali houses a variety of chutneys, salad, a small samosa, breads and papad. Along with two small plates on the side of farsan. These were innovative and delicious with the farsan chef preparing a pizza dhokla and a chaat with bhel and dahi. It’s worth mentioning that the appetisers are different everyday and are in rotation, so you won’t necessarily be served the same dishes when you visit.
The bowls within the thali were continuously topped with vegetable dishes: rajma, undhiya (this was our fave), aloo and paneer and three different types of dal. The rice dish is not served until you have consumed all the breads on your plate. Let’s not forget that pretty much every dish is made with ghee and they even add some over the breads on your plate once served. It’s a very earthy, hearty meal overall and something one needs to experience for themselves.
When seated, we were each given a shot glass containing rose milk. It was a lovely, sweet concoction. The table was also given a large bottle of Bisleri water (made us miss home a bit) and we each were poured a glass of chaas as well. The latter of which M isn’t a very big fan of, but enjoyed with this meal as it complimented it quite well.
Within the thali we were served three desserts, malpua, badam ka halwa and rabri. All three were absolutely delicious, perfectly sweet and the best part of it is you can have seconds (or maybe even thirds!).
Baati: hard bread or roll made from wheat flour, salt, yoghurt and water. Once browned it is greased with ghee.
Dal baati: dish made up of a baati crushed once and traditional Indian dal (a lentil gravy) poured over it.
Churma: mashed wheat flour rotis mixed with ghee and jaggery.
Jaggery: traditional Indian non-centrifugal cane sugar.
Rajdhani is a place that is well known for their service. They take the concept of “manwar” to heart. Manwar is a marwadi term which means to feed your guest until their stomachs are full, even if you have to force them. T is a great fan of this as it’s an enjoyable part of his culture. The servers were polite, jovial and made sure your plate was never empty.
As you step into the restaurant, it greets you with a small entrance area where your party is welcomed by a traditionally dressed Rajasthani man with a welcome plate of flowers, a diya and some scrumptious mini besan ladoos. This space also showcases Rajdhani’s success in India with its various awards adorning the wall.
The restaurant is done up well, with hues of yellow, purple and dark wood decorating the interiors. It is also much better spaced out than its previous location. There is also a separate set of tables towards one side of the restaurant with partitions which we were informed will serve an a la carte menu towards the end of the year. A first for the restaurant, for those customers who may not want hearty portions but still want to experience Rajasthani cuisine.
To Book or not to Book
Rajdhani takes bookings and reservations. Considering its popularity amongst the Indian community, it is bound to get full hence a reservation is encouraged. Bookings were never an option previously so it’s great to see this addition. We suggest making a booking by calling them on the number below.
The lane has a few restaurants around, but Rajdhani has a big enough sign that is well lit and easy to spot. The restaurant has a clear glass facade which you can see the waiting area and reception through. You really can’t miss it. On the left side is the retail part where snacks and sweets are on display and available to purchase, while on the right side is the restaurant.
How to Get there
Rajdhani is located in Karama near the Karama post office. There is some parking available on the main road service lane and the inner road where the restaurant is located. Keeping in mind that it is in a residential area, parking may be an issue but you’re bound to find a spot nearby.
By Car: If the Karama post office is on your right, take the second right turn (after the one for the post office). Once you turn into the lane (not the service road), Rajdhani is on the right side.
By Cab: Telling the cab driver to take the right after the right for the Karama post office will get you to the correct lane. Some drivers might know the restaurant Indian Summer, Rajdhani is right before it.
Public Transport: There is no metro line near Rajdhani, the closest metro stations are BurJuman and ADCB. From there you can take a taxi. From the ADCB metro station you can also take bus # 88 and get off at “College of Islamic Studies” bus stop. You can also take the C3 bus, but this involves a bit of a longer walk. BurJuman is about a 17 minute walk away.
The omnoms recommendation is to drive there or take a metro till BurJuman followed by a taxi. Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/7tcEm3PXhLq
12:30 to 3:30pm
7:30 to 11:30pm
Note: We were invited by Rajdhani, however our thoughts and opinions are unbiased and our own.