Khaleej Times – Dubai eatery serves up piping hot winter dishes with a delicious zing

Bollywood-inspired fusion food restaurant in Dubai launches seasonal dishes to celebrate winter.
There used to be a time when people ate according to seasons. However, the concept of seasonal recipes has gone for a toss, thanks to the easy availability of food items all year round. It’s not surprising to spot a hot summer fruit, like ripe mangoes, on a supermarket shelf during a cold, wintry January.

Many of us wouldn’t have a clue about why nature produces particular foods during seasons. Well, there’s a scientific reason for that. Seasonal eating, say experts, is vital to the body because the nutrients in foods change with the season and it’s not just good for health, it also helps balance the natural cycle of food supply. We recall enjoying hot roasted chestnuts only during the winter months in our younger days, but now it’s available all through the year.

Highlighting the season, as well as introducing foodies to some traditional and fusion Indian winter recipes, is Dubai’s Bollywood-themed restaurant Bol Gappa. Their Winter Special menu, which is on until March, will give people a chance to relish their favourite winter delicacies from different parts of the country.

Situated in the by-lanes, near the Karama Post Office, the name Bol Gappa is inspired by Bollywood and Gappa in Hindi means gossip.

The eatery is popular for its take on Indian cuisine with a twist, served in a relaxed setting that features Bollywood paraphernalia and, of course, music from the Hindi movies.

We were quite impressed with the choice of regional dishes – some we were not even aware of.

For instance, the Garadu Chaat, a starter. Garadu (or yam) is one of the most popular street foods in Madhya Pradesh (MP), especially the variant from Indore. During winter, this dish is to be relished with piping hot jalebi.

Cubes of deep-fried yam, tossed in a masala made and served with green chutney, made for a nice ‘warm’ starter and was addictive due to its crunchiness.

We tried the Sarson Ka Saag with Makai Roti (pureed mustard leaves preparation with corn flour flatbread) as a main dish.

This timeless Punjabi dish is a favourite during winter in northern India, and in neighbouring Pakistan, where it’s served with dollops of butter (to keep you warm). The dish was served with jaggery and chaas (a yogurt-based drink). The high-calorie count, we assume, is what increases the body’s temperature and keeps us warm.

We also enjoyed the other winter specials such as Paneer Birbal Ki Handi and Methi Chaman from Kashmir and other delicious dishes.

Chicken Snowballs won hands down, as the standout dish, comprising minced chicken, which are delicately flavoured, coated with bread and deep-fried.

Kudos to the chef for creating this unique finger-licking starter that tasted as good as it looked. The chicken preparation was similar to a regular cutlet but it was the use of bread instead of crumbs that impressed us.

Each bite was a mouthwatering delight. Other special winter delicacies on the menu was Lithi Chokhi from Bihar and Undhiyo platter from Gujarat.

We were quite taken aback at how different each dish was and the chefs deserve high praise for the twist and presentation they gave to each item such as the Garadu served in a wheelbarrow. We enjoyed all the winter specialities and got a chance to be introduced to some regional favourites that we were not familiar with. The presentation and the accompaniments of the dishes were on point.

With an average price of each dish at Dh30, we would say, before the winter is over, it’s a delicious offer to savour.

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