Jaipuria restaurant in Kakkanad brings authentic North Indian flavours to Kochi
The 55-cover outlet is co-owned by a Delhi-based foodpreneur and a London-based chef
One can easily tell the difference between a restaurant run by a financial investor and one helmed by a genuine gourmand. Merely minutes into a conversation with Rajeev Nayar at his co-owned three-months-old eatery, Jaipuria, I learn that he belongs to the second category.
“I’ve been in the F&B industry as a consultant and have worked with over 200 restaurants including Mumbai-based Goli Vada Pav. I was called to Kochi to design the concept for a juice outlet and recognising the potential of the place, I decided to start a new brand here,” says Rajeev, who also runs restaurants in Delhi and Manali.
Starting with this Seaport-Airport Road outlet, Jaipuria aims to spread out to places like Thiruvananthapuram serving authentic North Indian cuisine.
An immediate recollection of Punjab’s amiable curbside eateries happens as I smack my lip after a sip of their lassi. As we wait for the food, I ask Rajeev about the regions in North India they focus on.
“Our recipes are mostly from Rajasthan, Punjab, Lucknow and the Pahadi tradition, and we don’t change them to suit the local palate,” says the 48-year-old, who personally curated the menu of this 55-cover outlet—which sports rather non-boisterous decor besides a couple of hand-finished paintings.
The trouble with Indian curries is gravies that look similar. But, everything here has distinct flavour profiles. As I am surprised to find a beef dish being served, Rajeev breaks down the myth that North Indian cuisine doesn’t involve the red meat.
Traditionally cooked in a metal bucket, balti meat, a Pahadi delicacy has salty chunks of beef with a lasting spiciness that works well with their fluffy Amritsari roti, stuffed with mashed potato. I’d also press the non-vegetarians to try the baingan bharta as it’s quite enticing. The fleshy long-cut nightshade served in a tangy and thick cream is simply irresistible.
I approach the laal maas (a Rajasthani mutton curry notorious for its spiciness) with caution, but what hits me on first taste is the pleasant flavour of fresh coriander. Best paired with their garlic naan, the oily and spicy gravy may, however, put off fitness enthusiasts.
“We’ve condiment shipments coming in from Delhi every month and most of our staff are also from there,” he informs. Their version of Patiala chicken captures the buttery richness of Punjabi cuisine and has supple meat with flavours of spices such as black cardamom.
The chat counter opens just as I am about to take my leave and I’m brought a flavoursome bharwa golgappa in a hurry. I’d urge anyone to cross the city just to taste Jaipuria’s golgappa and their distinct North Indian curries.
From 11 am to 11 pm.