Nizam - A Mughlai Restaurant in Kolkata from a bygone era

Nizam - a Mughlai Restaurant in Kolkata from the bygone era
Nizam - the no frills eatery serving Mughlai cuisine seated snugly since 1937 next to the Kolkata Corporation building and contiguous to the the Hogg Market that is otherwise known as the New Market , has reclaimed much of its past glory - the new generation owners of Nizam have breathed in a fresh lease of life into it; you can discern the makeover the restaurant seems to have undergone, its marble top tables, chairs and floors scrubbed and polished squeaky clean, its walls unspoiled and spotless, the china crockery and the steel cutlery very basic but neat , the environment inside airy and made comfortable by the ornate old fashioned fans suspended from the ceiling - a welcome respite from the din and the chaos of the overly crowded big bad world outside ! A steady murmur of voices greeted me as I entered the restaurant one day in the recent past , the diners rapt in their conversation while relishing the delectable taste of the ubiquitous Kathi rolls ( so named because the meat is grilled on skewers made of bamboo sticks ) , Mutton Biryani, the Murg Mussalam - a spicy chicken preparation in a rich gravy and a cornucopia of kebabs adorning most of the tables ! I chose to occupy a table next to the entrance door and sought to try out the famed mutton kathi roll . The waiter dressed in a white uniform vardi, acknowledged the order with a smile and briskly made his way between the tables to the kitchen located at the far end to place his order . After a brief wait , the roll arrived on a gleaming white China plate accompanied by filtered water served in a tall glass . The roll , served piping hot , came wrapped in food grade white paper, the stuffing of mutton and onions seasoned with a squeeze of lemon and chopped green chilis. The outer skin of the wheat flour , cooked to a crispy and flaky finish, yielded easily to a bite when I sank my teeth into it , gorgeously immersing my palate in a burst of flavours. I couldn't help but wonder , while gorging on the roll as to how Nizam had been able retain even now the inimitable goodness of its signature dish they served in the sixties and the seventies ! 


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