Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Our country has delicious and extremely diverse food, and while all my travel plans always revolve around food, I still haven’t tasted many of the culinary delights our country has to offer. Leaping Caravan is here to solve that problem, to some extent at least. They are a delivery-only outlet, with 2 branches- Saket and Gurgaon. Their concept is to bring to your doorstep, traditional family recipes from places across the Grand Trunk Road, traversing Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, and even Pakistan and Afghanistan. Their menu comprises some of the iconic dishes from all these places, all created using the best ingredients.
The ordering process is very smooth. You get a confirmation message once you place the order, and then again a message when your food is dispatched from the outlet, along with the contact number of the delivery person. The food arrived hot and on time.
I tried quite a few of their dishes:
1. Atari Bhutte Kebab from Amritsar: These were cutlet-like kebabs with corn kernels. The kebab was crisp on the outside and soft inside, well-spiced and tasty.
2. Pashtuni Chapli Kebab from Kabul: These were thin, flat kebabs, probably made by beating and flattening-out minced mutton, with the dominant flavours of cumin, coriander and chillies. This was something I have never had before and was truly excellent. The mutton was really soft and juicy and the kebabs were spiced to perfection.
3. Bhati Gate ka Mutton Seekh from Lahore: Mutton seekh kebabs like we know them here in Delhi, just flavoured very well. Though these were very nice, they were a tad dry.
4. Sukha Mutton from Amritsar: This was a stand-out dish for me. Chicken is much easier to cook than mutton; for mutton to taste nice, it needs to be perfectly cooked- tender and juicy. The mutton in this dish was succulent and was falling off the bone. And the gravy was one of the best I’ve had. It was superbly balanced with it being tangy and spicy, with a nice use of khada masala, but no single spice was overpowering- they all just came together beautifully.
5. Lahori Dal: This was yellow dal with a tasty tempering of tomatoes, onions, cumin and coriander and tasted oh so comforting and reminded me of the brilliant dals which are available at some dhabas on the highway.
6. Dal Makhani: This dal again was brilliant. The makhani dals you get along the highways are different from most of the renditions available in Delhi. They are lower on tomato puree and high on garlic and chillies. Even after the dollops of cream and butter, they taste lighter, and these are the ones I actually prefer. The dal makhani from Leaping Caravan was exactly like the dhaba dals I love so much, and I can polish off an entire serving of this single-handedly.
7. Nafeesi Chciken Biryani: This was the Hyderabadi-style biryani- heavy on spice as well as flavour, with a generous quantity of juicy chicken chunks. While it was not the best I’ve had, it was still delicious.
8. Mixed Raita: This was a regular tomato-onion raita, made well.
9. Breads: I tried 3 types of breads- Pudina Parantha, Onion Kulcha and Lachcha Parantha. What I loved about the onion kulcha was the fact that it was not thick like regular stuffed kulchas are- it was thin and crispy. While all breads were very nice, my favourite was the Pudina Parantha.
10. Kheer: It was a nice home-style kheer, though nothing extraordinary, which I had come to expect from the rest of the meal.
Overall, it was a fantastic meal and if I have to think of the dishes I would order again, it would be almost all of them. The only reason I am deducting 0.5 from their rating is because the kheer was just ok, and the seekh kebabs were a little dry.
I feel there is definitely a lot of thought which has gone into these recipes as often when people try to do a lot, they end up compromising on the quality. However, at Leaping Caravan, each dish tasted distinct and truly represents the region it is coming from. It is always good for any food-lover to travel to these places to eat these local dishes, but Leaping Caravan is the next-best thing available. This place is a must-try!
Overall Rating: 4.5/5