Relations between the Gulf Region and Indian Subcontinent are as old as Human Civilization. First maritime trade route in the world was between the Indus Valley Civilization and the civilisation of Dilmum. Dilmum was located on the island of Bahrain and adjacent to the shore of Saudi Arabia; the two cultures, extensively, used to trade metallurgical products and food. Later, trade between India and the Arabian Peninsula was mostly dominated by Arab traders from Yemen and Oman; there are records that Yemen introduced Coffee to the coastal population of Kerala and fetched Green and Black pepper to their country in return. Post India’s independence from British reversed the trades, but food industry remained competitive between India and the Gulf region. Even today, in the 21st Century, most imported food in the Gulf region is from India because of the higher population of Indian expats in the area.
The U.A.E. and India have enjoyed historical and cultural ties for over 350 years. If there’s no Indian meal in the modern Emirati house, there’s Emirati food influenced by India. Emirati loves Indian Food and manner of cooking in both countries – U.A.E. and India are almost the same; Indians prefer more spices than Emirati. Chicken Machboos and Mandi are similar to Indian Biryani, Salona is identical to Indian Curry, Omali is nothing but the Indian Kheer or Payasam (without spices like cardamom, cinnamon, etc.), the concept of Falafel is similar to that of Tikki in India. The name Tamarind is derived from Arabic and Hindi languages; dates in the Arabic language is called as ‘tamuru’, and when a Date-like fruit (tamarind) came to Arabian peninsula, Arabs called it tamuru-hind which further modified to Tamarind by the West in the English language. There are end numbers of a restaurant in U.A.E that serves and claims to serve the Authentic Indian cuisine, but countable are standing out from the crowd.
Castle Restaurant in Abu Dhabi is the one which is the highlight of those countable restaurants which stand out of the crowd in U.A.E. Castle Restaurant represents India-U.A.E. relations through food appropriately. With 180 types of Emirati, Arabic, and Indian menus on the card, impressive & minimalistic interiors, and spacious seating arrangements, this place is the unique dining experience for residents of Abu Dhabi. Castle Restaurant pampers its customer with Welcome Drink – a fusion of Rose syrup, Strawberry essence, and Lemon juice.
With varieties of Breakfast platters ranging from Indian Breakfast to Emirati and Western dishes, Castle gratifies you with the ample quantity.
Indian breakfast (platter) contains Mutton Keema, Chole, Aloo Sabji, Egg Masala, Samosa, Jams, Mix Cheese, berry jams, and Fresh Salad.
Emirati breakfast (platter) includes Nakhi, Balalet, Egg Shakshouka; Tawa Paratha stuffed with Oman potato chips, Mix cheese, and berry jams.
Arabic breakfast (platter) provides Cherry tomatoes with halloumi cheese, Falafel, Foul, Chicken Liver, Eggs with Tomatoes, Khaboos, Mix cheese, and berry jams.
Apart from the above options, fourteen varieties of breakfasts are available in the restaurant. Beverages like juices, milkshakes, lassi, iced tea, and coffee can complement your Breakfast.
Chaats are tempting in this restaurant: freshly fried samosas are used to make Samosa Chaat with Sweet Yoghurt, Tamarind Chutney, and Mint Chutney and presented temptingly. The crisp of sev and boondi, the juiciness of chutneys and yoghurt, and softness of samosa stuffing are worth enjoying.
Similarly, Aloo Chaat is of top quality.
Almost every Indian loves Pani Puri. The crunch of puris and tangy pani (water) is the combination of these spicy water balls that makes you indulge in it. Round and crispy puris and mint water are made to perfection, but there is scope to improve the Aloo masala and tamarind water. Aloo masala is sourer than usual, and tamarind water should be replaced with the liquid version of Tamarind Chutney which is served with Chaat.
India and U.A.E. both countries have embraced ‘Biryani’ since generations. Castle brings Biryani as its signature menu and doesn’t disappoint you. Traditionally, Dum (steam pressure) is applied on a vessel containing biryani while cooking; this Dum is produced by sealing the container (vessel) with lead and airtight arrangements with dough. Dum Biryani is a unique preparation from India and needs expertise; amateur cook cannot develop the ‘Dum’ skills quickly. Castle has experienced and qualified team of chefs, which brings the uniqueness of Biryani to your table. Parda Dum Biryani is delicious, served with Raita, and Salan (gravy). Fresh chicken, aromatic basmati rice, and the right proportion of spices are the authenticity of Biryani and Chefs knows it well.
Tribal Indian cooks food organically, i.e. the extensive use of chulha (earthen brick stove), wood-fire, clay pots, wooden containers, etc. With such an organic concept, Bamboo Biryani is trending in modern culinary arts. Castle brings this unique experience of Biryani to its customers with Bamboo Butter Chicken Biryani.
An idea of mixing infamous Butter Chicken with Biryani itself is a winner, and when this Biryani falls onto your plate through cavities of bamboo, the heavenly feeling is guaranteed.
Potli is a Hindi word for packaging. Indian farmers and labours pack their food in muslin or cotton cloth Potli while going on their duty. Castle seems to be inspired with Potli and serve Potli Chicken as their one of the signature dishes. Delicious Chicken masala is stuffed in dough Potli and baked in the oven. When a servant cuts the Potli, you stare at the process of cutting because of the cracking sound of Potli (it is mesmerising) and anticipate the aroma of chicken masala stuffed under it. Potli Chicken is undoubtedly the best dish of the menu. You don’t need anything to accompany this dish; cut the Potli, inhale the aroma of Chicken Masala, grab the bite of baked potli with creamy chicken masala, and eat. I bet you won’t stop until it is finished.
It’s time to clear the table on a sweet note. Scrumptious and delicious Gulab Jamun, Rasmalai, and Gulab Jamun Kulfi are must try as desserts.
Average Cost: AED 210 for two people (approx.)
Location: Near Emirates Islamic Bank, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi
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