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No frills fare

Good food at reasonable prices is Aangan's USP



Delicious vegetarian spread: At Aangan — Pic. by R. Ragu

AT AANGAN, there's always room for one more. Or — in a crunch -— ten more. Head there on an average night and you'll find yourself rubbing naans with a wide assortment of people — from Punjabi families bonding over fragrant stuffed kulchas to hip crowds of students in carefully frayed jeans guzzling glass after glass of lassi.

The relatively new restaurant has already got a large, and devoted, fan following, judging by how most of its customers burst in and head straight to the cash counter to chat with Hemant and Bina Gupta, Aangan's charming owners.

Being a social butterfly, by the way, will stand you in good stead here. For, if the restaurant is full, instead of making you wait, Bina is likely to seat you at a table with other customers. So don't take your date here if you're planning a quiet romantic evening - unless, of course, the prospect of having six very interested young men in death metal T-shirts and long hair listening in on every whisper doesn't faze you.

But, the food's good, the service is fast and politely cheerful and the prices are low.

Specialising in North Indian food, Aangan is vegetarian and serves `home food,' apparently an increasingly popular genre these days.

We began with tandoori aloo, and entertained ourselves by eavesdropping on the family seated with us, which was tucking away with relish into a large collection of buttery naans.

Their alu's pretty interesting - they cut the potato into two halves, scoop out the centre, stuff it with a spicy mixture of potato and cashew nuts and then barbeque the entire thing. "Arrey, what alus!" said the friendly head of the hungry family, going on to order his own plate. (Mental note: Advantages of small restaurants, you not only make new friends, but also get to see what every body's eating - it's like a moving, 3D menu.)

For the main course, they have a `makai sweet corn,' which is a rather unusual combination of bright crunchy capsicum and bursts of sweet corn set in a creamy gravy.

And you can mop it with naans or kulchas, delivered piping hot to your table, as you eat.

The menu's is not extensive, and they have no desserts. This is the kind of place you should head to when you want a reasonably priced, good square meal. But, if you're looking for frills, take you Merc and head elsewhere.

A meal for two at Aangan costs about Rs. 150. The restaurant (ph: 9282113785) is on Cathedral Road.

SHONALI MUTHALALY

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