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From Butter Dosa To Butter Chicken—Go For Indian Indulgence In Thailand

Rita Bhimani

When everyone else around you is eating stir-fried veggies and soupy Thai preparations, what better way to get regressive and go the whole hog with the rich tastes of Indian food. In any case, at a seaside resort, and I am talking about Pattaya where the sun-sand-sea and all the trappings of para sailing and salty swims in the ocean give you a massive appetite, why not indulge in some desi khana.

With the number of Indian food outlets just along one stretch opposite the popular Central Festival mall which itself boasts of cuisines of many countries, these in-your-face restaurants just can’t seem to be bypassed.

The first one I mention draws custom through its propagation of Jain food. This Chotivala chain, which advertises 100% pure vegetarian and Jain food actually offers both North and South Indian fare and unless you insist on it, most of the food is not sans onion and garlic. From the 150-item menu, there are the stuffed parathas—aloo, gobi, muli, paneer, pakoras and chaats, a range of tandoori items, vegetarian curries, rotis and naans and the traditional South Indian items. Their thalis are value for money with a huge spread for Thai Baht 239, where just a curd rice would set you back Baht 179.

I prefer to go to Madras Durbar for a true taste of South Indian, whether it be a simple plate of fluffy idlis or a sinful butter cheese dosa. But they also do a number of seafood and fish and chicken items, the ones to be tried being the Malabar prawn curry, the prawn Chettinad and the Andhra fried chicken.Versatile? There are even a whole lot of Chinese dishes on the menu!

Then there’s Sanjha Chulha, a North and South Indian restaurant (we would not dream of it in India, to have two extreme kitchens). But if you peruse the menu closely, it is biased towards the North. So you know you can have yourself an Amritsari kulcha, a keema naan or a lachcha paratha, with yellow dal tadka, a kadhai paneer, chicken butter masala, lamb rogan josh, fish saagwala, jeera rice, strawberry raita.

No boring gulab jamun as enders for us, as we cross the road and get to our favorite street vendor whipping up fresh banana pancakes, Thai style. Cost: Baht 40—where it is cut up into a dozen squares and two people have their fill!