I belong to the generation when restaurants were few and scattered far between and eating out was a rarer treat. Pritam restaurant in Dadar was hugely popular in our list of restaurants when celebrations were in order and we would get ready to dine out in our Sunday best. The very thought of typically north Indian food like layered lachcha paranthas, alu mutter, paneer makhni, veg jalfrezi and tasty biryanis used to make us salivate.
Inaugurated in 1942 by movie legend Raj Kapoor and frequented by Manoj Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar and Sunil Dutt, it still continues to be popular – for that is what I realized when I recently visited the refurbished place running to packed capacity on a weekday during lunch time. We started with Chowkwali alu tikki and Paneer tikka – simply enjoyed the Amritsari choley in alu tikki so much that we called for it with our mains.
Patti samosa sported a filling of finely mashed potatoes in ground spices.
The items were served without any frills or flounces – food is the hero here. You want to relish authentic Punjabi fare and that’s what you get at Pritam. No fancy food decorations but genuine masalas and other ingredients which make you go nostalgic. The food is simple, delicious because they are cooked slowly on burner or chulhas. In times of contemporary offerings, for instance, restaurants serving edible charcoal made of bamboo ash and liquefied nitrogen vying for attention, at Pritam’s – traditional slow cooking with premium quality and healthy ingredients lends food the taste derived from grandmother’s cooking.
Paneer elaichi korma had soft paneer in cardamom seasoned gravy and paired well with our alu parathas. Creamy Dal makhni Pritam endeared us with its richness and aroma. Veg Biryani lived up to its reputation of being succulent and flavoursome.
We ordered for desserts of Gulab Jamun (nice and syrupy) and Kulfi Falooda – kulfi was rich and tasty but the sevaiyan in the falooda were a tad undercooked.
Pritam is a must-visit for every foodie who craves to get back to his roots of traditional Indian cuisine!