Wednesday, July 11, 2012

California Chronicles: Part 1

This past week, the husband and I were in California, visiting family. Families, of course, have to eat, and eat we did !

After hiking (riding in a car and occasionally getting out to walk 200 m) in Yosemite National Park for 2 days, and surviving on cold cheese sandwiches and microwaved pizza, we were really looking forward to a good meal on our drive back. We chanced upon a tiny place called Anarkalee (, which seemed decent.

Turns out, it was the long-lost firang cousin of our very awesome Karim's ! Gaint, thick fluffy naans (albeit not greasy, even a tad dry), rich curries, good gulab jamuns, and paan - can I say Chandni Chowk ? 

I still remember my first trip to Karim's - the Delhi Metro had just been inaugurated, and I had talked fellow foodie AB into coming along. Got off at the Chandni Chowk station, asked around, got lost, took a rickshaw, walked some more - and there it was, tucked into a tiny corner, sending stomach-rumbling whiffs our way.

I think I saw a look of panic on the guy's face when he took our order - 6 dishes for 2 people ! And I am proud (ashamed?) to say - we finished every last bit, even chewing up a whole naan plain, without any curry. Yes, it was that good. Of course, we were immobile for an hour afterwards. 

Prompted by my gushing reviews, the husband made the trip once......and came back not quite impressed. Hmmm. Maybe he visited on an off day. 

While living in Gurgaon, I chanced upon a Karim's.......3 blocks from my house ! At our next soiree, we ditched our usual desi take-out place and ordered Karim's instead, even though it rung up a much bigger tab. The food was good, not great. Apparently the CC location is the only one that gets it just right.

As I dipped big chunks of naan into the fish curry at Anarkalee, the great memories of Karim's came rushing back. And just for that, I'd give it 5 stars. 

Have you been to Karim's ? How was it for you ? 


  1. I've been to Karim's and I honestly think its a shade overrated. That being said, Mughlai food is extremely hard to get right.Awesome that you found something so Indian in California! Paan of all things!

    1. It might be a bit over-sold, but I still maintain that is is delish. :) And we get everything here - paan, Nirma detergent, Parachute oil and Lifebuouy soap, even in our tiny Greenville. Cali is full of desis.

  2. Ahem... I am pretty sure i was the one who convinced you to come along with me. Creative license and all eh. But yeah I miss Karim's

    1. Yeah, ok. Hehehehe ! It was still a trip to remember though. We took the Metro from Dwarka, right ? The Gurgaon thing hadn't started.