Being a food blogger definitely has its perks, and one of them is receiving invitations to fabulous foodie events around town. Barbecue Delights, a restaurant specializing in Pakistani, Afghani, and North Indian cuisines, was hosting a lunch at their newest location in Downtown Dubai, and I was one of the lucky food bloggers invited.
Upon walking into the restaurant, I was immediately drawn to the beautiful artwork on the walls, inspired by the colorful way in which trucks are designed in Pakistan. The restaurant had commissioned an artist from Pakistan who makes “Truck Art,” and he flew all the way to Dubai to see the panels fitted together and mounted on the wall. The finished result is striking.
On a side note, my husband is Pakistani. When I visited Pakistan, I loved seeing all the colorful busses and trucks driving around, and was constantly pointing out how beautiful they were. I even bought a postcard with the colorful trucks on it, much to the amusement of my local Pakistani family. So seeing the “truck art” on the wall was a fun (and beautiful) reminder of those memories.
So back to the meal. After being seated we were welcomed with a refreshing beverage of green mango blended with cumin while we perused the menu’s selection of appetizers which were about to arrive. The starters were a Rocca Salad, both Aloo and Keema naan, and an Afghani Mutton Rosh, which is a hearty stew of mutton, vegetables and aromatic spices.
After the appetizers, came a selection of naan and barbecue items such as Malai Boti, Gola Kabob, and Hara Fish, boneless cubes of fish marinated in fresh herbs. But the real star of this course was the Mutton Ribs, a fall-off-the bone tender rack of mutton steamed and grilled in a rich and spicy marinade. I was told Barbecue Delights sources all of their mutton from Pakistan from the best high quality suppliers. The ribs were a testament to that quality.
Although I was stuffed at this point, I realized the main courses still hadn’t been served. Before I knew it, Chicken Karahi, Prawn Masala, Afghani Pulao, Daal, and Banjan Borani was placed before me. The Banjan Borani seemed to be the blogger favorite of the afternoon. It is an Afghani eggplant dish, with a garlicky yoghurt and tomato sauce. It has simple yet bold flavors and an elegant presentation. I have written the recipe at the end of the post so you can create your own Banjan Borani at home.
After the mains we finally moved on to dessert of jalebi, kheer and pistachio ice cream. I cannot end any meal without dessert, even a very very large filling one, so I gobbled a few jalebi before leaving, loving the sticky sweetness of every bite. As we left, we received a beautiful parting gift of a colorful little rickshaw so I can showcase a little “truck art” style at home.
Barbecue Delights Locations:
Downtown Dubai-Clarens Building
Mohd Bin Rashid Boulevard (formerly Emaar Boulevard)
Tel: 04 4343 443
The Walk in Jumeirah Beach Residence
Adjacent to Sofitel Hotel, Dubai
Tel: 04 4230632
Lamcy Square, Oud Mehta Road
Near Movenpick Hotel, Dubai
Tel: 04 3359868/69
Note: I was a guest at a lunch hosted by Barbecue Delights. Some of the images in this post are from Barbecue Delights
Barbecue Delight’s Banjan Borani – Afghani Eggplant Recipe
500g (About 1 pound) Eggplants, cut into round slices
500g (About 1 pound) Yoghurt
15g (1 tablespoon) Garlic paste
5g (½ teaspoon) Cumin seeds
5-10g (1-2 teaspoons) Olive oil
100g (about ½ cup) Tomato paste
15g (1 tablespoon) vinegar
Salt and Pepper for seasoning
Coriander for garnish
Olive oil/Cooking oil for frying
1. Fry OR bake eggplant slices until cooked.
If frying, heat oil in pan and fry on both sides for a couple minutes until cooked.
If baking, brush each side of eggplant slice with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt. Bake at 450F for about 10 minutes each side or until done. Remove and cool.
2. Add garlic paste into yoghurt. Saute cumin seeds in oil and add into yoghurt. Mix well.
3. Mix tomato paste and vinegar in a small bowl.
4. Spread a layer of yoghurt on serving dish. Place cooked eggplant slices on yoghurt. Spread the tomato paste mixture on top of eggplant slices. Add a bit of yoghurt on eggplant. Garnish with chopped coriander.