Today we were driving from Agra to Ranthambore, we had spent a few hours visiting Agra Fort so we were going to be eating lunch somewhere on the road. Our driver decided to stop for his lunch at one of the many roadside restaurants, it looked OK, so we decided to eat here too.
The Mangalm Family Restaurant was located on the NH-11 Bypass just outside Sewer Bharatpur near Sewer City in Rajastan. It was about 40 miles outside Agra and about 110 miles from Ranthambore. The roads had been a bit slow so even though we had a few hours to go we all needed a break.
We sat outside in the garden on some neat and tidy but dusty tables and chairs in the sunshine. The smells of the traffic and the adjacent fields added some indian ambience that you have to be here to appreciate. It was all pretty relaxing, but then again when you have sat for hours on a rickety bumpy bus you are just glad to feel the solid ground and have a moment to relax. I sat there soaking in the sun behind my shades and sun hat while the team checked out the menu.
The menu was a bit grubby to be honest but the kitchen looked clean so we figured it was going to be ok. One of our party who was from India took charge and ordered for us all; a potato dish, a couple of daals, some rice, and some roti to share was the order for the 11 of us., ooh and some chai too.
We all loved the potato dish, and were to spend much of the trip looking for it again. This was not on the menu but was Jeera Aloo, the Jeera being the name for cumin seeds which gave the dish its predominant flavour. Other ingredients were some fresh coriander leaf, green chilli, turmeric, and some lemon juice too. Probably don’t need to mention that it had potato in it.
Daals to share
The two daals that we had we both really good. One was a thin yellow lentil based one that was really good mixed with a bit of rice and also for dipping your roti into. The other one was a daal makhini with a base of what I thought was black eyed peas but was apparently whole black lentil with red kidney beans. It had a thicker spicier brown gravy. Really liked both of these, they made a very tasty and simple meal.
My Lunch Plate
It was a very simple and mixed plateful and everything worked together, the dal was creamy, the roti was hot and fresh, and just kept coming out of the kitchen as they made them while we ate. We were really quite glad that we stopped off at this roadside place, it was much more fun that the restaurants our tour guides had taken us too. It felt fresher, tasted better and it only cost us 120 rupees each.
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