Mealy delights all rolled up in bread

FOOD REVIEW

It is always a joy to sit in the open, feel the cool breeze and munch hot snacks. Just like the good old times in palatial houses where the centre atrium saw family members sitting together waiting to be served the evening chai and pakoras. 

Times have changed and so has the concept, but the joy of being able to munch light food has survived, thanks to places like The Rolling Joint (RJ). A tiny eatery (with just the facade and concept of food van) tucked away in the Middle Lane of Connaught Place near the iconic Mahatta & Co., RJ has replaced the elements of chai and pakora with cold coffee (to yearn for) and rolls (in ample variety)!

One would wonder where is the need for another roll-making joint in a city full of eateries? But if you are a cold coffee fan, then all questions will be forgotten once you hold the small, fat glass bottle in your hand and sip the liquid inside.

 The slightly bitter taste due to the strong flavour of expertly brewed coffee makes one sip in quick succession, until the straw passes only air and you feel the need for a refill to relish this beverage. Just like one does at De Paul’s.If you are not a coffee person, try RJ’s white, black and pink lemonades tasting like rock salt flavoured banta.

The thirst quenched, one starts guessing how an ingredient would have been treated to be rolled up in a particular bread. Such as in Mushroom Tikka (Old School Roomali Rolls). It actually turns out to be a surprise with mushrooms tasting of paneer, khoya and mustard. All these are stuffed into the vegetable before it is grilled and filled inside the roti along with onions.   

While the Kebab Lovers can indulge themselves in tikkas and seekhs (with chicken, mutton, paneer and soy options), for those who prefer experimenting can opt for Harissa Cottage Cheese Roll. The chunks of cottage cheese along with harissa sauce make for a fine balance of mild yet interesting flavours. Be it the bell peppers or jalapenos, each ingredient compliments the other.

The same, however, cannot be said for Greek Style Gyro Rolls. The Chicken tastes as if over-boiled and the rest of the components too fail to hold the flavour in any one direction. While one expects that the Peri Peri Chicken Roll will tickle the non-veg palate, it too stops at being just above average. The funny part is, the presence of Peri Peri doesn’t heighten the spice-level at all.    

Even the Tawa Chicken Khurchan (Crazy Parantha Rolls) is not too successful in being innovative in filling. But the well-cooked parantha – crisp evenly from the centre to the corners, lends this roll a homemade taste. Also, the chicken marinated and cooked with onion and tomato on tawa makes this particular snack quite a favourite.    
    From roomali to pita bread and paranthas, the place tries to provide a variety in breads. The taste of the first and last is however preferred more over pita which is slightly chewy and mars the experience of enjoying the rolls.   

What comes as another surprise is that with every roll there is a new dip. While the hung curd with mustard dip is grainy in texture, the Hummus is smooth and tastes fresh. The Peri Peri dip is without high spice content and Tzatziki is the best of all due to the tangy flavour provided by lime juice. All worth a try!  

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