Started by two Malayali graduates from St. Stephens College in Delhi University, this restaurant in Delhi is designed to accommodate nearly 50 guests at a time. Themed on the former king of Kerala ‘Mahabali’, you are in for an authentic culinary Ride of Kerala at Mahabelly in Delhi. With minimal and basic interiors, the restaurant has laid more emphasis on its food and service. Prior to beginning your meal, it is preferable to wash your hands in the brass washbasin in the restaurant, as you would be encouraged to use your hands while eating.
As you walk in to the restaurant, you will be greeted by the statue of a blissful Kathakali dancer, which is the most prominent depiction of being in Kerala. Another wall showcases the 26 letter prints, done by a Malayali painter in a quirky and modern way. Besides the walls, the interiors of the restaurant are basic yet traditional and inviting. The background music is usually Classical, with a streak of urban tunes in between.
The staff is friendly and welcome to providing recommendations and suggestions, as it might be required from them, especially from those people who are new to this cuisine. The owners – Zachariah Jacob and Thomas Fenn, along with the other members of the team go all out to provide a memorable Malayali dining experience in Delhi to the guests. The food presentation is something that they focus tremendously on, while making sure that everything is served in an order and nothing is missed including the papad and fish pickle that is served on every table.
The Authentic Malayali food in Saket Delhi is prepared with a lot of emphasis on spices and seafood. Non-vegetarian options are plenty, however, vegetarians too are in for a good time here. If you don’t like spices in your food, you can ask the servers to reduce the chillies in the dishes. The food is prepared after consulting chefs from the South to provide that Homely Malayali feel in New Delhi that is desired from the flavours.
The fish pickle, although being a pickle can be enjoyed as a starter as well as the decadent flavours would definitely not let you stop at one bite. These tiny fish chunks are marinated in pickle spices and served before your main order.
These are split urad daal papads deep-fried in oil and enjoyed with the fish pickle and green mint chutney. They taste great with any South Indian preparation and is served in every South Indian restaurant in Delhi.
Kozhi Ghee Roast
This is a lovely flavourful preparation of chicken roasted in pure ghee and marinated in spices leaving a tingling sensation on the tongue. The Kozhi Ghee Roast at Mahabelly is one of their recommended options. It is garnished with curry leaves on top for presentation.
The boneless chunks of mutton sautéed in spices are also a great option to try here. The flavours are intense and you can taste all the spices distinctly. The mutton pieces are tender and easy to chew.
Similar to the mutton preparation, this dish is also among the hot-sellers here, especially for prawn lovers. If you like prawns, you are sure to enjoy this dish. The spices and other flavours are similar to the mutton varathathu.
Main Course 4/5
Pan-fried pork cooked is spicy onion and tomato curry is a staple of this restaurant and relished by almost everyone who likes pork. Being one of the spiciest dishes among all options, this dish tastes great with Kerala Malabar Porotta.
Prawn Mango Curry
This sweet and tangy prawn and raw mango curry is a hit here and relished with steaming hot Appams. Another delight for prawn lovers. The prawn is well-cooked and gravy luscious with less spices and more flavours of coconut and mango.
The Malabar Porotta is a Traditional Kerala Porotta at Mahabelly, mostly accompanied with thick curries, roasts and sauteed preparations. It is a layered flaky paratha, tossed in ghee and enough for 2 people, especially after such an elaborate meal. It is mostly impossible to order a second one.
These thin steamed dosas are light on the belly and pair well with stews and thin curries. These are so light, that one may want to order another one. You can actually skip a Malabar Porotta and order Appams instead, in case you want a satisfying yet light meal.
This is a jaggery and sabudana pudding served hot and garnished with dry fruits. Post a heavy meal, you might just want to have a bite of the pudding as it is also quite rich.
If you are looking for Authentic Malayali cuisine in Delhi, a visit to Mahabelly could satisfy your cravings.
Meal for Two: Rs. 1200
At: MA-A05, Ground Floor, Restaurant Block, DLF Place Mall, Saket, New Delhi (Map)