#KlaRestaurantWeek: Saffron Authentic Indian Restaurant
Saffron is the Midas of cooking spices. The wispy red threads do not have a distinctive taste of their own but enhance the flavour of whatever they are added to, as well as shedding a distinct golden pigmentation. It is also the name of an Indian restaurant across the road from Lohanna Academy in Kisementi that has also morphed into a hangout and meeting spot. From the 1st-11th of June, they shall be rolling out a specially priced bevy of Indian favourites, some of which we had the pleasure of sampling.
Reading like a list of Chris Brown singles, Saffron’s menu is a collection of pop dishes with mass appeal, such as the Chicken Lollipops.
These are the perfect starter. The foil paper wrapped around the exposed bone from where the chicken is rolled down make sure this is finger food that does not actually get your fingers dirty; the chicken flesh itself seems to slide right off the bone so that it is gone before you know it; and the mildly hot coating meets chilli-averse diners halfway, tantalising their taste buds to ask for more.
The next chicken dish on the menu was declared Britain’s national dish.
Whether this said more about Britain’s legacy of cultural appropriation or the diverse cultural milieu that makes up its citizenry, we can all agree that it says Chicken Tikka Masala is an international phenomenon. Thick chunks of chicken breast prepared in a clay oven beforehand are mixed into a tomato and yoghurt based curry for what has become the poster boy for Indian curries worldwide. It is best enjoyed with a butter naan, but rice is also available.
Transcending the popular label of rice as a side dish, is the Mutton Biryani.
West Africans have Jollof Rice, East Africans have Pilao, the Spanish have Paella and for Indians have Biryani.
Served in a little pot, the Biryani is sealed underneath a thin layer of baked chapatti dough lining its lid that is easily punctured to reveal hot, moist, aromatic, colourful, flavourful rice with a generous amount of mutton randomly sticking out of it here and there. Yoghurt is an important part of this dish that is added as the rice cooks for moisture and served on the side for a delightful contrast of sourness.
Finally, Gulab Jamun; one of the most popular Indian desserts and sweet foods and a worthy way end to a session of Indian dining. Gulab Jamun is made from milk powder deep-fried in ghee and soaked for hours in sugar syrup.
The direct translation of Gulab Jamun into English is “Rose-Berries”,
deriving its name from the berry-like appearance of the tender balls and the floral aroma of the sugar syrup in which they are finished and served. The sensation of the sweet, spongy ball melting in your mouth often catches people by surprise the first time they try Gulab Jamun, which often is not their last time.
You may find Saffron Authentic Indian Restaurant at:
Plot 5 Sturrock Road (Behind Acacia Mall)
Tel: +256 750 999 555
Photography: Julius Caesar Kasujja