Saturday, April 2, 2011

review: green land vegetarian indian restaurant

I have wanted to try this restaurant out for a while. Located in the souq mubarakiya area, close to the entrance that faces al ahli bank (29°22'24.63"N,  47°58'29.76"E), green land has been serving good, clean vegetarian food for years. In summary, the restaurant is clean and efficient and I will definitely be coming back for more.

Compared to other vegetarian thali places in Salmiya, green land is cleaner both in terms of the food and the premises. Upon entering, you are greeted by friendly staff. The menu has a vast selection that has menu items described in transliterated english and translated arabic. After a thorough look, we decided to go for the friday special thali.

The thali included several vegetarian dishes and was served with spiced rice, naan and puris. We ordered a saag paneer + veg dish as well as daal makhani. The spinach was excellent, but while good, I've had better daal in a few other places. As usual with thalis, the selection was mostly savory, yet there were a couple of sweet dishes too. The thali goes for 1.500 KD per portion, including refills of rice and bread. I was told, though, that the regular thali, at 1.100 KD is actually tastier. For my first time, I was quite impressed with the food and wish to go back and try their other dishes.

Following the feast, we had fruit lassis. This was one of the most impressive lassis i've had. The balance between sweet and sour was great, it reminded me of really good greek-style yoghurt. With chunks of pinapples and apples, this was a great cap to a satisfying, filling meal.

I would try this restaurant again, but having been at a friday lunch service, I may try it again on a less crowded day. Not that service was at all affected, but with the tables not too far apart from each other, I generally like my sense of space. Or else they could have turned the volume of the music up a little bit.

I generally rate this restaurant 4 out of 5. The food was great, very cost effective. The location is convenient, but finding parking at mubarakiya isn't always easy. The premises were clean, the staff pleasant. I would definitely recommend green land for some good veggie thalis.

white asparagus

Sometimes I pick up random ingredients from the supermarket to see what I can do with them. This time it was relatively well-priced white asparagus at the new Lulu's hypermarket in Qurain. I remembered Heston's tip for cooking asparagus in Kitchen Chemistry, asparagus should be cooked in oil. If cooked in water, all the flavour of the asparagus would dissolve into the water, leaving the asparagus without taste. White asparagus is also interesting. It's basically like green asparagus, but as it grows, the farmers cover it with soil so that it's always growing without exposure to the sun, so photosynthesis never makes the chlorophyll green. Honestly, the result was good, cooked in some butter and olive oil, salt, black pepper. But I wanted more of the oyster mushrooms than the asparagus.


My recent fondness for vegetables developed a particular liking for eggplant. A filling, tasty vegetable that can almost seem meaty if cooked in certain ways. There are so many kinds of eggplants from the big purple ones to the small thai green ones, which can be confused with peas and go really well with green curry.

Above is a very simple grilled eggplant salad / side that goes with almost anything. Lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, dill.