The one thing that any Indian or anyone who has visited India misses when outside India is always the street food (which is not always the most hygienic ones in India and sold right on the street. But that’s not all true always :P). If you are someone who is yet to visit India then you totally should try this. Your life will change, and you will no longer crave just for fries and chips always! That’s the back story as to how I stumbled upon 29 Spices – the new restaurant in Amsterdam painting the city red with their Indian food.
29 Spices is located in Jordaan region of Amsterdam well connected with the public transportation system of the city. This quaint little cafe started few weeks back and I saw quite a lot of people walking in already while I savored on my food.
What is Indian street food you ask? Well it can be anything from a Samosa to Paratha or Pakora to even Pani Puri. Every city in India has their own versions of street food and you have good representation of that in 29 Spices. The couple behind this place say that they use up to 29 spices to cook their dishes thus the name. And the spices are used to make the food flavorful not spicy, which I completely agree too.
The interiors are quite quirky with beautiful doodles on the walls showcasing the spices, herbs used in Indian food or the different street food served in the menu inspired from India.
To displaying Chai (Indian Tea) on the other wall. You can even spot some Bollywood film posters on the wall.
They serve some interesting cocktails with an Indian twist to it, like the one below Dirty Mango Lassi (which is a regular Mango Lassi with some rum to keep you warm) – how cool is that!
The menu comes with some good choices of streetfood like Samosa, Samosa Chaat, Pani Puri, Vada Pav, Hakka Noodles (Indian inspired Chinese Noodles). But if you are in the mood of eating something heavy, you can try their curry bar where you get to choose your base, curry and sauce of your choice. Base – Tortilla, Roti, Rice or Couscous, Curry – Chicken, Chickpea or Paneer and Sauce – Green, Tamarind or Red Chutney.
What’s Indian food, if I don’t start with Chai. The Indian flavored Tea made with milk, tea leaves and sugar. It was made to perfection. But if I have to point out a fault I would ask the restaurant to name it just Chai and not Chai Tea as Chai = Tea and we don’t want to call something Tea Tea. Chai was served in pretty terracotta mugs with a side of sugar that you can choose to add depending on your taste preference.
Moving on, I tried my favorite streetfood Pani Puri – something that once upon a time I could eat 30 at a time 🙂 It comes with a small note on how to eat the Pani Puri instructions for those who are new to the world of pani puri. Pani stands for water, in this case its flavored, spiced water and Puri stands for the puffed crunchy bread that is often stuffed with brown chickpeas or potatoes or gram flour fritters.
Pani Puri was quite crunchy and the pani had the adequate spice and tangyness needed.
Instructions to eat Pani Puri, so cute!
Then came the Samosa Chaat with a bunch of exciting flavors – the crunchiness of the gram flour fritter (sev), to the tangyness of yoghurt, sweet flavor from Tamarind Chutney and spicyness from Coriander Chutney. It hit the right notes in my mouth.
That samosa filling (which was still crunchy) with all that amazing toppings as well.
Final item on the menu tried was the Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani which had bunch of flavor and warmth from the whole spices. Chef Dipak who is the head chef in the kitchen has nailed the Biryani and mashallah! it tasted brilliant. The long grains of basmati were cooked perfectly and mixed well with chicken breast and the spices wrapped everything into a package of perfectly spiced food. I definitely coming back for this one. I couldn’t stop eating the crunchy fried onion on top of the biryani.
And did I tell you this before it is a perfect place for vegetarians and vegans too.
Thank You 29 Spices for coming to Amsterdam and making me not miss home any more!
I look forward to visiting again to try more dishes on the menu.
Till we meet again soon.
Elandsgracht 36, 1016 TW Amsterdam