On Atithi's menu, they have a range of heat levels: 1-5, then 5-10, then 10-20. Last week I went for level 10, and I must admit that was a fair challenge to eat. So, hey, why not double up and see what happens? Last week I went on my own, but this time I was with Chris P., and we were both in the mood for something hot.
The food arrived. The papad were just right - crispy and with a slight peppery flavour. The Chicken Tikka was standard but did the job. Then came the mains. We started with a few huge mouthfuls. Chris P.'s Hydrabad was basic, but had some tender chicken within a sauce with a decent array of flavours. My Buna, on the other hand, was replete with green peppers and onions, chunks of soft mutton, and with a pinch of sliced ginger on top.
After three spoonfuls, I was literally gasping for air. It was amazing. I told Chris to have a few spoonfuls of mine, and though he was fully into one the best, and the hottest, Chicken Hydrabads he's had, he was equally blown away by the Buna, agreeing that it was on a whole different level heat wise. The main difference was in the amount of liquid there was in the ingredients in the two dishes. In the Buna, each bite of juicy mutton gave a similar experience to eating Space Dust - it literally crackled in the mouth. It felt like you were eating whole chillies when chewing on the peppers and onions, and I had a burning sensation from my mouth all the way down the front of my chest as the capsaicin went to work. Thank god for the yogurt-based raita; without that, it would've been hard to finish everything. Though we did - no sauce remained in either bowl at the end.