Deccan Tiffin review: A culinary crossing through colonial India

deccan tiffin review - main meal

A Fork in the Road reviews Deccan Tiffin – the Hove supper club by Priya Deshingkar.

Aromatic, intense, diverse. There are any number of ways to describe Indian cuisine, of which we’re fortunate to have plenty of examples across the city of Brighton & Hove. From the Gujarati dishes of Manju’s to Chilli Pickle’s Grand Thalis, or Easy Tiger’s biryanis, we’re truly spoilt for choice. However, there’s one name that is criminally absent from the city’s favourites list, and that’s Deccan Tiffin – a little known supper club in the outer reaches of Hove.

Deccan Tiffin’s creator, Priya Deshingkar, has been a home cook for over 30 years. Growing up in part in North Delhi, the rich and diverse nature of the Indian capital has a huge influence on curating Deccan Tiffin’s ever changing menus. A standard Deccan Tiffin menu marries the neighbourhood recipes of the lower classes with those of the Maharashtra – India’s nobility harking back to the colonial era – to give a unbridled impression of the city’s cuisine. It’s not unusual for diners at Deccan Tiffin to find a simple sag aloo (spiced potato and spinach) accompanying an indulgent meat curry that’s been slow cooked all day. Occasionally, Priya may add Western influence to her cooking – which makes it all the more exciting.

In short, Deccan Tiffin is a grand banquet, a social gathering of sorts with the myriad guests (up to 28) celebrating the only way they know how: through food. Even its setting, a Victorian villa (Priya’s home) adorned with Indian antiques, exudes colonial decadence. A bountiful representation of the culinary and visual offerings of India’s capital past and present, this supper club is so much more than what it claims to be. In fact, it’s a journey through time.

What to expect/tips

Guests arrive at 7pm (no sooner – though there is a little wiggle room past the hour), which Priya greets warmly with a homemade welcome cocktail. Generous with its alcohol content, it gives any misgivings or concerns about dining with strangers not already left at the door a swift boot towards the exit – serving as the perfect ice breaker. Diners are left to mingle for 30-45 minutes (about enough time for the cocktail to properly settle in), and then ushered to their seats in the dining rooms by Priya herself.

The dining session lasts approximately 2.5 hours, during which guests are treated to a starter, main, side dishes, dessert and a chai to finish – so there’s plenty of food for one. It’s worth noting that any drinks during the meal are BYOB, and most diners arrive in pairs, so be sure to come armed with a buddy and a good bottle of wine.

Review menu

Welcome Cocktail
Delhi Mule – an Indian twist on the classic vodka cocktail

Starter
Ajwaini Mahi Tikka – Grilled fish marinated in Ajwain seeds and yoghurt
(veggie option – sweet potato chaat)

Main
Melt in the mouth goat leg meat cooked on the bone in whole spices and yellow chilli
(veggie option – paneer pasanda)

Sides
Kale and potato sabzi, cooked with cumin, dried mango and dried fenugreek

Tamatar Ke Chawal
A zingy rice dish with a tomato base, flavoured with bay leaves and star anise

Lachha Parantha – Layered Indian Bread

Dahl ki sabzi
Yoghurt raita made with lightly sautéed vegetables and tempered with mustard, red chilli and cumin

Dessert
Cardamom panna cotta with mango and passionfruit coulis

Chai to finish

Priya hosts the Deccan Tiffin supper club every month. For bookings and more details visit the Deccan Tiffin website.

Priya also hosts cookery classes at home and the Brighton Community Kitchen on Queen’s Road. The classes cost between £45 and £60 depending on the course. To find out more, visit here.

We hope you enjoyed our Deccan Tiffin review! You can find some more of our restaurant reviews here.

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