Its no mean feat that Changi Airport has been considered to be the best airport in the world consistently. It is the global hub for most flights passing through the SEA region and has a steady stream of travelers and tourists frequenting its space. So its imperative for it to have a wide variety of dining options that suit different cultures. Adding its flavour to the newly opened dining joints in Changi Airport Terminal 3 is Bikanervala , a fully vegetarian restaurant serving all types of Indian cuisine. Operating under new management, the restaurant has amped up its presentability aspect in terms of its huge seating space, warm lighting, a mithai (sweets) counter and a snacks corner. It has a distinguishable red sign that cannot be missed as you walk towards the corner of the viewing mall from where you can also see the flights land and take off. The fact that it is open 24*7 also makes it convenient in case you are a vegetarian and looking for eating options at Changi Airport.
Bikanervala Changi Airport T3
Mithai counter at Bikanervala
Bikarnervala is an Indian homegrown chain that has an international presence and a standardized global menu. The same menu has been launched in Singapore and it has a lot of variety in terms of subsets of Indian cuisine – North Indian, South Indian and Indian Chinese. So basically you’ll get to taste the diversity of Indian cuisine at fairly affordable prices.
Bikanervala is famous for its chaats globally and hence we tried their recommended dish, the ‘Raj Kachori’. Let me tell you that its a royal treat – both in terms of presentation and taste. Kachoris are fried cakes of refined flour stuffed with lentils and yogurt and topped with mint and dates sauce. The tangy and sweet flavours blend beautifully in this dish and is meant to be eaten hot – so eat this tasty appetizer before the outer shell starts getting soft and soggy.
Since we are fans of North Indian food, we tried the ‘Chole Bhature’. The chole (chickpeas) were made with authentic spices and turned out to be delicious. The bhature which are the puffed and fried version of Indian bread were non-greasy and did not lose their fluffiness for the entire course of the meal and that was really good. Highly recommended.
Raj Kachori at $6.5
For lunch and dinner, they also have thalis and combo meals on their menu. We tried their ‘Deluxe Thali’ which had so many items in the right portion sizes that it is worthy of being called a meal. The first thing that caught my attention was the plate that was used for serving. The compartmentalized plate was spot-on as it helps in segregating the dry and gravy items with great convenience and hence you don’t find yourself struggling for space on the plate. In their Deluxe Thali, they serve Paneer, Dal Makhani, Veg of the Day, Raita, Pulao, Naan, Laccha Paratha, Papad, salad, pickle and sweet. Most of the items were tasty but the notable ones were the Dal Makhani, Pulao and the Paratha. This veg thali is ideal if you want to eat a decent portion size before catching a flight.
Chhole Bhature at $9.5
Ever since Ananda Bhavan closed at Changi, one does miss the availability of popular South Indian dishes like idlis and dosas at the airport. Because of the extensive options at Bikanervala, you’ll find those standard items here now. The dosa was crisp and nice and the sambhar was well-seasoned. They also have mini-utappams and vadas that are good for breakfast or as snacks. The South Indian items are definitely good but overall I preferred their North Indian items since that is their forte and they have a better grasp on the authentic taste in that genre.
Deluxe thali at $14.5
To combat the humidity in Singapore, a refreshing glass of ‘Mango Lassi’ never fails. The yogurt based drink acted as an effective thirst quencher and was not overly sweet. The taste of alphonso mango in the drink was authentic and we liked it.
Dosa idli and vada with sambhar
They have a mind-boggling assortment of sweets that can be had a la carte or conveniently packaged and taken home. They also have mithai boxes that are suitable for gifting. After putting in some thought, we tried the Kaju Roll (Rose), Rasmalai and Lamba Jamun. I have to say that their Rasmalai is outstanding with its perfectly chilled badam pista sauce and great texture of the malai. Do not miss it if you are here! In the Kaju Roll, the rose with cashews was an interesting combination to taste and it also had a substantial amount of pistachios to add some more texture. And if you are fan of the jamuns in sweets, then I preferred the Lamba Jamun to the Kala Jamun here. This place is a Mecca for Indian sweet lovers!
Since it’s mainly Indian cuisine, if you are a vegan, you will find some items that cater to your dietary requirements and some that can be customized. This space is quite well-done and suitable for large groups. If you work in the East, you can also head here for team lunches. Their in-house ‘Bikano’ snacks are available here and so are their specialty items. We picked up a box of ‘Achari Mathri’ which is a teatime snack and it was very good. For enticing your taste buds with authentic Indian vegetarian cuisine, for its convenience of location, for its friendly service and for its astounding variety in Indian sweets, Bikanervala at Changi airport is a must-visit. Here’s hoping that the quality of food remains consistent at this restaurant as it was during this meal.
L to R: Rose Kaju Roll, Rasmalai, Lamba Jamun
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Indian
|Nearest MRT: Changi Airport
|Address: Changi Airport, Terminal 3, Viewing Mall Level 4
|Timings: Mon-Sun: 24 hrs
When you want to pack proteins in your diet, get going with chickpeas. North Indian style curries with chickpeas are perfect for lunchbox recipes. Methi Chole is a popular Punjabi dish that combines fenugreek leaves with chole in a spicy gravy. It’s also a convenient way to include greens in your meal in a tasty manner. The aroma of this curry is amazing and it’ll make you want to eat it as soon as you make it.
Recipe Details :
Serves: 4 pax
Time: 30 mins
- 2 cups methi leaves, chopped
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 big tomato, finely chopped
- 1.5 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 3 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cardamom pods (break and finely powder)
- 2 green chillies, slit in half along the length
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 2 tsp aamchur / dry mango powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 3 tbsp oil
- Wash the fenugreek leaves and chop them roughly.
- Wash and soak the chole in water for 6 – 8 hours.
- Drain the water and add the chole in a pressure cooker along with 3 tsp of salt and 3 cups water. Pressure cook this for 6 whistles on a medium flame. Then switch off the cooker and let it cool till the pressure is naturally released.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add the bay leaves, cloves, cardamom powder and let them crackle for a few seconds.
- Now add the chopped onion, a pinch of salt and saute them till they are translucent. Add ginger garlic paste to the onions and continue cooking till they are golden brown.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and green chillies at this stage and fry them for 2 mins.
- Then add the turmeric powder, garam masala powder, dry mango powder and coriander powder. Mix well to combine. Let this paste cook for 2-3 mins.
- Add the chole along with the cooking water. Taste and add more salt, if required.
- Cook the chole for around 10 mins on a low flame.
- Finally add the chopped fenugreek leaves and mix them well and cook them for another 3 mins. The aroma of the sabzi is amazing.
- Tastes good when served hot and best paired with roti or naan.
- Make sure the chole is well cooked before you add it to the gravy. You can cook it for some more time in the pressure cooker if needed.
- Ensure that the methi leaves are washed well. Rinse them multiple times before cutting.
When it rains, I can’t resist the temptation to make something hot, spicy, and fried! There’s just something about the weather that calls for great snack food. All washed down with masala tea, of course. This time, I decided to make something a little more elaborate – Chole Patties. A previous dish had left me with boiled potatoes and this seemed a perfect way to use them up. As a variation, I used chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) for this recipe. Top off this easy-to-make dish with some nylon sev, finely chopped onions, and a squeeze of lime/lemon and enjoy!
Recipe Details :
Makes: 8 patties
Time: 45 mins
Ingredients for Chole:
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1 tsp turmeric
- A pinch of asafoetida (optional)
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
Ingredients for Patties:
- 4 boiled potatoes
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp dry mango powder/aamchur (optional)
- 1/2 tsp chaat masala
- 2 tbsp corn flour
- Salt to taste
- 3 tbsp semolina (optional)
- Oil for frying
Method for Chole:
- Soak the chickpeas overnight in water.
- Once the soak is complete, drain and add the chickpeas to a pressure cooker.
- Add salt, turmeric, asafoetida, and oil. Also add 3 – 3.5 cups of water and mix well.
- Lid the pressure cooker and let it cook on medium heat for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. (If you use the whistle method, let it sound 8 – 10 whistles)
- Once the pressure goes down, open the cooker and check the consistency. You can also use a masher to mash some of the cooked chickpeas to add some creaminess to the gravy. If you feel that it’s too thick, add some water and cook on a low flame.
- Add red chilli powder (to taste) and check the seasoning.
- Your chole is ready to serve at this stage. If you make this in advance, warm it gently before adding to the patties.
Method for Patties:
- Peel and thoroughly smash the boiled potatoes – there should be no lumps.
- Add all the spices and integrate into the mashed potatoes. Slowly dust in the corn flour and mix it into the spiced potatoes. The mixture should just come together – if it seems wet, you may need to add a little more corn flour.
- Make patties from the potato mixture and lightly dust them with the semolina. (optional)
- Shallow fry them in oil on a medium flame till golden brown on both sides. Remove and place on paper towels.
- To serve, place the patties in a bowl or a plate. Top with the chole and add toppings of your choice. Like I wrote earlier, I like the classic nylon sev, onion, coriander leaves, and freshly squeezed lime juice. The possibilities are endless – try finely cut green chilli, or diced green mango, or even some pomegranates.
- Don’t make the chole too watery. It should have enough thickness to coat the patties.
- If in the initial cooking, the chickpeas didn’t get soft enough, just add more water and cook it a little longer.
- If you are using freshly cooked boiled potatoes, let them dry a little before you start mashing them. If they are too wet, the mixture will not come together.