Feast like Royalty at this Rajasthani Food Festival
The flavourful food festival at Renaissance Mumbai gives a glimpse into lesser known culinary stories of the state.
Till April 10, 2019, Renaissance Mumbai, in the suburb of Powai, is hosting a food promotion dedicated to the kitchens of royal households at their Indian restaurant Nawab Saheb—Rajgharana – A Royal Affair. Two set menus, vegetarian and non-vegetatrian, with an elaborate mithai platter to end the meal, the meal promises to give you a taste of Rajasthan beyond the Dal Baati Choorma.
With dishes such as Bajre ka Soyta, Ker Kumatia Sangri ka Panchkuta, Anwale ka Gatta and Khad Khargosh, you know the meal hold merit. The menu has been planned and executed by Rajasthani blue blood, Th. Raghvendra Pratap Singh of Jhalamand. Singh with his team of khansamas have tried to explore and showcase culinary heritage that has never hit the limelight. He owns a heritage hotel in Jhalamand, which is part of the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan.
“The focus of the food at the festival are dishes that were cooked when the royalty went out for shikar,” Singh explained. These dishes use bare essential in terms of spices, while cooking techniques include barbeque, slow cooking, dum and pit cooking, which could be left untended when others enjoyed the sport.
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The condiments. Yes, you read that right. The turmeric pickle and garlic chutney were impeccable—vibrant with flavour but not overwhelming to kill the flavour profile of your main dish. Pair these pickles with either the Jodhpuri Mirchi Wada or Jodhpuri Macchi. The former has a cult following in the state of Rajasthan where big fat Bhavnagar chillies is stuffed with spiced mashed potatoes, dipped in a besan batter and deep fried. In the latter, Singh opted to put together mustard and fresh turmeric as a marinade—a Bengali influence perhaps, but distinctly different.
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Murgh ke Parchey was the highlight in the appetizers course. A simple tandoor style chicken cooked till succulent was served with a topping of creamy and savoury dollop of raita. The spices of the chicken was balanced by the raita that had almost a melted cheese consistency. In the main courses, the ubiquitous Dal Baati Choorma is there for the less adventurous. For those willing to push the envelope, Ker Kumatia Sangri ka Panchkuta and Khad Khargosh are must-try dishes.
The highlight of the meal is the variety of desi desserts—from Moong Dal ka Halwa, Malai Ghevar to Rabdi Laddoo and Gulab Laddoo—an astonishing feat performed by Singh’s halwai. Each dessert better than the other, warrants keeping your stomach empty to truly relish these masterpieces.
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Despite the unique and exotic dishes, there is a homogeneity of flavours that becomes cumbersome to the palate. The heavy-handed use of spices may come across as overbearing for Mumbai-locals, who may not be used to it.
Individually, choosing the just the non-vegetarian menu may cause palate fatigue. It would be best to go for the Mix-n-Match option, to sample some of Rajasthan vegetarian bests.
Price: Rs 2800 onwards
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