In a line: A festival that aims to elevate and make regular Indian food, not so regular.
Cuisine: Pan Indian
Price for two: Rs. 3500(approx)
Location: Baluchi, The Lalit
Duration: Till 22nd September
Must haves: Scallop Paturi, Surkh Mahi ke Tukde, Lehsun Kheer
With the influx of modern cuisines in our culinary scenario, we’re guilty of slyly shifting away from our diverse and rich roots, getting charmed by the fancier-looking foreign delights. While it may deem necessary to have a wide palate, coming back to our own food is what we’d seek comfort in.
Chef Ashish Sanyal, who’s flown in from The Lalit, Bangalore, to The Lalit, New Delhi, has the ideology of keeping the flavour profile intact of a typically Indian dish while amping up the presentation, to cater to the new generation that craves for something different. By offering something that looks unique and maintains the originality of the dish, Chef aims to bring people back to Indian food.
The festival: Unified Flavours of India, running till 22nd September at Baluchi, promises to treat the guests with new flavours, unheard recipes and an adventure within the Indian palette. With no bars on regional preferences, the menu is curated to add new-found diversity to the plate.
The menu offers an eclectic mix of soups, appetisers, mains and desserts, with something to offer to every palate. Opt for the calming and flavour-rich paya podine ka saar or paya soup, served with a dumpling stuffed with lamb or beat the heat with the unusual kharbooze ki taravat, a cold soup prepared with melon and served with yoghurt and basil.
Roti me boti were tacos stuffed with pulled raan meat, topped with an Indian-ised version of salsa, namely Indiana salsa, or basically kuchumber. Crisp taco shells, well cooked raan and salsa to provide moisture, all together came and made a beautiful appetiser. Scallop paturi would be a personal favourite and consisted of scallops, smeared in fresh mustard, steamed in a banana leaf with green chillies and served with a curry, infused in coconut milk.
For mains, I relished the badami bater, that was basically a quails version of the quintessential butter chicken, slathered with almond-rich tomato curry. Though surkh mahi ke tukde would take the cake. Marinated salmon, grilled to perfection, sitting atop a bed of lemon quinoa, served with kafir infused moilee curry. The textures and flavours of the dish are what made me go back for it.
The dessert offerings are interesting and you wouldn’t want to miss on to the Lehsun ki kheer. Kheer or rice pudding, prepared with just garlic, milk, sugar and dried fruits, might set you aback for the first bite, but will grow on you the moment you start to dig in. Clearly, this was the highlight of my meal. Though if your palate isn’t willing to go for an adventure, the gulabi seb, prepared with filo sheets and apple, served with custard apple ice cream would hit the nail on the head.