The cuisine of Rajasthan is one we all know very little about, we’ve all heard about the famous ‘Dal Baati Churma’ and various desserts but not many of us know about their non vegetarian delicacies and refreshing drinks. To give us Mumbaikars a taste of the fabulous flavours of Rajasthan, The Leela is hosting a special Rajasthani Food Festival from 13th July 2015 to 26th July 2015. Only the best Chefs from Rajasthan have been invited to prepare these vibrant, spicy dishes bursting with flavour.
The new menu made specially for the festival offers a set meal as well as an A la Carte option.
We were served the set menu, which offers a good assortment of various types of dishes and different forms of preparation.
In the Non Veg menu, you are given 3 non vegetarian starters and one veg.
My favourite was the ‘Macchi Ke Sooley’. This perfectly balanced starter is just the package. Made with freshwater fish from Rajasthan, marinated with the perfect spices, this dish is crisp on the outside and has a soft and buttery texture on the inside. This was accompanied by tawa seared chicken with a curd and cream marinade and ‘Mewari Pasliyan’ which was a succulent lamb rib rubbed with spices. I enjoyed the tenderness of the lamb complimented by the Mewari spices. The Pithiwali Tikki was ordinary, it reminded me of our local street food. The lentil filling sandwiched between the potato made the Tikki dry to a certain extent.
The elaborate Main Course comprised of 6 rich dishes and an assortment of typical Rajasthani Breads and Parathas.
The dish of the evening was undoubtedly the Lal Maans. The traditional red gravy livened by the perfect blend of spices and tender lamb was absolutely delicious.
The fish was served in a thicker gravy, prepared with vegetables and herbs. I found this dish very ordinary and can easily say that we’ve tasted better.
The chicken was a simple, pleasant tasting amalgamation of cracked corn, capsicum and tomato.
The hero of the Vegetarian Mains was undoubtedly the Dal Baati Churma. Delicious thick Dal to compliment a dough ball bathed in Ghee and topped with crunchy sweet crumbs of Churma , this is definitely the impeccable golden combination and The Leela simply nailed it.
The ‘Ker Sangri Dak’ will transport lovers of authentic local food straight to Rajasthan. This preparation symbolic of Rajasthan is made from dried wild berries, beans and raw mango powder.
The Gatta Pulao seemed a little dry but did pack sweet and spicy flavours into one dish with the use of Kishmish.
Apart from these dishes from the set menu we were also served the vegetarian seekh. Unfortunately, the seekh was dry and lacked accompaniments like chutney to make up for the dryness as well.
For dessert we were served Kesar Malai Kulfi and Malpua Rabri. I found both of these very ordinary. The malpua wasn’t firm, it was droopy and also tasted more syrupy than it should have been. These are the desserts served with the set menu.
We were additionally served Malai Ghevar and Gond Pak. I much preferred these to the other two desserts as they are more synonymous of Rajasthan and definitely tasted better. The addtion of the Rabri to the Ghevar brought a new texture to the dessert and the two complimented each other well.
The Gond Pak is a unique mithai topped with sticky crunchy crumbs. The crunchy top and the soft mithai work wonders. Overall, these desserts served as a great end to a wonderful meal.
Since we in Mumbai rarely get the opportunity to try authentic Rajasthani Cuisine, I’d recommend that you all use this weekend to your advantage and book yourself a table at Jamavar at The Leela, Mumbai. You only have until the 26th of July, so hurry!
Review Credit- Sanskaara Lalwani
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