Kolkata, Aug 15: It is time for some authentic Rajasthani food! Here is a food festival, 'The Royal Kitchens of Rajasthan', celebrating the vibrant and regal Rajasthani culture to make you familiar with the dishes that the royalties savoured. The people of the city are relishing a variety of delicacies from the land of Maharajas in this special pop-up programme, organised by The LaLit Great Eastern, Kolkata.
The festival kicked off on August 11 when Shailesh Verma, the Executive Chef of The LaLit Great Eastern, Jaipur belted out 'some of the pearls' from the widespread cuisine. The exotic spices teased the taste buds of the food enthusiasts present on the first day.
"The 'Laal Maas' is a signature dish that represents Rajasthani food which is cooked with the Mathani chilli paste, in low heat giving a distinct flavour, texture and aroma to the dish. The chilli gives the spike as well as colour to the dish," the Chef said. The Laal Maas is cooked with lamb/goat meat. The slow cooking and adding yogurt gave a body to the gravy and the tender meat tasted delicious. This oh-so delicious dish can be paired with any Paratha/Roti (bread) or even rice.
While preparing the dishes in the live kitchen, he interacted with the foodies. He shared his master tips on using different spices like the chilli powder, safoetida, star anise, mustard oil and so on. According to Verma, Rajasthani dishes are not just about the hotness of the chillies, it is also the right blend of different spices like cardamom, cinnamon, etc. Whoever tastes Indian food, especially Rajasthani cuisine, is offered with a rich experience.
The vegetarian dishes hold a special place in the menu with splendid names like Bhunni Matar ka Teekha Shorba, Rajwada Paneer Tikka, Mangodi Papad Ki Tarkari and the staple Rajasthani dish, Dal Baati Choorma. The paneer (cottage cheese) of Rajwada Paneer Tikka almost melted in the mouth amidst the zing of mustard paste, chilli and garam masala. The curator explained the importance of two ingredients: 'vadi' and 'papad' (made with pounded cereals), as the people of the desert make the best use of their available resources to conserve it for long-term use.
Gulab Ki Kheer, the signature sweet dish offered here, is nothing short of an emotion! Kheer itself is such a lip-smacking delicacy but the Maharajas were fond of the best of the best! "Royalty is all about rose; hence we offer this rich dish with great flavour," said Verma.
Talking about the current hype of fusion food, the chef with an experience of 21 years said: "Even the contemporary cuisine has shades of tradition and shades of current ways that are going on. More natural and authentic flavour is the taste of the season." More interesting dishes like Sabj Panch Mahal, Mewadi Macchi, Gond Ka Halwa, etc., will be served in the ongoing festival.
Where: Alfresco, The LaLit Great Eastern, Kolkata.
When: August 11 to August 20, 2018
Timings: Lunch Buffet - 12:30-3:30 p.m.; Dinner Buffet - 7.30-11.00 p.m.
Meal for Two: Lunch - Rs 3,100; Dinner - Rs 3,500
Don't miss this 'royal buffet' from the state that believes in bonding over food and the secret tips from the master of royal cooking.