In a country like India, festivals are synonymous to food. If a family is celebrating a big day, a grand feast is sure to follow. So if your loved ones are Bengali or Punjabi, you’re most certainly in for a treat this weekend. And if not, don’t worry! You can still enjoy their traditional fare – courtesy Taj Hotels.
Offering an amalgam of flavorsome recipes, Taj city hotels are hosting a special food festival with lip-smacking delicacies from West Bengal and Punjab on the occasion of Poila Baisakh and Baisakhi. So when I was invited to Tiqri, Taj Santacruz‘ all-day dining restaurant, I was delighted beyond words. Thanks to Chef Dinesh and his hospitable team, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience.
A special a-la-carte menu offering a variety of Bengali and Punjabi dishes has been created for this week. Since we were there for a tasting, we got to sample a little bit of all the dishes.
We began the revelries of Nobo Borsho with:
– A chilled and soothing glass of Bengali style Aamrus that was similar to Aam panna
– Kasha Posto Bora served with Chole Dhonepatar Bhate – Poppy seed cakes with chickpea and cilantro mash went perfectly well with each other
– Egg roll – One can never really go wrong with Kolkata’s famous street food speciality
– Chicken Rezale – chunks of chicken were dunked in a rich, aromatic white gravy made with subtle spices
– Potol Posto – pointed gourd in poppy seed based gravy was a different take to the usual gourd masala made at home. Also, this dish is best enjoyed in the months of summer, as pointed gourd is a summer vegetable in India
– Doi Fulkopi – Bengali style cauliflower made with spicy yogurt curry was a simple, classic dish, full of flavor and less spicy
– Bhaja Muger Dal – Lost my heart to the special aroma of dry roasted moong dal and dollops of ghee, making this sumptuous Bengali specialty dal my favorite for the night
– Luchi – Deep-fried puffed bread, best enjoyed with various gravies
– Nolen Gurer Mousse – Date palm jaggery mousse garnished with strawberries was smooth, light and well-balanced.
While our Bengali fare consisted of all the above, our Baisakhi feast was also an extravagant one:
– Dry fruit lassi – Sweetened lassi enhanced with dry fruits and saffron was indulgently rich, creamy and delicious
– Sarso Murgh Tikka – We all know how famous the North is for all its delectable mustard infused preparations. This tandoor grilled chicken was no different
– Tandoori Haryali Aloo – Marinated with fresh garden leaves, these baby potatoes were flavorful and pleasing
– Mutton Saagwala – A typical North Indian version of lamb and spinach based curry, this dish was rich and bursting with flavors
– Pindi Chana – If you’re enjoying a North Indian meal, you know that Rawalpindi inspired chana will always be a winner
– Dum wale Rajma Chawal – Rajma Chawal, dum cooked for several hours and then served like a biryani made this aromatic dish oh-so-comforting!
– Mutton Biryani – This amazingly tasty preparation consisting of mutton chunks and rice was dum cooked with spices making it irresistible
– Laccha Paratha – flaky Indian flat bread served with the gravies
– Makhana Kheer – Lotus seed in sweetened and reduced flavoured milk. Small pieces of makhanas just added a twist to the humble rabdi.
After eating so much, we were obviously stuffed but more than the food, we were brimming with all the love and care that was showered upon us by the kind and hospitable team at Tiqri.
While West Bengal and Punjab are all set to celebrate today, Mumbai is geared up to usher in the harvest season with great pomp at Masala Kraft – The Taj Mahal Palace, Tiqri – Taj Santacruz and Masala Bay – Taj Lands End from 14th to 23rd April, 2017. While the latter will only be serving traditional Punjabi delicacies, one can make the most of Bengali and Punjabi specialties at the other two city hotels. If you want to get a true feel of the festivities in West Bengal & Punjab, don’t miss out on this food fest.