Let us listen to a fable. Once upon a time, there were 2 states, geographically lying side by side and off course having the same border. And, each state was having their heir and heiress. Let us name the heir and heiress as Marwar and Gujrat. Now, both had their own individuality, and as this story is being written by Mohamushkil, the individuality has to be based on the food- both had their individual palates. Wherein one was primarily vegetarian (except few pockets like bohri), the other had a huge variety of vegetarian as well as non-veg game meat as well. And, somehow, while growing up together, they fall in love …… And, this love story is geting reincarnated at ITC Sonar through their Marwar-Rajasthan pop-up. Basically, it is a Kitchens of India promotion an initiative of ITC Hotels which showcases a wealth of unique, forgotten, undiscovered cuisines.
Details first. The pop-up is a limited time dinner affair over dinner and only available till 8th September’17. It’s presented in a thali format and priced at 1500+Tax per thali. Famed Kailash Maharaj and Chef Nikhol Merchant have come together to create this magic. The overall pop-up is created at the Pool-Cafe (thankfully) and with west-Indian decor and table decorations, the show is a visual treat.
The whole meal is designed in a thali format with separate pre-plated starter and desserts platter. It started with a glass of spicy masala chaas and soon the starter platter was served. It had matar mewa potli, Sangri ki shammi, kahndvi and Khaman Dhokla. The noteworthy thing here was the presentation of the sweet and dhania chutney. Two small tubes (sealed) were served with namkes printed. And I couldn’t but ask Chef Nikhil “Chef, isko kahan se laye” and it seemed he had made these especially on prior order.
The main course, if put simply, was a colorful affair. From papad paneer ki sabzi to mandatory gatte ki sabzi, from Dal bati churma (chef off course assisted us to get the perfect mix done) to Dal panchmela, it was a treat. And I can confirm, it’s almost impossible for one person to finish off and go for another serving. 3 types of roti (bajra, bajer and thepla) were served fresh from the griddle, along with piping hot poori. And, off course, from the rajasthan region, the hot (not spicy) Laal Maas was there. Though I missed those small soft phulkas with that, but nonetheless, it was wonderful.
The dessert platter bore a modern touch to those traditional desserts. Apart from basundi, malai ghewar (pretty difficult to get in Kolkata) and lapsi (the gujrati watery kheer), the Mag ni dal no sheero was something different. The idiot in me again poked the chef of the origin of the name and he explained, while the halwa is more of a mashed up affair, this one had the granules intact and can be felt in mouth- hence the name sheero …..
The initial love story is a fictional one, but if something like that would’ve taken place, it must have been like this only. I apologize for being over-imaginative.
The whole thali is available at 1500+Tax and considering the premier experience and superior food taste, it’s definitely recommended.
Bon apetit !!!
Comments and critics welcome …
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