Food is the identity of each region that landmarks this globe. Be it a small mud-abode accumulation of villagers or a full blown metro city; their are certain flavours of that particular land that differentiates from the other imported delicacies that are prepared. Derived from the local produce of particular regions, these delicacies are a kind of trophy that the residents proudly boost about. India too is defined by such cuisines, that are locals of a particular region. Be it the ingredients used, the preparation technique or even the moisture in the air; achieving the exact flavours is a delicate affair, when prepared in a foreign land.
In this modern world where import-export has become a daily wager, it is no biggie to find cuisines of far of lands being prepared and served with utmost excellence, almost anywhere and everywhere. But like I said earlier, it is very hard to brush up the exact flavours that are authentic of that particular dish or cuisine. And given the immense amount of spices that we are now able to purchase effortlessly, the actual taste of a dish can be altered with and prepared in the easiest way we like.
One such celebrated cuisines of India comes from the land of the Nawabs – Awadh (Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh). Not to be mistaken as a ‘Mughal cuisine’, Awadhi food is largely influenced by the Kashmir, Punjab, Hyderabad and Central Asian cooking techniques. Quoted as the food for the royals, Awadhi food is rich in spices and specializes in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. From Kebabs, Biryanis, Sheermal or the Indian breads like Roomali rotis and Warqi Parathas; Awadhi food is a paradise for non-vegetarian (lamb & chicken meat) lovers. Also, Awadhi Bawarchis (chef) and Rakabdars (Gourmet Cooks) were the ones who introduced ‘dum style of cooking’ to the world as well.
With a rich history in food that can be documented in endless volumes, Awadhi cuisine has over the years faced many an alterations. The authenticity of this cuisine has slowly been diluted in this commercial world, with preparation techniques that are quick, cheap and appeal largely to the masses looking for ghee-floating ‘Mughlai Food’. But then their are certain royalties who are putting in the effort of bringing back the true meaning of Awadhi food and promoting it to the masses in the right manner.
Radisson Blu Pashchim Vihar has joined hands with Chef Dr. Izzat Hussain to present a 10 day festival celebrating the Awadhi Cuisine. Named ‘The Awadh Food Festival’, the palette has been curated by Mr. Ashish Chopra, who is a celebrated Culinary Historian of India. With this intense arrangement made by a food historian and a food expert at a food abode; this festival has to be one of its kind experience.
`Chef Dr. Izzat Hussain
To celebrate this occassion, I was invited to review their menu. This was indeed the most delectable and stomach friendly meal that I’ve had in my life. Rich flavours, very less amount of oils and digestive friendly 3 course meal that promised a healthy appetite till the end of each serving.
The 3 course meal was a balanced arrangement of starters, main course and desserts. Amidst the Indo-Japanese ambience of Indyaki and live music being played every evening, the setup was truly breathtaking. Upon settlement, we were served the drink of the day – a dry & crushed rose petal milk.
Sharbat – E – Gulab
Post that, we were served an array of olive-oil or pure ghee grilled tikkas. Although each tikka style has its signature goodness, but I was taken in surprise by the vegetarian ‘Izzati Kabab’ which was a veggie version of shammi kabab made of minced Rajma and green papaya.
After relishing tikkas to our heart’s content, we were offered to explore the buffet setup of main course. Although the curries seemed rich, spicy and super oily; they were actually quite light on consumption. Like I was told by the chef, his preparations definitely have oil factor to the curries, because its the way these curries are meant to be (looking appealing to the eye), but the floating ghee on the surface gives people an option of totally draining the contents off the ghee or take it as it is.
`Papad and two types of chutneys served with starters.
To conclude the rich platter with something sweet, Chef offered two genius preparation of desserts. The good part was that there was only 2 options, 1 cold and 1 hot keeping in mind that a person’s tummy is already full with a need of few sweet bites. Both the dishes were absolutely amazing in their own terms, with the sweetness balanced and ingredients complimenting each other with finesse.
Indyaki also offers their A-la-carte menu along with their festival special, just in case anyone is interested in trying out something else. The restaurant opens post 7:00 PM each night and stays open till 12ish.
This festival is a must visit and worth experiencing for anyone loves the royal food.
Ambiance : 4.5/5
Food : 4.5/5
Service : 5/5
Value for Money : 4.5/5
Check it Out!
Plot No. D, Outer Ring Road,
District Centre, Paschim Vihar,
New Delhi, Delhi 110063