We are a gourmand couple who love to discover new places and eat our hearts out. Follow us for a guilt trip along the food road.
Food is not just fuel. Food is about family, about bonding. Food is about togetherness, food is also an identity. And we cherish all those moments and memories when we eat well.
Mewar cuisine can also be called Rajasthani food. The food in Rajasthan is diverse and a mix of a whole lot of variants. The length and breadth of Rajasthan boasts of various culinary extremes. At certain places the food is simple and very basic and at some it is extremely grand and elaborate. Most of the ingredients used to prepare a simple or an extravagant meal is just the basic spices and condiments as per availability. Rajasthan is all about bright coloured clothing and a lot of dance and music. It is also the land of forts and havelis and the Land of the Royal, hence the profile of the cuisines were also rich and flavourful and one that can be remembered for not just days, but more.
Our experience at the Tuskers, Sofitel for the ‘Mewar Food Festival’ was royal and majestic. A thali is always a preferred option when such events are hosted. We have the privilege to try various options and not feel too guilty about it. But being Guiltless Foodies we just don’t calorie care if its food and its delicious.
We started with some Farsans, the best part of any meal and of course second in line to desserts. We were served the ‘Mini Samosas’, ‘Dhokla’ and ‘Mirchi Pakoda’. Our favourites in order of preference were the Mirchi ke pakode followed by Samosa and then dhokla. These were served with some lip smacking green chutney and the sweet and sour tamarind chutney. The Mirchi ke pakode were the large Bhavnagari chilies slit and stuffed with an amazing spicy mix of potato. This dish had various elements to it. The outer layer was crispy and the inner soft yet not soggy. This was deep fried to perfection to get the right colour. A happy start to the meal.
The next attractive looking dish on the platter was the ‘Dahi Vada’. Soft melt in the mouth vada in a cold creamy thick curd and topped with various chutneys, masalas and the Sev gave it the crunch. A nice comforting dish to beat the heat.
Next to it sat the ‘Methi Malai Paneer’. The chef, as we were informed, insisted on using the fresh fenugreek leaves to give this dish its authenticity. He said dry leaves could never give this flavor and we agreed. More so we ended up ordering twice more of the same. There was something about the paneer which made this dish notches higher than the rest. Very soft, creamy and smooth chunks of paneer refused to stay more than a few second more and just melted in our mouth. A definite recommendation for one and all.
Sitting next to it was the basic ‘Bhindi Subzi’. Not too fancy but just the kinds one would call as comfort food. A stir fry variant with just some salt and chilly sprinkle. It is a matter of serious concern how a simple Okra be so flavourful and tasty. But the conclusion was simple food always tastes good.
Carrot has never been our favorite. When we saw it served as part of the thali there was a little disappointment. But we were wrong. The carrot was again a very simple dish with a dash of turmeric, salt and some very basic spices. Thank god to the green peas which not only made the dish a saviuor but also improvised on the taste.
Then came the star of the thali. A’ Rajasthani Mix Vegetable’. This dish had a healthy mix of vegetables all of which were cooked to perfection. Each of them retained their colour, texture and distinct taste. The crunch of the beans and carrot, the soft potatoes, the squish of the green peas was a total riot in our mouth. Anything written or said about this dish would be an injustice. One definitely need to savor the flavours to understand the euphoria we were in with every bite.
All these veggies were served with hot Phulkas with abundant ghee, crisp hot masala Puris and some fresh Salad.
The cooking of any region is generally influenced by the availability of ingredients. Rajasthan, due to its water scarcity lacked the growth of fresh green vegetables but produced a lot of grains and grams along with abundant milk. Hence no meal is complete without pulses.
The ‘Chauli Subzi’ & the ‘Dal’ were 2 which provided the protein in this balanced thali. Again not too spicy, or oily but a very simple one with the basic mix of spices.
We were also served some steaming hot ‘Khichidi’. One could just keep having bowlfuls of this nutritious and wholesome meal of its own. There were also some moth watering Pickles to go along with our food.
Done with the thali we were ready to go to our favorite section of the meal – the desserts. We were served the’ Kulfi Platter’ &’ Moong Dal Halva’. The variants of the Kulfi were the Malai, Pista and the Pan flavor. We were quiet full and satisfied of the mains that the lack of variety and authenticity of a typical Rajasthani dessert dint disappoint us much. Though it would have been better had a little more love been shown to the desserts as for the mains. We would’ve loved it if they hadn’t over looked this aspect. But still The meal was just as perfect as one could expect. And we loved it.
Our meal came to an end with the notion in mind that it needn’t be grand to be remembered. Even simple preps done with love are appreciated and well accepted.
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