We all hear/know a bit about the mystic food of Awadh. My search for the cuisine made me read about it on google and also gave an opportunity to interact with one of the secret guards of the cuisine. Sheraton Hotel at Brigade Gateway’s Feast restaurant is hosting the Awadhi Food festival with the celebrated Guest Chef Rehman and their home bread chef Maksood.
Coming back to Awadh, there are many theories about the food. One of them says that there was a shortage of food in the Awadh region (in the yester years), the king ordered his cooks to make food for all. Since the food was supposed to be shared and cooked all day long, the slow cooking process along with hearty ingredients like potatoes, meats and other vegetables were the core. The slow coking made sure the food was cooking in its own juices making it as nutritious as possible.
Awadh food has been influenced majorly by the Mughals. There was a time when Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad would compete to be declared the best among the Mughal influenced cuisines. All three have the same base but are drastically different in flavors. Such are the spice combinations that a slight alternation would result in the change of the cuisine’s location. :)
Barbeque/Tandoor is a very important element of the cuisine. Chef Rehman got his fav tandoor from Lucknow to give us the perfect Sheermals and Awadhi Naan’s. Boy they were gorgeous. Did you know that Sheermal’s and other Awadhi Breads are supposed to be had with starters or between Starters and main course? I learnt that today. Chef Rehman is looking forward to share his experience and experiments with the connoisseurs of food. He wishes to challenge the obvious. His food speaks volumes about his 14 year experience in the food research and experimentation.
The drink that was served us was an Awadhi Thandai with almonds, saffron and hint of black pepper.
The starters were Aatishi aalu, Tandoori Paneer and Veg Seekh. The Aatishi aalu was baby potatoes marinated in spices and grilled with their skin on. The paneer had a goegeous char on them due to the yogurt and spice mix. The veg seekh kebab was a well seasoned vegetable mix that was complimented by the green chutney very well.
The Non veg starters included- Gurda Kaleji, Galauti Kebab and Chicken. The Gurda ka came in a spice mix of onions, gingfer and garlic. The Lucknowi specialty Galauti kebab were a hit on the table. The subtle spice mix on the chicken was appreciable as well.
Both the veg and non veg starters were served with warm Sheermal and Awadhi Naan.
Lets jump to the main course now. Chef Rehman is on a quest to change the way people look at food of the region from where he comes. he does not believe in the usual tamatar-pyaaz bhuna bharta, dal tadkas and the like. He believes that the vegetarian food has more stories to share. The star of the main course was the Baigan ka bharta. It was light and creamy and garlicky. It checked all the right boxes in my head. :) I have always judged a resturant by its Dal Makhni (When I go out to eat Indian food) the dum pukth way of cooking rendered the dal to have a lovely texture, without mincing the dal completely. I am so impressed by it. The mushroom and panner didnt work for me as I dont like the combination at all. The Paneer cooked in white gravy was super rich with the almonds but the balance of flavors was something to die for.
The desserts are the seal the deal for any menu. here there was no exception. We had balushahi, shahi tukda, malai sandwich, lapsi and anjeer ka halwa as the choices.
My most preferred one was the malai sandwich. :D It had just the right amount of sweet and the chena sandwiching the luscious malai in the center was super soft. A must try :) The menu keeps changing a bit each day, which is a good thing.
Do try the lovely flavors of the Awadh and the hospitality of the Starwood member Sheraton at Brigade Gateway.
The food festival ends on 19 oct. It is available for Dinner and Lunch.
Address: 26/1 Dr. Rajkumar Road, Malleswaram-Rajajinagar, Bangalore, Karnataka 560055 Phone:080 4252 1000
Image Source: Sheraton Bangalore Facebook Page