On a culinary journey to check out Mewar's gastronomic repertoire!
In the land of the valiant Rajputs who battled enemies from across the borders and vagaries of the harsh weather, appetites were satiated with robust and wholesome meals. Thus in the rugged rocky and windswept terrain of Mewar in Rajasthan was born a culinary legacy that endured through the centuries, honed with local produce and indigenous ingredients.
The gastronomical delicacies of Mewar come alive when whipped up by culinary experts flown in from the kitchen of Sheesh Mahal, the signature dining address at The Leela Palace Kempinski Udaipur, along with Corporate Sous Chef Surender Mohan and celebrated gourmet personality Jiggs Kalra. Colourful, tangy and spicy, Mewari cuisine spans a range of unique delicacies covering both vegetarian and non-vegetarian specialties. The expert chefs at “Jamewar”, the Indian specialty restaurant at The Leela Kempinski Mumbai take you on a journey.
“Plenty of legumes, pulses and the use of milk, curd and buttermilk for the gravies is the hallmark,” says Chef Surender. The menu has been carefully created after extensive research, with the ingredients and equipments specially brought from Mewar. To begin with, pour yourself a smart Zonin 2007 Montepulciano D' Abruzzo red to pair with the array of sensations awaiting you. Enjoy a short glass of Phalsa Na Sharbat made of berries available for a short time frame. Also try the Aanch, a cooling drink made of raw mangoes, cumin and mint. The Badam Ka Shorba, a distinguished almond and vegetable broth garnished with soft fresh almonds, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes and pumpkin, is a smash hit.
The entrees get you revved up for the grand feast. On the meaty side the choice ranges from Khadey Masale Ka Qourma, juicy drumsticks of chicken with green cardamom to Gol Mas Kaacher or boned lamb cubes cooked with fresh kaachri and mustard oil. Indulge in the exotic and fabulous Makhaney Ke Salan or puffed soft lotus seeds with tender boneless cubes of baby lamb spiced with pepper and basil and headed up with nutmeg.
Lots of options
On the Shakahaari or vegetarian front, there's lot to sing about! As you change over to a full-bodied 2007 South African Obikwa Cabernet Sauvignon red to pair with a delicious Bharwan Kesari Gucchi, hand picked morels in saffron gravy with toasted almonds, you know you're initiated into culinary magnificence. A cannot-miss is Daal Baati Choorma, which is baked lentil balls enjoyed with a sweetened cereal powdered mix and delectable gracvy-licious daal. The traditional Mewari Kaer Sangri, a local delicacy made of bean-‘n'-berry with dried mango strips and served with a ring of ajwain-spiced mashed potatoes, is indeed the highlight.
Going full scale traditional in your quest for the Mewari best at The Leela Kempinski Mumbai, you pick another winner, the Dhaniya Mongodi, tiny lentil dumplings stir-fried with tomatoes and coriander. And if that doesn't satisfy you, there's Saem Mawe Ke Tamatar or juicy ripe tomatoes served with savoury vermicelli, herbal milk cake, raisins and cashews on a gravy bed!
If you're still game for more, Gatte Ki Sabzi (soft gram flour dumplings in tomato yoghurt gravy) and Bharwan Gatte (koftamade with gram flour dough stuffed with thyme-herbed paneer, sultanas and pistachios among other mouth-watering ingredients) are heart-warming culinary delicacies.
As an encore raise a toast to the Ghewar, a traditional Mewari sweet of Rabdi in a honeycomb pastry with dry fruits or Malpua, soft semolina-infused pancakes with cardamom and rose-flavoured syrup. The flavours of Mewar seem to echo in the distant Aravalis, as the wintry mist envelops the evening.