The fine art of Mughlai cuisine will be on offer at WelcomHotel Sheraton this week

The Mughals gave India her greatest architectural monuments but not many people know that they also transformed the country's cooking by fusing Middle Eastern cuisine with Indian spices and ingredients. This fusion produced some of the most exquisite Mughlai food which we crave for even today.

Paying tribute to the last Mughal emperor of India Bahadur Shah Zafar, WelcomHotel Sheraton, New Delhi, after lots of research and several trips to the narrow by-lanes of Mehrauli and Nizamuddin, has come up with the Last Mughal Food Festival at their-all day dining restaurant Baywatch.

It’s a tough job to get the authentic recipes and try to replicate them but once I was through with my royal gastronomic journey I felt chef Vipul Gupta did justice to it and brought life to the magical Mughlai flavours again. I did my shuruwaat with some starters, and for a change I tasted the vegetarian ones — kabab-e-baqla and aloo ke shahi kabab — first.

Haricot beans blended well with the kidney beans and gave a nice texture to the shammi. The aloo kababs had stuffed nuts which added some crunch to the preparation. Its non-vegetarian counterparts were quite innovative though on the whole I found the menu to be traditional. Aashin Bahadurshahi was basically chicken tikkas but with different flavours; the chunks were marinated in basil and finished in a haandi.

Mahi lauj was cut into a katli and mixed with cheese which came out quite well and tasted good. Murgh Yakhni Shorba was not as rich as I hoped; it seemed to be like a clear soup but was quite aromatic and flavourful.

The extensive main course seemed quite tempting. Chef Vipul served me the Bahadurshahi qorma first and I enjoyed it till the last bite with a khamiri roti. Qorma had a nice colour and perfect gravy. A lot of aromatic Indian ingredients were used in a powdered form which gave the qorma a nice scent. Mahi badam qaliyan was tasty too but murgh dilruba, which had a curd based gravy, was juicy and delicious. The veg. bharta telai had a smoky flavour and went well with the warqi paratha. Turshe paneer came stuffed with aloo Bukhara in a cashew nut gravy and was worth trying.

But the Aam Ki Kheer was the show stealer. Topped with rabri, the kheer of rice and mango was just too good.

The festival is on till April 21. The dinner buffet is priced at Rs. 1750 excluding taxes.

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