Rajasthani food festival at Taj Falaknuma is a reminder of the charm and allure of an era gone by

As you walk through the Mogra courtyard with its soft gurgling fountains at the Taj Falaknuma Palace feeling like royalty, strains of traditional Rajasthani folk music reach your ears. The hospitality one receives at this one-time residence of the Nizams is perfectly complemented by the enthusiastic rendition of Padharo mhare des by folk musicians. Walk into the hotel’s Indian restaurant Adaa that celebrates the Rajasthani food festival over the next two weeks.

With delicacies whipped up by chef Amar Singh, who has been flown in from the Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, it’s hard to miss the charm and allure of an era gone by. In fact, the chef has brought his own spice box with ingredients that indigenous to the arid state. The royal cuisine is a representation of Rajasthan’s different regions and ingredients. From Laal Maas to Dal bati and churma, the festival menu has all the Rajasthani favourites.

Kick-start your meal with Badam ka Shorba, a flavourful almond broth. The delicately flavoured soup is just right to leave you in anticipation for the rest of your meal. Go on to sample some of their delicious Gosht Dekchi ke Soole, a mutton kebab that is marinated in kacchri and slow roasted in an earthen pot. The well-spiced smoked kebab makes for a great appetiser. Alternately you could also try their mustard marinated prawns or Paneer ke Soole. The cottage cheese marinated with Rajasthani sula spices is a true delight, with the paneer melting in your mouth.

The real stars of the menu however, were the Padampuri Murg and the Hara Dana Methi Bail Gatta Curry. Named after Rani Padmavati, the chicken is cooked to perfection in a rich yoghurt and cashew nut gravy and goes very well with the Missi Roti as well as the Jalebi Paratha. The Gatta Curry on the other hand has a beautifully delicate fenugreek flavour and is the ultimate comfort food. The Rajasthani Laal Maas too does not disappoint with its fiery flavours.

Of course there is the ubiquitous dal bati and churma, but don’t let the simplicity of this Rajasthani staple fool you. The batis are baked to perfection and have a generous dose of ghee, while the well spiced dal complements the bati very well. Combined with the sweet churma, this is a meal in itself. Sangri, a variety of beans found in the desert state, are also a good choice of vegetable to go with your rotis. Cooked with onions, the peppery beans are tossed in slightly sweet and spicy masalas, and you will not regret the choice.

Finish off your meal with a delightful gulkhand and pistachio flavoured kulfi faluda. The delicately flavoured rose faluda is a foil for the creamy sweetness of the kulfi. A perfect way to end your royal meal.