Colours ‘N’ Spice hosted a Kayastha Food Festival recently

India is known for its diverse cultures. The languages and cuisine varieties also reflect this diversity with the taste of food changing after every few kilometres.

Culinary habits change with the religion and within the religion. And one such distinction was displayed at Colours ‘N’ Spice, the North Indian and Mughlai cuisine restaurant of Kwality Group, that presented a unique 10-day Kayastha Food Festival which closed this weekend at their Asiad Village Restaurant complex.

The festival offered special delicacies from the Kayasthas settled in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. The selection process of the menu was also different from the usual. Some elderly women from Kayastha families gave their traditional recipes which were incorporated in the menu.

No wonder the dishes had that homemade taste which is rare to find in a restaurant.

Rajiv Bajaj, GM of the restaurant, started me off with a welcome drink of sattu. Chilled and tempered with fried zeera, it was followed by the platter of starters: Lasooni jheenga was seasoned to perfection, with a subtle garlic flavour. The prawns were cooked on charcoal and had an earthy essence.

Bharwan tangri, chicken legs stuffed with spiced minced chicken, was amazing. Hilsa machli, a fish available for a very short span of time, may have been full of bones but all the hard work of picking them out was worth it, as it was delicious and juicy.

Vegetarian palak ki chaat and sabudane ki tikki were worth trying too. If the starters were hard to let go, the main course was even more tempting.

At the top of the queue, beckoning one with its homely promise, was Ghar Ka Mutton — a delicious preparation. It was not at all like the mutton dishes available nowadays with tomato-based gravies. It had proper fried onion gravy and was enjoyed with tandoori roti.

Chingri Malai Curry — prawns cooked in creamy sauce and served in fresh coconut — was a delight both for the eyes and the tongue.

Vegetarians can go for the Aloo Posto, Paneer ki Khurchan and Paneer Long Latta to name a few.

Desserts had a clear domination of Bengali sweets, like chamcham, rasgulla, sandesh and misti dohi.

I ended my dinner in one of the best possible ways — a Pan Gulkand Shot, or blended liquid paan served in a vodka glass.

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