The ongoing Dawat-e-Nizam food festival at Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon is a treat for connoisseurs of Hyderabadi Muslim cuisine

There are certain cuisines in India which have made such an impact that their place of origin is recognised by the food. One such cuisine is the Hyderabadi Muslim cuisine which is popular across the country. Be it the food capital Delhi or any other region of the country one dish common in every Mughlai restaurant is the Hyderabadi dum biryani. What could have been better for me than being invited for the ongoing Dawat-e-Nizam Hyderabadi food festival at Café G Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon!

The ten-day long promotion ending 12th May has one of the largest buffets in Delhi and NCR, says the guest chef, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman. Chef Rehman, who has more than a decade of experience, specialises in Indian Muslim cuisines. Along with his trusted khansamas (chefs) from Hyderabad, he has prepared around 40 dishes for the festival.

Once Chef Rehman introduced me to the menu I became restless to taste the food. I started with the traditional soup marak which is found at every wedding in Hyderabad. It was made to perfection and reminded me of a friend’s walima (reception) where I tasted it for the first time. I just loved the flavour of the curry cut lamb pieces simmered in milk with mild spices. For a soup it’s spicy but that’s how it is made and Chef Rehman maintained the authentic flavour.

The starters were delicious and had good variations.

Both Pathar ke kabab and kaleji were worth trying. The kaleji was well balanced and nicely seasoned. Shikampuri mutton kabab was a bit dry, but had a wonderful aroma. Street food favourite luqmi was fresh and khasta and turned out to be a perfect finger starter. But I kept some space for two of my favourite delicacies. First was haleem and second was, undoubtedly, the Hyderabadi dum biryani.

Haleem, a dish which is eaten with lots of toppings like brown crisp onions, a sprinkle of lemon juice, coriander and garam masala, was served with all of them. A delight to watch as well as to taste! Chef Rehman went a step further and garnished it with nuts. Dum biryani was served hot, but for me the haleem dominated the biryani for the first time.

A vegetarian dish which was outstanding was the Hyderabadi khatte baingan. It was very well paired with saaga roti. Having double ka meetha was the apt dessert for this sumptuous dinner.

Buffet price: Rs.2100 per person