From the rugged North West Frontier comes a festival that becomes familiar with tastes modified to adapt to our palates

In the opinion of this vegetarian reviewer, The North West Frontier Food Festival at The Residency is more a Pan Indian festival. Because there are Punjabi and Kashmiri dishes, and there is Khumani ka meetha that has earned fame in Nawabi Hyderabad! There is sambar and avial too.

Having got that out of the way, there are a few stand-outs. One is the can’t-have-enough-of stuffed Karela (Karela Dum Pukht), the other is the stuffed Mushrooms. The Afghani Dal is steaming hot and a welcome, wholesome accompaniment to the roti.

The meaty bit

The non-vegetarian menu looks and sounds exciting with exotic, unfamiliar names that are sure to tantalise you. Mutton being a staple of the mountain people, there is a different preparation for each day of the festival. And if you are lucky you could enjoy the Kashmiri Rogan Josh! Fish and prawns are cooked in delicate spices (the yellow chilli powder adds a distinct flavour, points out Chef Ashok). A hint of khus and perhaps rose water has delicious smells wafting across the buffet.

There are the mandatory Paneer tikka kebabs and interesting arbi kebabs, served with delicious garlic and red chilli chutney and a fragrant mint one. Chef Ashok says that with the Afghan Grill closed down for renovation, there was a demand for its menu to be made available. Hence this festival.

Refreshing

With so much of meat on offer, the salad bar provides a nice balance. Fresh fruits, vegetables with several dressings and a great daliya salad leaves you feeling virtuous and ready to visit the dessert counter with its usual suspects but with the addition of Khumani ka Meetha that comes with a healthy twist.

The apricots have been stewed whole, seeds and all, and served as they are, without cream. For those who crave the cream, ladle some thick creamy milk from the Ras Malai bowl onto the Khumani. Works beautifully.

The North West Frontier Food Fest is on till July 7.

The food fest is on for dinner only on weekdays and for lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday.

For details call: 98430-71777/0422 2241414