The month-long 'Dabba Delight' at Taj Palace Hotel brings in the tiffin menu of Punjab and Lucknow
Mention of the word ‘dabba' rekindles fond memories of the dabbawallahs in Mumbai. Thanks to contemporary Indian restaurant Masala Art at Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi, the unique experience has now been brought to the Capital.
The month-long ‘Dabba Delight' festival has on offer delicacies prepared in two well-acclaimed styles of cooking — the Punjabi tiffin menu and the Lucknowi tiffin menu. Both of them have a vegetarian, non-vegetarian and seafood tiffin to offer.
My friend Nadeem, who grew up on the streets of Aminabad and Hazratganj, and I started our meal with the Lucknowi tiffin.
Sous chef Mushtaq was all along with us, taking us through our dinner. We started with the murgh badam shorba, a light and healthy soup. Each tiffin had five varieties. Lagan ka murgh had the perfect blend of spices, the boneless pieces of chicken melting in the mouth. Macchi ki shammi (fish kababs made from hand-mashed fresh river sole) went well with the ulte tawa ka paratha. Daal miloni had the perfect mixture of toor and chana. Then there was subz miloni, a welcome change from the standard mixed vegetables one is accustomed to, the dominant palak lending it the perfect shade of green.
Amritsari macchi stands out among starters in the Punjabi tiffin menu. Tawa jheenga masala, made by grilling the prawns on a tawa after marinating them in mustard and chopped onions, came with a thick gravy enjoyed best with the tandoori naan.
The rice the options included jheenga biryani, gosht biryani, mahi pulao and mutter wadi ka pulao, to name a few. We accompanied our meal with the chilled Punjabi lassi topped with some grated pistachios and a pinch of saffron. Giving final touches to the extravagant dinner was the shahi tukda (made from Taj's in-house bread), spongy and tender to bite, and the chilled kulfi, the taste of which remained with us till sleep overtook.
Keywords: Taj Palace Hotel