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Imperial spread

Leisurely dinner amidst classy interiors and soothing music.

IT IS refreshing to find a restaurant that ventures to be a speciality one. Amid all the so-called "multi-cuisine" eateries, Mughul, opened four months ago, serves just that - Mughlai food.

Located inside Royal Inn (adjacent to the airport arrival) and with Megabowl as neighbour, Mughul is a 70-cover restaurant that carries the Mughul leitmotif on walls that have three-dimensional murals, Mughul miniatures in pictures, and pichwais. It has furniture to match, and ghazals soothe you as you study the extensive menu.

The chicken, mutton, seafood, and vegetarian selection is wide and one learns that the chef here, from Delhi, cannot be hurried. After ordering, one has to wait for 15 to 20 minutes for the food to arrive. This, apparently, is not a kitchen where four different gravies are kept ready.

The method is most places involves putting chicken bits or mushroom or whatever else is ordered in one of the readymade gravies, sautee it, and serve it up in a jiffy. Not so here.

For instance, their sabzi dopyaza (Rs. 70) is mixed vegetables with diced onions in a yellow gravy, while their dum ki khumb or dingri mutter is a combination of mushroom and green peas in a light creamy sauce, garnished with cashew nuts. Both items have a gravy that is light coloured, but each gravy is distinctly different.

The recipes are, apparently, come from ancient texts, and each dish, of generous portion, is brought to one's table in little metal handis (pots), and is a delight. Particularly recommended are their starters such as tandoor aloo (Rs. 70), which are potatoes stuffed with spiced cottage cheese and grilled in an earthen pot, and papad rolls (Rs. 60), a preparation with peas and potato mixture wrapped in a papad and deep fried.

Try their kasturi murg makhanwala (Rs. 110), boneless tandoori chicken cooked in butter and tomato gravy. There is plenty to choose from: shane-murg (in tamarind gravy), murg tadka masala, murg haryali (in spinach gravy), murg malamali masaledar (in tomato and white gravy) and so on.

The tandoori varieties include chandi tikka, malai kabab, murg Rajasthani murg lajawab (the latter drumsticks deep fried and spicy). Their murg jilafe is minced chicken sheek, blended with and covered with herbs.

There are many mutton offerings too, listed under gosht. Their gosht kali mirch is batter-fried and tossed in a delightful combination of spices. They offer rogan josh, bhuna ghosht, kheema haryali, tawa gosht and plenty more.

Seafood lovers can choose from tandoori jhinga (prawns marinated in red pepper flavoured yogurt, cooked in a tandoor), shahjahani machhli (fillet of fish marinated and finished in clay over) or pomfret, called gulnar (Rs. 180), which is a whole pomfret spiced with ajwain and roasted over slow fire in a clay over. Their Bombay jhinga masala (Rs. 165) is popular as it is fresh prawn in the chef's own blend of spices.

The Indian breads that can go with Mughlai fare include rotis, kulchas, naans, and parathas. You also get pulaos and biryanis in which basmati rice is used. The salad and the dessert choices include rasmalai, rabri, kaddu halwa, and phirni.

Mughul is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6.30 p.m. to midnight, but it also doubles as a 24-hour coffee shop.

Advance reservation is recommended especially for dinners and weekends. An average meal for two would cost around Rs. 500 and parking is not a problem.

You can call the Food and Beverage Manager, Ravichandran, on 98450-40541. You can reach Mughul on 5226853/54.


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