From the upland
Let the gourmet in you savour the flavours from the Malwa plateau at the Malwa Food Festival at Waterside Café, Taj Banjara.
RICH AND COLOURFUL: Ethnic and wholesome food.
JUST IMAGINE you are on the ramparts of the fort and about to enter it through the big gate. And when you do you are not inside a fort but ushered into a world of food - from the plateau of Malwa - the land of Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati. The Sultan's capital Mandu makes for an interesting visit especially in the monsoon, while the trip to Waterside Café, Taj Banjara promises good food from the Sultan's terrain. The Malwa food festival is on at this Coffee Shop till July 27.
Since Malwa was close to Rajasthan the influence of the desert flavours are visible in this cuisine. The food is tangy, spicy and has a sweet-sour taste. Chefs from Indore - Dhanpal and Narayan flown in for the occasion have different menus worked out for the week. Therefore, the spread varies from day to day.
The chefs lay quite a spread for the gourmet - in terms of chaat and food. For the snack-lovers there is the yummy garmagaram alu tikki (topped with chole and chutneys), pani puri, bhutte ka kees (made with grated corn roasted in ghee and later cooked in milk with spices - an item which is often had on fasting days), paan pakora (of paan leaves interestingly topped with curd) and dahi wada (which just melt in the mouth).
The tomato shorba is light and has a tangy, yet slightly sweet taste thanks to the addition of a bit of honey. The main course offers authentic Malwa stuff. For the veggies the aate chakki ki sabzi (if it is available) is a must (it is made of wheat dough which is washed under running water, steamed and then used in a gravy of curd) as it is authentically Malwa. There are certain salads which are tempered (with mustard and jeera) which look and almost taste like curries. They are topped with special bhujias and mixture brought by the chefs from Indore. The stuffed karela (with mawa) will delight the lovers of bittergourd. No meal would be complete without bafla (small round balls of wheat flour roasted in a traditional way) and dal. The baflas are dripping with ghee (and the calorie conscious perhaps can abstain) but that is how they are had soaked with dal. The imli ki kadhi is another interesting preparation - normally kadhi is made with curd, here it is made with tamarind.
There are two non-veg dishes - matka mutton (where mutton is cooked in an earthen pot with spices) and chicken Ratlami.
The spices are used in various ways - pounded, ground and whole. Curd and ghee are used in the gravies. Quite a bit of dry fruits are also used in some of the dishes - either in a paste form or as whole. This imparts a rich taste to the dishes.
The desserts are traditional - like gulab jamun, shrikhand (more or less like the Maharashtrian way sans the saffron) and malpua.
An attempt is made to create a traditional ambience. The waiters are dressed in traditional attire replete with colourful turbans. So imagine you are in the historic and geographic environs of the Malwa plateau when you savour the inviting buffet (open only for dinner till July 27) which is priced at Rs. 300 per person.
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