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Punjab da platter

Drop in at Mischief Dining Bar to revel in zesty flavours of Punjab

Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

MISCHIEF, THE dining bar at MPM Mall is currently rocking to a different beat. Songs Gal pyaar wali, Aaja soniya or Canada, one would hitherto listen to sitting on a char pai in Patiala or Ambala, ring in the air. The staff sports vibrant pink, blue and orange brocade and silk traditional attires, accessorised with kadas, chokers and mojris. Makki di roti with sarson ka sag, sada steamed basmati rice and Murg taka tak are being served, while Penne marinara, Chicken yakitori, nachos and rest of the regular world cuisine fare here takes a back seat. One word that says it all Chak de phatte — the dining bar's idea of a food festival.

"Punjabi food has caught up as a universal cuisine and finds favour with the young and old alike. Thus the food festival. We in fact considered converting a part of the restaurant into a makeshift truck for the festival but we weren't sure how the diners would accept it. But we have a chef who had come down for the festival with the typical recipes and spices from Punjab," explains Sharad Maheshwari.

So, offering the dhaba smack are yellow chilli powder, amchur, jaiphal, javitri, bay leaves, green cardamom, ground nut, chilghuza and other select spices conventionally used in preparing dal fry or a Paneer butter masala, not forgetting generous dollops of ghee and butter. "Punjabi food is rich, creamy and chatak matak," aptly says Chef Sharafat who has lined up a robust lip smacking Punjabi multi-course a la carte fare.

"Just like the kakori and galauti kebabs that you find in Lucknow, Punjabi cuisine has unique kebabs that are popular, such as Tikka lajawab. Then you have traditional dishes such as Pind de chole, where kabuli chana is tossed in ghee and goes well with bhatura or makki di roti alike. This is an era of fusion cuisine, so we have included some of these such as Dal bukhara, which is similar to the dal prepared in the North West Frontier cuisine tradition but touched with a robust Punjabi flavour — one kilogram of black lentil prepared with one and a half pound butter and cream," he adds, and goes best with onions, green chillies and a tall glass of lassi, of course.

With Tandoori murgh, Bhindi bhaji, Jhinga Punjabi, Dal rasili and a wide choice from rice and roti — jeera pulao, butter naan and lacchedar parata included, wrapping with Carrot halwa and Punjabi gulab jamun — served with rabri, it is a festive spread, and has quite a few offers running during the food fest period.

For instance one can take home the 1.5 litres Fanta or Thums Up or Limca for Rs. 15, on billing Rs. 500, and free if you have billed for Rs. 1,000.

And for the Suniel Shetty buffs, the food festival presents a chance to have a dinner with the star, who would be flying down here on the last day of the festival, July 4; you need to bill Rs. 1,500 to enter the draw for the same.

The Punjabi food festival is on for lunch (11.30 a.m.— 3.30 p.m.) and dinner (7 p.m.— 11.45 p.m.). For reservations you can reach Mischief Dining Bar on Tel: 55250055/56. Next on the anvil is an Italian food festival says Sharad. But for the moment its time to go balle balle and raise a Patiala peg to the robust spirit da Punjab.


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