Food

Barbeque beckons

Mutton Seekh Kebab. Photo: Special Arrangement  

The sky was overcast. And I got piping hot kebabs to munch on. What more could one ask for? As the smoky flavours of spices fill the air at the exclusive Sizzler and Kebab counter at The Gateway Hotel atop the picturesque Pasumalai Hills, I can wait no longer.

“Why don’t you try the Makhmali Murgh Tikka,” Executive Chef Arun Mohanraj makes a timely entry with a plateful of chicken kebabs and spiced mint chutney. The richness of khoya and cream marinade and the nice flavour of cardamom and coriander make it delectable. “It is a popular dish in Madhya Pradesh. Yoghurt is the base and khoya, cream, cheese, onion, coriander and cardamom powder are the flavouring agents. When cooked in tandoor the dish tastes good,” he says.

The menu has equal number of vegetarian and non vegetarian starters and three sizzler platters. The starters have some interesting kebabs like the Bhopali Seekh Kebab. It is Bhopal’s signature street food, also called Thelawale Seekh Kebab as it is sold off the pushcarts. While the original version of the kebab is made with beef, the Chef here prepared it with mutton with a liberal use of ghee and cottage cheese in the marinade to cut down the sharp taste of garam masala on the seekh.

The spluttering noise of sizzlers grabs my attention next. The sizzler comes in a platter with assortment of meat or vegetarian kebabs and curries along with rumali roti.

The vegetarian sizzler has interesting choices. The Rajma Galouti Kebab – a counter to the mutton kebab – melts in my mouth as the Chef explains how hetweaked the original Awadhi cuisine made with kewra water (distilled extract from Pandanus flowers).

“The dish has to be properly marinated with nutmeg powder, raw papaya, cashew, onions and ghee and minced with lamb in a blender. The ingredients make the meat soft and you need only two minutes to cook it,” says Arun.

The Kashmiri Bharwan Aloo is another delight. A customised version of the original, the potatoes are stuffed with raisins, cottage cheese and onion. “Kashmiris love dry fruits so they add lots of nuts, raisins and dates. The potatoes are cooked in makhni gravy. It is almost like paneer makhni kebabs. Instead of paneer, I have used Bharwan Aloo,” the chef adds. Paneer tikka, tandoori pine apple, seekh kebabs, paneer makhni and dhal makhni with rumali roti complete the vegetarian platter.

The tandoori meat sizzler includes assorted spiced and roasted chicken in chef's special marinade containing coriander and lamb kebabs cooked over charcoal in the clay pot oven. The hariyali chicken kebab and tangdi kebab, served with spiced mint dip, chicken curry, rajma gravy and rumali roti, stand out.

The desserts are limited to gulab jamun with vanilla ice cream and gajjar halwa with butterscotch ice cream. Food at Sizzler and Kebab counter is served a la carte. Open from 7 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. For reservations call 0452-6633000.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 10:57:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/barbeque-beckons/article7738763.ece

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