Food

The royal flavours of Awadh

Known for its royal cuisine with delectable flavours, Awadhi cuisine has a specific style of cooking that brings out the real essence of the delicacies. “The bawarchis (cooks) of Awadh were the ones who first brought the concept of the ‘dum’ style of cooking or the art of cooking over a slow fire. It is this combination of slow cooking with perfect ingredients that brings the flavours,” says Chef Bulai Swain of Euphoria which is currently hosting an Awadhi Food Festival.

The Awadhi cuisine is originally from Uttar Pradesh’s Awadh region, which is a part of Lucknow now. Greatly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques, it bears similarities to the cuisines of Persia, Kashmir and Hyderabad. “The richness of Awadhi cuisine also lies in liberal use of ingredients like mutton, paneer and rich spices including cardamom and saffron,” Chef Swain explains.

And indeed, the kebabs dished out at the festival have a fine flavour of the spices that brings a delectable softness. One of the must-haves in the menu is the Kakori Kebab. This Mughlai dish has minced lamb marinated with a mix of ingredients and almost melts in the mouth.

The Nawabs considered cooking as a distinct form of art and were rather touchy about it , the chef tells us. Thus, you will find that every dish has been carefully presented with a distinct artistic touch.

One of the features of this cuisine is the Dum Pukht process, which involves sealing the ingredients in large ‘handis’. “There is an underlying sweetness in most of the dishes; that’s typical of Awadhi cuisine,” says the chef.

The Awadhi Biryani, unlike the Hyderabadi one, is simple and meaty wherein the rice and the meat are cooked separately and then mixed together. Some of the other dishes in the a-la-carte menu includes Dum Pukth Galouti Kebab, Mutton Boti Kebab and Murgh-e-Kalmi. The main course includes Khade Masala Ka Ghosht, Nihari Ghosht, Makhmali Murgh, Saffron Murgh and Nargisi Kofta with Ulta Tawa Paratha and Rumali Roti.

Vegetarians fret not. There are some delicious options in the menu like Veg Seekh Kebab, Badam Pasanda and Khumb Palak Kofta. And to wrap the culinary tour to the erstwhile kingdom of Awadh, there some delicious desserts like Shahi Tukra and Sohal Halwa. The restaurant’s live musical band enlivens the entire experience with a string of ghazals.

The festival is open for dinner till May 11.


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 1:19:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/the-royal-flavours-of-awadh/article5968989.ece

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