A `deccani' flavour

ROYAL REPAST A feast for the food connoisseurs  

If Confucius in his infinite wisdom emphasised the importance of presentation of food, the Hyderabadi connoisseur takes it a step further, asking for that right ambience that can bring out the zaeqa or flavour of cuisine served. "Khane ke liye mahol ka bada asar hota hai (ambience plays a significant role in food)," says celebrity food consultant Masihuddin Tucy as he picks some of best from Hyderabadi dastar and rest of khwan-e-Zafar (Tucy happens to be Bahadur Shah Zaffar's great grandson) chosen from Aurangabad, Bidar and rest of the Mughal kingdom, for the ongoing `Splendours of Deccan' at Fortune Katriya Hotel by Welcomgroup.

"The festival is related to the aristocratic nawabi style where you never rush through the meal that you are supposed to enjoy course wise," explains Ram Misra, general manager of the hotel.

The table d'h�te is essentially a 12-course menu that includes equal options in vegetarian and non-vegetarian sections — a mutton broth Marag, vegetarian Shami kebabs, a plethora of kormas that can be teamed with naan plus the biryani served with dahi ki chutney and mirchi ka salan. Tatari kebab gets its robust flavour after it is hand pounded with a hammer and Masq biryani with dry fruits that go into its making. "It is a sufiyana (preferred by Sufi saints) spread," says Tucy as he adds a generous dash of rare herbs and roots to each dish. Connoisseurs might just find the food tad poetic what with preparations such as Gil-e-firdaus, a mildly fragrant pumpkin dessert, on the menu.

Talk of fragrances and the attar with meetha paan wraps up the mehman nawazi in a typical Hyderabadi style. And there are hookahs and rest of the paraphernalia that you would rather find in the courtyard of the erstwhile nawabs here. Bon appetite.