February 4, 2016
Relish the traditional delicacies from the land of Awadh as Marble Room; at Kenilworth revives the centuries old recipes and takes you for a delectable trip back to the era of the Nawabs. This traditional feast featuring Master Chef Anjum Hasan will recreate the primordial magic of India’s royal era. Just as the enthralling history of Awadh, the cuisine has a class of its own. Originated in the giant kitchens of the food loving Nawabs, Lucknowi food is subtly flavoured and the aromatic making involves finely ground spices and is cooked in the unique Dum style. Kenilworth is going to celebrate Dastarkhan- E-Khas, “Andaaz Ae Lucknow” the Awadhi Food Festival from 4th-14th February, 2016 at The Marble Room.
The Cuisine famed for its delectable flavour’s, Awadhi cuisine has a specific style of cooking that brings out the real essence of the delicacies. The bawarchis (chefs) and rakabdars (gourmet 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 the combination of slow cooking with perfect ingredients that brings the flavor. Hence, Kenilworth will try to bring in the Lucknow flavour on the plate and make it mouthwatering by introducing Veg and Non-Veg platter with Lucknowi Chef Anjum Hasan to showcase the legacy of the rich cuisine to Kolkatans.
This festival brings us a rich array of scrumptious Indian kebabs and curries of the royals. Chef Anjum Hasan has been specially flown in from Lucknow to familiarize us with the authentic tastes of the best of kebabs ever. The non-vegetarians can start the royal treat with famous Gelawati Kabab, Shikampuri Kebab, Kakoori Kebab and Pasanda Kebab. Vegetarians can savour the melt in mouth Anarsa Kebab, Guller Kebab and Guchi Gelawati.
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. Lukhnow is proud of its Kebabs as it is the integral part of Awadhi.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Raju Bharat, Director of Kenilworth hotel commented, “We wanted to present Lucknow in Kolkata to let people know of its rich tastes & cuisine. The place is famous for its delicious and appetizing food. The Nawabs considered cooking as a distinct form of art and were rather touchy about it. With a specially designed festival menu, we at Kenilworth have brought the world famous “Lucknowi” cuisine to Kolkata to give guests an authentic taste, prepared by Chef Anjum Hasan who has come down especially from Lucknow to showcase their rich cuisine that is not available in the city. Thus, you will find that every dish has been carefully presented with a distinct artistic touch”.
“You find briyanis and kababs in various places around the world but at Andaaz Ae Lucknow, what sets it apart is that it brings to the table the distinct, unique, sophisticated and subtle flavours of Lucknow. The kababs are soft and succulent, and they just melt in your mouth,” explained Chef Anjum Hasan. She is a specialist in Lucknow cuisine and also well-known for organising food festivals in many cities in India as well as in Colombo, Dubai and Lahore.
Kenilworth is going to bring Awadhi Biryani, unlike the Hyderabadi one, is simple and meaty wherein the rice and the meat are cooked separately and then mixed together in large ‘handis’. Some of the other dishes in the Non-Veg menu include Galouti Kebab, Mutton Boti Kebab and Surkh Murgh.
Vegetarians fret not as the menu offers some delicious options like Subzkakori Seekh Kebab, Paneer ke Dulme and Gobhi Musallam. And to wrap the culinary tour to the erstwhile kingdom of Awadh, guests can wrap up this royal culinary trip with exquisite Awadhi desserts like Shahi Tukra and Sheer Khurma to pamper their taste buds. So visit Kenilworth to tickle your taste buds with the royal nawabi feast!
Everyone enjoyed this royal expedition with the chef crafted a la carte. Every dish recreate the cuisine’s true flavors using the magical blending of spices, slow fire cooking, and its harmony with the seasons of nature with ‘nafasat’ and ‘nazakat’ that the cuisine has been famous for. Celebrity Chef Anjum Hasan and Executive Chef Khemraj Bhatt and his culinary team spread an elaborate array of Awadhi dishes and creatively blend warm spices with fresh vegetables and meat to create dishes par excellence for the festival.
We started with The Galouti Kebab, perfectly minced meat drizzled with kebab chini and garam masala and finished with gulab jal and a dash of ittar for hits of royalty. You won’t be able to stop munching on the Mutton Boti Kebab — it was perfectly marinated, tender and salty, perfect for washing down with drinks. The Surkh Murgh packs a punch of flavour and will leave you wanting more, while the Gobhi Musallam with mix of spices and served with creamy makhani gravy was truly immaculate.
The Awadhi Biryani — cooked to perfection, traditionally in a dum style, which flavours the rice immensely — was a sure win for all. With a generous and even spread of flavours throughout the Biryani, you’re ensured oozing glory. You must go for the unassuming, lightly-charred Murgh Pasanda sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamons with a generous douse of ginger, garlic and chili oil, you won’t believe how good they’ve made this humble dish taste. Murgh Pasanda was simple, honest, and hearty, but it truly kicks ass.
The Sheer Khurma with cashew nut, pistachio and dried date was a royal dessert that you should save stomach space for — the sweetness of this dish pierces through the umami of the briny food like rays of sunshine hitting the ocean floor. Finally finish with the Shahi Tukra that comes drizzled with saffron and cardamom, making this simple dessert go from blah to wow, and the whole experience a whaley good one! The desserts were a truly inspired creation; I suggest you should try both.
This meal was an adventure best shared with friends — set a date for your next celebration! The elegant vibes of the place made it a good choice for an exciting and relaxed date night, or a small celebratory dinner for a small group of friends or family. Take your time here, relax in its cool environment, and let the evening pass by slowly, one plate at a time.