Thursday, 19 April 2018

Savour Some Traditional and Unique Rajasthani Dishes at The Imperial New Delhi

I tried the Rajasthani style 'Khad Murgh' at the on going festival at Daniell's Tavern. A tradition from the days of shikaar (hunting), game meat was cooked in a similar way - tenderised, wrapped in roti, which was further wrapped in palm leaves and then tied in a cloth and cooked in a pit. A very rustic dish!

Khad Murgh

While the festival features the ubiquitous laal maans and succulent maans ke sule, you’ll find some off-beat dishes too. Instead of the usual ker sangri and gatte ki sabzi, they are presented as ker sangri ki tikki and Govind gatte. Both, maintaining their inherent flavours, yet breaking out of a monotonous mould. Another unusual addition to the menu is Dhaurasi Taffri. Fresh water prawns, which are non-existent in traditional Rajasthani cuisine, are marinated with hung curd, garlic and chilli and cooked in a clay oven. This dish makes it a luxe dining experience, and we are not complaining! The quality of the prawns used is superlative, making it a top-notch starter. And then there’s Rajasthani mirchi vada, served with a tangy green chutney, which will transport you to the streets of the desert state.

The Thali
From Left bowl: Dal, Baati, Govind Gatte, Laal Maans, Aloo Mangodi
Paneer ka sweta, Khatto Murgh.

The main course, served in a thali, comes with gatte ka pulao, jowar ki roti, bajre ki roti and of course, dal baati churma. The baati, however, is served in two ways – the traditional deep-fried one, and an oven-baked version to make it more suitable for city-dwellers. The laal maans and khatto murgh will leave you licking your fingers. Executive Chef Prem K Pogakula has shared the recipes for laal maans and gatte ki sabzi, you’ll find them both at the end of this article. Paneer ka sweta is another twist on a local dish. Sweta is a type of a porridge made with millets in the older days. These days, besides millets, it is also made with corn, and different vegetables or proteins can be added to it. In this case, it is paneer ka sweta, made with a sweet corn base. I really enjoyed the spicy tomato-based aloo mangodi ki sabzi with jowar ki roti. Again, something that’ll remind you of a rural countryside.

Desserts
Left: Meethi Kachori
Right Top: Ghewar
Right Bottom: Balushahi

The end of this meal came with a surprise: a dessert buffet including the finest Rajasthani sweets! So round off a hearty meal with even heartier sweets like ghevar, meethi kachori, balushahi, a kheer-like lapsi, and nookti, popularly known in Delhi as boondi.

Details:
Royal Rajasthan at Daniell’s Tavern, The Imperial New Delhi.
Dinner Timings: 6:30pm-11:45pm.
Duration: Till 30th April 2018.
Meal for Two: Rs 5,000 + taxes without alcohol.

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Recipes by Chef Prem K Pogakula- Executive Chef, The Imperial New Delhi.

LAAL MAAS

Ingredients
•         2 small onions, finely chopped
•         2 green chillies, finely chopped
•         18-20 red chillies
•         2 tsp coriander seeds, whole
•         1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
•         1 cup mustard oil
•         10 cloves garlic, finely chopped.
•         A small piece of ginger, finely chopped
•         1/2 kg lamb with bone, cut into pieces
•         1 tsp salt or to taste
•         1 small cup kachri powder
•         3-4 pods cardamom
•         1/2 tsp black pepper
•         1 cinnamon stick
•         A little bit of mace
•         1 pod black cardamom
•         Water as required
•         A handful of coriander leaves, chopped

Method 
•         Dry roast the red chillies to give a rich aroma. This adds great flavour to the dish.
•         Add to that the coriander seeds and cumin seeds.
•         Once done, grind it into a fine powder. Heat some mustard oil in a pan. Add to this the garlic and ginger.
•         Once the garlic turns slightly brown add the lamb pieces. Give it a good mix. This is also a good time to add salt.
•         Add the kachri powder. Then add the chopped onions and mix it all well.
•         Once the onions have roasted well add the whole spices - cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, mace, black cardamom. Give all a good stir.
•         Add the red chilly powder and let it roast. After about a minute, add enough water to cook the lamb. Cover it and let it simmer for a couple of minutes till the meat is cooked.
•         Once the meat is cooked, take out all the pieces on a platter and strain the gravy.
•         Straining the gravy gets rid of all the whole spices and keeps the essence and flavours intact.
•         Put back the lamb pieces that you had taken out into the refined gravy and let it simmer on low heat.
•         Add about 1/2 cup water and some coriander leaves. Allow it to cook for a while and when you reach a good consistency of gravy, turn off the heat. Serve hot.

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GATTE KI SABZI

Ingredients 
•         1 small cup besan
•         1/2 tsp turmeric powder
•         1/2 tsp dhania powder
•         1/2 tsp chilly powder
•         A hint of heeng
•         3/4 tsp salt or to taste
•         1 tsp zeera
•         1/2 ginger, chopped fine
•         1 tsp pudina, chopped fine
•         1/4 tsp baking soda
•         1 big cup curd, whisked
•         Oil

For the Base: 
•         1 tbsp ghee
•         1 tbsp oil
•         5 guntur chillies
•         1/2 tsp zeera
•         1 onion, chopped fine
•         8-10 cloves
•         1 piece cassia
•         5-6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
•         1/2 tsp turmeric
•         3/4 tsp chilly powder or to taste
•         1/2 tsp dhania powder
•         1/4 tsp heeng
•         Salt
•         1 green chilly, slit
•         Some coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method 
For the gattas:
·       Dry roast the zeera and then grind it in a mortar and pestle.
·       In a bowl, mix the besan, spices and zeera together to make the mixture for the gattas.
·       Add to this the ginger and mint leaves. Add about 1 and 1/2 tbsp of curd into the besan mixture along with baking soda.
·       Start to knead it like a dough. Add more curd if it is too dry. Add a couple of drops of oil to make it easier to handle.
·       Once you get the dough to a good consistency where it can be easily handled, you can divide it into sections and roll them out into long, thin strips.
·       Boil these rounded strips in some water in a pan. They will be very delicate so handle them with extreme care. Once done take them out.
·       Cut the long strips into smaller pieces and deep fry these pieces. You can shape the gattas as you like.
·       Once they are nice and golden brown, take them out and keep aside.

For the base:
·       In a pan add 1 tbsp of the oil in which the gattas were fried. Add to that 1 tbsp of ghee.
·       Add the chillies and zeera to the oil and let it brown.
·       Add the onions and saute.
·       Add the cloves, cassia, and garlic. Saute well.
·       Now add the powdered spices like turmeric, dhania powder, heeng, red chilly powder.
·       Add a pinch of salt.
·       Add some water to de-glaze the pan and lift the spices. (just a sprinkle of water to 'bhuno' the masala).
·       Now use the curd that was left earlier from the gattas and add it to this masala. Add it little by little.
·       Add a green chilly. Mix all the curd well with masalas.
·       Once you see the oil coming up to the surface add the gattas. Mix well. Add the coriander leaves.
·       Let it simmer for about 5-7 minutes for the flavours to concentrate. Serve hot.