A unique style of cooking that is native to the city of Nawabs aka Lucknow, Awadhi cuisine is often associated with royalty and a certain sense of grandeur and opulence. This is mainly due to the fact that it traces its roots to the Nawabs of Awadh who were originally from Persia. Being connoisseurs of good food as well as passionate about holding ‘daawats’ or feasts, they played a big role in ‘refining’ the Mughal style of cooking. The generous use of saffron and dry fruits as well as popularizing dum cooking and cooking on slow fire were just some of the changes introduced by them. Given the rich use of meat, paneer and authentic spices, the flavours are bold and exotic.
While I was aware that an Awadhi spread typically consists of kebabs, kormas and briyanis, I was always under the impression that this cuisine was a ‘treat’ for non vegetarian lovers and that there was a limited choice for vegetarians. But I was in for a pleasant surprise when I sampled the large variety of vegetarian dishes at the ongoing Awadh food fest in J W Marriott.
Specially curated by Master Chef Rehman Mujeebur and his original Khansama team from Lucknow, this one is surely a ‘feast for the kings’! “It is definitely not true that Awadhi cuisine is all about meat and chicken, there are a whole lot of options for vegetarians that can be savoured with a host of exotic breads. Also Awadhi cuisine is all about balance” said Chef Rehman when I quizzed him about the vegetarian fare in the spread.
And true to his words, the fare was delectable with each of the dishes bursting with authentic flavours drawn from a rich legacy practised and perfected over the centuries. Here are some pictures of the vegetarian spread.
Both specialites, the Lucknow kulcha as well as Sheermal which is a saffron flavoured bread were unique with a distinct taste.
There were several options like the Ahamri Paneer Korma (cottage cheese cooked in rich tomato gravy), Lasooni Jeera Bhindi and Nawabi Baigan Bharta, all of which were cooked in a medley of spices to pair the breads with.
My favourite was the Sheesh Pulav that was cooked impeccably and was the perfect mix of mixed vegetables and fresh spices.
The desserts were truly exquisite espcially the Sheer Khurma (Vermicelli Pudding) and Chukandar E Afroz (Beetroot Halwa).
Needless to mention, the fare for non-vegetarian lovers was extensive too. Do not forget to sample the much loved maghai paan at the end of the meal.
This delightful fest by Chef Rahman is on till 04-Nov-2018.
JW Marriott Kitchen
Address: 24, 1, Vittal Mallya Rd, Bengaluru – 560001
Phone: 080671 89999