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Parathas in a castle

A meal of parathas at the on-going paratha festival at Salzburg Street, Amrutha Castle, does not burn a hole in your pocket.


FUSION FOOD: The decor is olde England but taste definitely Punjabi

AS YOU step into Salzburg Street, not a street of Mozart's birthplace, but the coffee shop of Amrutha Castle bearing a rugged ambience, you wonder whether this is the right place to have parathas of all things (as a paratha festival is on here) considering the Austrian name. For this replica of a medieval Bavarian castle should be serving Austrian-German cuisine judging from the name and not the humble parathas. Given the multi-cuisine trend in vogue these days where the gourmet is supposedly treated to a variety it is not surprising that you are served parathas in a place with a period look.

The coffee shop, an offshoot of the lobby, brings history back to your mind - reminds you of the tales of the medieval ages of kings like Arthur, Charlemagne and their knights and warriorsThe architecture and interiors amply reflect the past - what with chunks of wood on the low ceiling at intervals along with the sitting area fashioned of granite blocks. The tables too seem to be like a swing (with one chain but stationary) and the uneven floor just adds to the medieval mystique. Of course the lighting is contemporary as is the rest of the furniture and upholstery.

A quick scan of the menu card reveals the incredibly reasonable price. While you wonder how one can get a paratha so budget-friendly you have to make a selection of what you want. And you are informed that these parathas (most of them barring a few exceptions) are served with curd, pickle and clarified butter. While most of them are baked in the tandoor, a few are roasted on the griddle.

The list of lazeez parathe include the usual aloo, methi gobhi and pudina besides a few different like soya and sattu (flour of kala chana which is spiced and used as a stuffing) and the famous Malabari paratha (the only one served with vegetable kurma) and lachcha (though it is not as layered as it should be) for the veggies. If one finds it tiresome to order paratha individually one can go for the assorted bread basket comprising five parathas namely lachcha, aloo, methi, diamond and sattu.

For the non-vegetarians there is chicken keema paratha, mutton keema paratha, mughlai paratha, Ceylon egg paratha (where beaten egg spiced with onions and other condiments is poured on one side of the paratha and allowed to cook and then folded into a square), razakki tikka paratha and boti kabab paratha.

Make the order and relax till it arrives and observe the interiors. When the food arrives just eat the parathas as fast as possible as they taste the best when they are hot as otherwise one will have to tussle with them. The pickles served are mango (avakkai), mixed vegetable and tomato. These may taste a little weird to the north Indian who is used to having his parathas with mango pickle flavoured with saunf (aniseeds) and kalonji (onion seed) in mustard oil or a vegetable pickle (cauliflower, carrot and turnip) in mustard oil or even the famous pachrang (with different ingredients like mango, lotus root, karonda - a type of berry and others.) But one is free to order other items from the menu as well.

If you feel the necessity of a dessert choose between meetha paratha (stuffed with jaggery and coconut) and puran poli (channa dal and jaggery stuffing with a dash of aniseed which helps in the digestion).

When you get your bill you may realise how little you have eaten as the veg parathas are all priced at Rs. 15 each, while the non-veg ones are priced at Rs. 25 each. The rotis are value for money, so check out the festival till June 30.

R.R.

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