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Food from the plateau

The Malwa Food Festival at Taj Banjara, promises a wholesome spread..


MALWA MEAL: The spread is appetising

MALWA BRINGS back memories of the Sultan Baz Bahadur (who ruled in medieval times) and the famous legend of Rani Roopmati in the beautiful environs of the capital Mandu (near Indore). The cuisine which developed in this region is a mix of the Sultanate and the Holkar cuisine - not just of the royalty but of the hoi polloi as well. The Taj Banjara is showcasing this cuisine at the Malwa Food Festival at Waterside Café till August 11.

While the cuisine is similar to Rajasthani on account of the geographical contours, with common common items like kachori, dal-bafla and kadhi, there are others which are varied in taste.

If you are the snacky kinds then the chaat wala is certainly inviting. He whips up interesting dishes like chaat baskets, corn kees and chillas and many more. About five different menus have been worked out which give you a taste of Malwa cuisine.

The dal-bati and dal-bafla are staple to this region. Besides serving this, the hotel also serves some different breads like parathas and naans. There are rice dishes. A bafla soaked in hot dal is delicious. The methi palak papad Ratlami bhindi, paneer mircha, kakdi angoor ki sabzi, patodi ki sabzi, sev pyaz ki sabzi, tinda katran, aate chakki ki sabzi, dry fruit handi, shahi parwal, mandvi baingan, aloo khada pyaz, dal chakke ki sabzi, paneer sev ki sabzi and Malwi kabuli chana rotated over different days prove to be a feast for the vegetarians.

For the non-veggies there are two items served over different days like dahi gosht, surve bhari murgi, mutton tariwala, jhabua murgh, mutton matka, Ratlami murgh, machli masala, gosht boti parsunde and kala kund murgh. The mawa bati, bhurra ladoo, kesaria ladoo, kishmis ladoo and churma are desserts typical of the region.

Chef Chiku has been specially flown from Indore for this festival. This food is not spicy and regular spices like turmeric, red chilli powder are used. "A paste of poppy seeds, sesame seeds and coconut powder is used in some gravies." He narrated the procedure involved in the aate chakki ki sabzi where the dough is washed under running water for three hours, pounded and steamed and made into curry. The buffet costs Rs. 350 plus taxes per head.

All those whose appetites have been whetted by these dishes should surely make a trip to Waterside Café to have this fare till August 11.

RADHIKA RAJAMANI

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