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Fresh out of tawa

The ongoing `Tawa Festival' at Utsav restaurant serves you freshly cooked food straight out of the tawas, specially for you.



CATCH THE SIZZLE: The cooking style lays emphasis on fresh ingredients

A DAL is a dal — hardly delicious. But Chaunkeywali Dal at Utsav (Tivoli Road, Secunderabad) is definitely a delicacy that redefines dal.

"It is the chaunk (seasoning) that sets it apart," says Dilip Kumar, assistant manager (F&B), Utsav, about the Chaunkeywali dal, which is cooked in an open tawa.

Utsav (Tel: 55263646, 27720638) is playing host to a 21-day long vegetarian `Tawa Festival' where food is cooked fresh in front of all, in open tawas put on low simmer.



TOASTING TOGETHERNESS: A melange of delicious, desirable items.

Tracing the roots of tawa cuisine, Dilip says, "An accidental creation of a wayside eatery, this type of cuisine was born around the time of Partition amidst refugee camps set up across the border."

Tawa food is a perpetual rage in North West India, particularly during the onset of monsoon and is popularly known as Tak-a-Tak.

"The cooking style lays emphasis on fresh ingredients, being subjected to a quick fire on the tawa. While the central part of the tawa is where the food is cooked, the outer rim of the griddle is used to keep the food warm," the assistant manager explains. Food is cooked in a colourful blend of spices, condiments and sauces. "Also the tawa is believed to accumulate and absorb a variety of flavours and enhance the taste in the process of cooking," he adds.



TASTY TEMPTERS: Drive the monsoon damp away with these.

Check out the menu — a melange of instantly delicious and immensely desirable items, thoughtfully scribbled on a black tawa.

The first item sounds great. "It tastes as great as it sounds," corrects Dilip. Paneer Tak-a-Tak — a classic champion of the tawa cuisine — is a simple yet succulent preparation made with marinated and subsequently grilled chunks of paneer, cooked with onion rings, capsicum, chutneys and spices, on the griddle. Ymmm!

"Paneer Omar Khyyam is another mouth-watering delicacy that is our contribution to this culinary movement," he adds. Innovated by chef Vishwanath Pandey of Utsav, Paneer Omar Khyyam is a sinfully rich, five-layered paneer sandwich with a varied assortment of stuffing, grilled with grated cheese on top, and cooked on tawa, in mild sauces. One should not miss on the Tawa chowmein — a Nepalese style of noodles.

Sofiyani Pulao Tawe Se, Dakshini Tawa Aloo, Paneer Pyaaz Kulcha, Shahi Mirch Mussallam, Subz Kakori Kebab, Hara Bhara kebab and Tarkari khara masala, are the other exotic eats among others.

A perfect eulogy to this delightful culinary odyssey would be incomplete without a taste of the tawa sweets — thick rabri cooked in an assortment of juices and other sweetmeats. Do not miss a take on the Tak-a-Tak Tawa, which is on till July 13.

S.C.

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