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Just decide to go up North

RADHIKA RAJAMANI

Embark on a culinary journey of curries of the North at Curry `n' Rice at Taj Banjara.



WHOLESOME FOOD: The festival offers a wide variety.

THERE IS a lot to curry and rice than you just think or imagined. The country has such a rich tradition of curries that varies from region to region. "We wanted to break the misconception that curry and rice is south Indian. The North too offers a variety which we wanted to showcase," says Sanjay Vij, Executive Chef, Taj Banjara. This view is also endorsed by Amit Ranade, Food and Beverage Manager. And when you walk into Curry `n' Rice restaurant you notice the attempt to impart a North Indian ambience to the contemporary set up by way of a thatch and some chunris hung on the partitions. "We wanted to provide authentic recipes of Rajasthan, Punjab, Kashmir and part of U.P.," says Chef Vij who will in course of time expose the Hyderabadi populace to food from other regions of the country.

The cuisines are distinct in terms of ingredients (which are generally determined by the availability in a particular region) and the method of preparation. While Punjabi cuisine uses a lot of tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and green chillies, Kashmiri cuisine is distinguished by its predominant usage of saffron, Kashmiri mirch (which is not fiery but imparts a red colour) and rattan jot and Rajasthani food uses lentils and lot of ghee.

Don't think it is just curry and rice of the north which is dished up. There are starters - traditional - like Machi Amritsari (typically Punju), Raj Kachori chat and Mirchi bada (from Rajasthan) and others like Kurkure aloo (a tasty preparation - where baby potatoes are marinated in green chutney and coated with fine vermicelli and deep fried), Lal mirch ka paneer (which is skewed on sugarcane stick) and then grilled on tawa.



DESSERT DELICACIES: Indian sweets.

For the `green' group there are quite a few gravies - paneer paneer lababdar (in a makhni gravy), kaju kumbh matar (in a white creamy gravy), lasooni palak (a tasty and healthy dish).

The Rajasthani gatte ka saag and Punjabi pyazi kadi make their appearance. The ubiquitous dal makhni (which is slightly thick) and dal tadkewali (a mixture of moong and masoor) are definitely on the menu.

The non-veggies can feast on Tawa pomfret, Saag gosht and Butter chicken (classic Punjabi preparations) Rara jheenga, Kashmiri Rogan-e-gosht and Tawa murg khatta pyaz.



START A MEAL: There are interesting starters.

For a change one can have a Tawa bharwan paratha (filled with potato or cauliflower) and phulka instead of the usual naans and tandoori rotis. There are some exotic pulaos like chana chilgoza (pine nuts) pulao and Kashmiri pulao (full of tutty-fruity and nuts). Those who want to opt for white rice or jeera rice can do so. The curd dishes include raita and dahi gujiya (like a dahiwada but stuffed with chutney).

Thankfully there is a limited repertoire for desserts - the famous gajar ka halwa, pista gulab jamun, kesari rasmalai and laccha malai kulfi.

Experience this food festival before July 13.

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