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For Awadhi flavours


FROM THE pakwan of Akbar the Great to the chulhas of Punjab and the handis of Lucknow come the best of curries. The Mughals got it spot on when they perfected their cuisine. If you want to delve deep into the heady aroma of Awadhi cuisine in an ambience that celebrates good living, Sheesh Mahal is a very good option.

This family restaurant on Lavelle Road, has hired cooks from Lucknow and Delhi to ensure authenticity. You can take your pick of starters from Bharva Aloo, scooped potatoes stuffed with cottage cheese and nuts, grilled (Rs. 125), Cheese Kurkuri, spiced cheese wrapped in thin dough later and cooked crisp (Rs. 140), Lucknowi Kabab, slow roasted, mildly spiced chicken drumsticks (Rs 195), Tandoori Murgh Aadha, half spring chicken marinated in spices and grilled in the tandoor (Rs. 175), Kakori Kabab, invented by the Nawab of Kakori in Uttar Pradesh to serve his guests the choicest rolls of minced mutton slow-grilled on charcoal (Rs. 200), or Tandoori Gulnar, whole pomfret marinated in ginger, garlic, and yoghurt, and char-grilled in an earthen oven (Rs. 350).

The restaurant does not serve ham and beef. Neither do pickles come in automatically as in other eateries. For, as its proprietor Suresh Malhotra, says, pickles interfere with the taste of food. If you are a pickles freak, make sure you ask for them.

For the main course, try Murgh Khusk Chilman, boneless chicken sautéed with capsicum, onion, and stomato, set in a platter, covered with thinly rolled out dough and baked (Rs. 225). You can also check out the speciality of the house Murgh Awadhi (Rs. 210), boneless chicken cooked in a gravy whose traditions are steeped in history: the recipe is handed down from the chef's forefathers.


Mutton lovers can go in for Palak Gosht, tender lamp cooked in a special masala and spinach gravy (Rs. 220), or the tantalising Chops Sukha Masala, tender lamp chops infused in black pepper masala (Rs. 215).

Vegetarians will love the Bharva Mirchi, non-spicy chilli stuffed with vegetables and cooked in medium spicy gravy (Rs. 120), the Methi Makai Malai, methi leaves and corn blended in cream-based gravy, garnished with cream, butter, and a pinch of dry methi (Rs. 155), or the Pindi Chana Masala, a semi-dry home-style preparation of kabuli chana (Rs. 125).

Apart from rotis, naans, parathas, and kulchas, there are also biryanis like Dum Gosht Biryani (Rs. 150) and Dum Murgh Biryani (Rs. 150). An interesting dish is the Chilman Biryani, packed with vegetables, spices, and basmati rice, cooked in its own juices dum style (Rs. 110). Traditionalists can go in for the classic Yakhani Pulao, packed with layers of mutton and basmati rice.

How can one not top off the meal with a dessert? Head straight for the Khubani Ka Meeta, a heavenly concoction of dried apricots stewed in flavoured milk, and set with custard and cream (Rs. 95). You can also take your pick from Gajar Halwa, Gulab Jamun, Phirni, Falooda, and Kheer.

Sheesh Mahal also has conference facilities, party hall with a dance floor, and library lounges with a bar. It can be contacted on 56989766 or 51120799.

S.R.

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