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Nawabi fare

Terrace Greens, rooftop restaurant at The South Park, has recently opened a barbeque and chaat counter.


WHEN A little birdie whispered that Terrace Greens, rooftop restaurant at The South Park, had recently opened a barbeque counter, with a corner reserved for some mouth-watering chaats, we felt we simply had to savour the famed seekh kebabs and tuck into some pau bhaji.

At the hotel, your senses go into an overdrive as the lift opens on to the restaurant. The aroma of the seekh kebabs being grilled in the tandoor gently wafts through the air. Head towards the chaat counter to survey the field before you and the smell of Indian spices hits you hard.

Terrace Greens does not serve a bit of this cuisine and a bit of that. Their concept is barbeque, featuring Lucknavi cuisine (for the history enthusiast in you, this is what the Nawabs of Awadh used to feast on). The Nawabs are gone, but their legacy, once under threat of being relegated to the pages of history, has been revived and is today the rage among food enthusiasts.

The menu reads as impressive as it looks, making you forget the scales back home and raring to have a go at the food. Set out in rock slate, it lists both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. On the a la carte menu are dishes such as paneer ka sula (cubes of cottage cheese coated with yoghurt and marinated cheese, grilled in the tandoor), mirchi ka gobhi (fresh cauliflower marinated in green chilli paste, cashew nut paste, yoghurt and spices), vegetable kathi rolls (finely chopped vegetables cooked on a tawa with Indian spices, herbs and rolled in a roomali roti), tandoori tiger prawns (cleaned jumbo prawns marinated in yoghurt, cream, cheese and Indian spices, cooked over glowing charcoal) and malai tangri kebab (marinated chicken in drumstick with cashew nut paste, yoghurt, cream, cheese and cooked in tandoor). Gourmands with a weakness for non-vegetarian food can rediscover it in a very different guise- brushed with butter and grilled to perfection in a complex dressing of spices.

But for the paneer ka sula and murgh lababdar, we leave everything to the judgement of the chef, Tulasidharan Pillai. But with 20 minutes to go before the food reaches our tables, it is chaat time for us. There is an array of chaat to choose from - pani puri, chaat papdi, pau bhaji and bhel puri. With some delectable fare in store for us, we opt for the relatively light bhel puri, which comprises crispy puffed rice, chopped raw mangoes, crushed puris, sev and sprouts along with some diced cucumber, potatoes, tomatoes and onion. Four different chutneys— khajoor chutney- dates and jaggery, meeta chutney- tamarind and jaggery, mint chutney- coriander and mint leaves and khari chutney- red chilli paste, garlic and turmeric powder— go into the making of bhel puris.

Before the next course, there is time to take in the ambience of the restaurant and the surroundings. From our table, it is possible to take in the view of the city bedecked in lights. The palms and flowering plants add an element of green to the surroundings. The best way to relax probably is to take off your footwear and let your tired feet nuzzle againt the soft lawn grass. The light breeze makes the experience of eating out enjoyable but the occasional flash of lightning reminds one of the approaching clouds.


The chaat over, the main course is all ready to be served. Apart from a piping hot vegetable tandoori platter (it comprises three kebabs made of paneer, vegetable, and tandoori gobhi), we have a serving each of kathi roll, roomali roti, dal, pulao and vegetable of the day. The dal (lentil) of the day, palak dal, is a dish that leaves one yearning for more. The vegetable of the day is kadhai vegetable. This dish has the usual Indian spices plus some more. The kadhai in the dish gets its name from the Kadhai masala (crushed black pepper, red chilli, cumin, and coriander) that is added to the cooked vegetables. The pulao is Kashmiri, one of the most popular pulaos, full of fruits and cooked in saffron.

Murgh tikka Nishapuri, garnished with kewra water, saffron and white butter, owes its origin to the dastar khwan (royal kitchens) of Nawab Mirza Khan. Firdoshi kebab, another dish on the menu, has chicken cooked with grated coconut and curry leaves.

The fare proved to be as delicious as the chef had promised us it would be. Those of you who have a sweet tooth could round off your dinner with ice creams and gulab jamuns.

R. K. ROSHNI
SMITHA SADANANDAN

Photos: S. Mahinsha

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