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History on the table

Royal Awadhi cuisine comes alive at Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh



Chef Khantwal has created a memorable feast — Photo: K. Gajendran

AWADH BRINGS back memories of Wajid Ali Shah, nawabi splendour, rich food and flavours - history returns in the form of Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh, a celebration of Awadhi cuisine at Dumpukht, ITC Hotel Kakatiya Sheraton and Towers.

Executive Chef Khantwal takes one down memory lane with a few recipes from the nawabi kitchens of Lucknow and Rampur. The menu conceptualised around recipes from kitchens of the nawabs is small but sumptuous as most of the dishes are rich and heavy.

"The traditional recipes have been improvised a bit to suit the modern palate," says Chef Khantwal, who has worked out the menu with Chef Farook who is the descendant of the Nawabs of Lucknow.

Special spices have been procured for this food festival informs Chef Khantwal. The interesting aspect is the naming of certain recipes after nawabs and begums. A few such dishes are part of the fare at Dumpukht.

For instance, there is Jingha Gajib-ud-din Haider (prawns cooked in rich traditional gravy), Gosht qorma Wajid Ali Shah (lamb knuckles cooked in yellow velvety gravy), Lagan gosht Hussaini (boneless cubes of mutton cooked in brown onion gravy), Asifi aloo khaliya (potato in yellow gravy), Begum dilbahar shorba (spring vegetable broth flavoured with cardamom) and Guncha-o-Saddat (cauliflower).

If one is the soup kind then there are some shorbas to choose from. Awadhi cuisine is incomplete without kebabs and biryani. There is quite a variety of kebabs including Padwal kebab (made of padwal), Rampuri kebab (ground chick peas) and Mughlai Moong kebab.

The meats and chicken gravies can be had with taftan, parathdar paratha and beaab or Biryani Sham-e-Awadh (traditional Awadhi gosht biryani), Shijaud Daulah ki pasand (murgh pulao) and Amjad ki Biryani (garden vegetables cooked with basmati rice). The desserts are limited to three. This meal (only dinner) is certainly for the leisurely evenings where one can savour food and ghazal. If you want to have a taste of history then proceed to Dumpukht. The festival is on till October 10.

R.R

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