Simple, wholesome and delicious... that's the essence of the Rajasthani food fest at GRT Grand Days
Pic. by S. R. Raghunathan
This mela can't be missed: At the food fest.
THE TEAM of chefs at the Copper Point, GRT Grand Days (ph: 28150500) must be smiling all the way. The reason is praise. After all, when the thin line between a hearty appetite and greed is erased, it is a compliment to the person who spends sweaty hours before a stove.
Navarathri and the shudh vegetarian Mela Marwar Ka, the Rajasthani buffet for dinner... the timing is perfect. But that is not all. The executive chef, Sheetharam Prasaad and the Rajasthani chefs have got their act in place. On Saturday night, there was barely elbowroom at the buffet table.
What's more, there was too much to taste and just one stomach to put it all in.
After four welcome drinks thandai, lassi, Kesar sherbat and my favourite, kairi pani, the lovely raw mango spiced drink and sampling starters, dal pakodi and kalmi wada and some irresistible aloo tikki with chole, raj kachori, I had already begun to feel comfortable.
And there was chilla, the Rajasthani take on our adai, with mint chutney.
After an exquisite bhatti, a tava baked wheat cake with churma and makki and tikadia rotis and bedwi pooris (fried stuffed maida rotis) with panchmela dal and methi aloo, I had begun to feel the strain. But there was still bajra ki kichadi and kadi. It would have been a tragedy had I given up at that point. It was simple, wholesome and tasty, qualities that capture the essence of a cuisine.
Pappads at their best
The heaviness was beginning to tell and I switched into the pick and choose mode. A gorgeous pappad mangori and the faintly sweet chaasni ka chawal were next on list. What is it with Rajasthanis and pappad? No one makes such ingenious preparations with the humble pappad as they do. Among the namkeen was another interesting avatar, spiced crushed pappad.
Usually in the melee of the buffet, chutneys and pickles are overlooked. If you don't try the khajoor (dates) ki chutney, ker ka achar and methi loonji, you will be missing something.
The dessert table was groaning under the weight of at least a dozen items. A misnomer, chithra gupt put the kheer, moong dal halwa, kulfi and jalebi in the shadow. Why this channa-based sweet should be named after Yamaraj's assistant is still puzzling. The Malpua too belonged to the oozy syrupy yummy club.
All this heavy duty dining comes at Rs. 325 plus taxes. The mela is on till October 17.
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