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Skewered delicacies

The kebab festival returns with unlimited flavour and fervour

Photo: D. Gopalakrishnan

IT'S WRITTEN that Christopher Columbus was fond of Portuguese espetadas, a shish kebab marinated in wine and roasted on an open fire. He should have tried the ones at the Blue Flower Restaurant, Taj Residency instead. How often do you come across a really original idea? Not just a variation on thyme, but a really different, refreshing, exciting cartoon light bulb of an idea?

There's one at the ongoing Kebabs Galore - paneer slices wrapped in banana leaf, fried and served dripping with mustard sauce.

Quite simply, the festival has some of the finest variations put together on the face of the earth. Don't go expecting some quickly knocked up kebab here — this place is for the true connoisseur.

Expect to wait awhile and sip the unlimited beer that's part of the package and marvel at the passion exuded by the chefs as they meticulously prepare the constituents of your kebab: succulent chunks of marinated chicken cooked over a charcoal grill, freshly prepared biryani, combined with mouth-watering salan, a fine selection of salad, and topped off with chilli and mint sauce.

With strong leanings for a cuisine brought forth from the narrow bylanes of the Frontier, the menu also offers a sprinkling of the flavours of Hyderabad. Says the Executive Chef, Rajeev Janveja, "Kebabs and biryani are an all time favourite. It's the time of the year when people love eating out and it gives our guests a choice and a change from what we regularly offer."

To enjoy a meal that is as elaborate as the multitude of kebabs on display at the live counter, one needs to start on an empty stomach.

In that state of hollowness, most things tend to be an irritant but this is a different experience. There are a variety of salads that include the sprouted, leafed and the cheesy kind.

The main course has Biryani, Potli Kebab, Shammi Kebab and the Amritsari Kebab for the non-vegetarians. The vegetarians have the run of the table serving Zafrani Paneer Kebab, Dahi Ke Kebab and the inevitable Galoti Kebab. Gloriously full, superbly entertained and lulled into a state of mellowness by the mellifluous ghazals, it's a dream to know it's all unlimited.

DEEPA ALEXANDER

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