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From the Afghan griddle

Vegetarian kebabs add spice to this food fest



GRILLED!: A sumptuous spread of kebabs. Pic: S. Siva Saravanan

AN INVITATION for a kebab fest is usually not greeted with much enthusiasm by veggies. They are not to be blamed for the pieces of mutton neatly lined on the skewers make them frown and even believe that it is a fully non-vegetarian affair.

So, you were pleasantly surprised after browsing through the list of items on offer at the `Kebab festival' at the Afghan's Grill, The Residency. For a change, there are a whole lot of vegetarian kebabs to choose from (eight to be precise).

"People think that there are not many vegetarian kebabs. All vegetables can be used for making kebabs. And that's why we are offering a lot of items in the vegetarian section," says Sous Chef, Sashidhar Bhat, who has designed the a-la-carte menu for the fest.

Veggie fare

Jinor Ki Chipdi, made combining fried patties of American corn, was crispy. The sweetness of the corn offset the spice to a great extent. Panneer til tinka prepared using lots of cheese and coated with sesame seeds was good. The flavour of sesame and cheese comes through nicely in this delicacy.

Subzi Pudine Ki Khaad (mince of vegetables cooked on skewers) lived to its billing. The heavily mint flavoured kebab was scrumptious. Kurkuri Bharwan Tamtar (stuffed tomatoes with crispy coating and deep fried) and Phalkidar Khukdi (mushroom slices minced with spices and grilled) are among the other offerings in the vegetarian menu.

In the non-vegetarian section, you can taste the Murgh Shaan-E-Aligarh (succulent chicken pieces coated with chopped herbs). The mildly-marinated kebab, that comes straight from the embers, has a `charred' flavour giving you the true taste of a kebab.

The `mace-flavoured' Murgh Darbari Kebab is a trifle sour due to the addition of poppy seeds. Murgh Zaika-E-Nariyal (chicken grilled with coconut and Indian spices) is a gourmand's delight. The kebab has an ideal combination of sweet and spice.

Unique flavour

Chaamp Sang E-Lazeez has an earthy taste, thanks to the preparation method. Mutton chops cooked on stone with saffron flavour gives it the unique taste. Patru Sheekh Mulayam (mutton cooked on skewers with a coating of beaten egg and deep fried) is a must try.

The delicacy is soft and the rich flavour lingers on in your tongue. Also try the Chakori Jhinga (prawns with a mix of pomegranate and fenugreek) and Mahi Dhaniwal Dhariya (slices of fish with a spicy marinade).

The chutneys for the kebabs come in three flavours-mint, chilli and peanut with yoghurt. Indian breads such as Lucknawi Taftan are also offered. The fest that starts today is on till February 20.

M. ALLIRAJAN

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