Crowne Plaza Hotels needs no introduction when it comes to great hospitality and equally good dining options. Recently Spice Art, the in-house fine dining place in Crowne Plaza Rohini, has kicked off a festival named Colours of India wherein they would be introducing their specially curated dishes from different cuisines around numerous states of India, bringing to us fine taste of dishes which were well researched in terms of ingredients, the traditional taste and cooking methods. It’s a 2-month long food affair which will go on till 26th May, 2018.
As the fest sounded very unique and the menu was very tempting, we went for two extravagant meals covering the northern and western parts – Kashmir to Punjab and Rajasthani & Awadhi.
As the list of delicacies goes long, we’d be describing our food journey with Kashmir to Punjab cuisine. We were welcomed with Chhaach in shot glasses – an Indian summer drink of curd and spices. Moving towards the starters, our stopovers in the journey were:
- Bharwan Kashmiri Seb – a rather unique thing we relished for the first time ; it was slices of apples baked in tandoor with nuts and cheese. It was something you don’t come across very often but still the dish was delicious. You wouldn’t like to have just one.
- Tabak Maaz – A Kashmiri delicacy made from lamb ribs tenderized in milk and spices. The meat was really very flavourful and soft. Milk helps to give rise to a smooth texture to the meat.
- Chatpate Tawe Aaloo – who would have thought that something so simple like a potato could be presented in such an unusually toothsome and eye pleasing way. Thick marinated sliced potatoes done on tawa were really good.
- Murgh Seekh Kebabs – even while writing this, I can feel the softness of the juicy meat that we relished. Seekh kebabs were done in special Kashmiri spices that made it even more delectable.
After the appetizers, we moved to next stopovers in main course of the meal:
March Wangan Korma and Balti Murgh arrived on our table with delicious Amritsari Kulche and Rogani Naan. The korma was essentially mutton cooked in gravy of yoghurt and spices like fennel. Balti Murgh was chicken curry in cashew gravy to give a coarse texture. Amrtisari Kulcha were prepared with the traditional taste and technique. Rogani Naan which came a little later deserves a special mention because of the rich aroma that bound the table. A next level bread which we relished with Amritsari Cholle. They were cooked well with amritsari spices and tangy in flavour as done usually.
Already full with such a grand meal, we took little portions of Raita and Kashmiri Pulao. Both of them were fantastic. The pulao was very colourful with the light essence of saffron used in preparation.
As they say no meal is complete without desserts, we completed our last course of meal with:
- Shufta – another unusual dish curated by the chefs, it had dry fruits in warm sugary syrup. Simple yet unique.
- Kesari Phirni – relished very commonly in the Punjabi cuisine, Phirni is rice pudding. You cannot just leave with one portion.
This completed our journey of Kashmir to Punjab while we prepped for a new one – Rajasthani and Awadhi.
The Rajasthani and Awadhi cuisines are both known for their traditional techniques of cooking like commonly known Dum Pukht. The cuisines are very famous in warfare lifestyle cooking due to changing availability of spices and other cooking conditions like lesser water in the desert regions.
Nevertheless, the cuisines have still managed to bring about spectacular dishes which we hogged upon. We started with:
- Nalli Ka Burrahh and Nagori Murgh – the former was lamb meat done in garlic flavors all over while the Nagori Murgh was chicken cooked in marinade of yoghurt and fenugreek. Both the dishes were appetizing and just one portion seemed injustice.
- Banjara Paneer Tikka – done with very little condiments, it tasted of cumin and yoghurt. Lighly spiced as was traditionally done.
- Sugandhi Mahi Tikka – tender fish in little spices and light aroma of cardamom.
The main course was our next stopover which consisted of Laal Maas, Dal Sultani and Shahi Govind Gatte.
Laal Maas, which is very popular in the Rajasthani food scene, it was a rather very spicy and well done mutton in yoghurt based gravy of red chillies. You can’t skip it. Dal Sultani was the unsophisticated yellow lentils in garnished with ghee and complemented Motiyan Pulao. The pulao had black grams which were Motiyan (Pearls) in white rice. Shahi Govind Gatte – another famous delicacy of rajasthani cuisine, gatte are small dumplings of gram flour and cooked in simple gravy of onions and spices. Really delectable with Khamiri Roti served along. It is basically yeast based bread with hints of cumin.
As they say, desserts go to heart instead of stomach, even after such a huge spread we saved place to satiate our sweet tooth.
- Lehsun Ki Kheer – as fascinating as it sounds, it is equally inviting. A royal treat without even a hint or reek of garlic. Go ahead and relish this beauty.
- Mewa Bati – a milk (Khoya) based inviting dish filled with sugar soaked dry fruits.
Our grand description of such an exquisite meal comes to an end on all good notes. The service and hospitality is just fantastic and you would certainly not wish to miss this.