Hailing from the well-known Qureshi family involved in catering business in Lucknow, chef Nadeem Qureshi, who is now based in the city and works at Hyatt Regency Pune, is taking forward his family’s legacy.
To prepare the delicious Nalli Nihari, he takes almost 6-7 hours before serving it to guests. He explains how cooking it for so many hours brings out the real flavours. Now, he is showcasing the best of Mughal and North Western Frontier cuisine at The Qureshi Kitchen which is underway at The Café, Hyatt Regency.
Qureshi will be offering lip-smacking recipes that have been passed down through generations and he grew up eating. Along with Qureshi, we decided to embark on this culinary journey and revisited the era of the Nawabs of Awadh, and we had a royal experience to say the least.
Our meal began with a refreshing mint mocktail. While sipping on it and enjoying the ambience and the dim lights, we were served starters which were a treat to the eye and tantalised the taste buds. Kakori Kebab or succulent minced lamb infused with spices and cooked on skewers is heavenly. But Tangri Mumtaz, or chicken with mawa filling and other spices and cooked in the tandoor, scores 10/10. The soft and juicy chicken and the delicious filling makes it a standout starter.
For vegetarians, Dhungar Mushroom Ki Galawati dominates the starters’ section. Served with green chutney, the galawati melts in the mouth and the subtle taste of spices leaves you asking for more.
Moving to the main course, Nalli Nihari is an absolute treat for non-vegetarians. The lamb delicacy is cooked to perfection and has authentic subtle flavours of Awadh. But Gobhi Musallam and Lauki Ki Nazakat beat the rest with their presentation. Even people who are not big fans of cauliflower may want to give Gobhi Musallam a shot. Marinated in various spices and cooked in tomato gravy, the dish leaves a little tangy taste on the tongue.
Lauki Ki Nazakat or bottle gourd stuffed with cottage cheese and simmered with spices and garnished with cashews to add to the richness — is delectable and goes perfectly well with Garlic Naan.
But the true exhibit of chef’s presentation skills is Gosht Chilman Biryani. Served in a black matki (clay bowl) covered with a layer of dough to keep the rice warm, the mutton biryani has the signature Awadhi flavour and a breathtaking aroma. The chef explained that in order to make a perfect biryani, the rice should never be sticky but fluffy instead.
After the sumptuous main course, we thought of skipping desserts. But when Malai Makhan arrived in a big clay bowl, we found it irresistible. This winter delicacy of milk and cottage, which is set for 12 hours before it is served, is supposed to be eaten with an ice-cream stick. And we did relish it.
Another stand out dessert is Thande Gulab Ki Kheer which has rose petals simmered with milk to a rich consistency giving it a taste of melted Gulkand Paan — a perfect way to end an extravagant meal.
ST READER SERVICE
The Cafe, Hyatt Regency Pune, Viman Nagar, lunch and dinner Buffet, till July 20