Rajasthani food is always a big attraction. To give you a taste of this royal cuisine, MoMo Café, Courtyard by Marriott, Hinjewadi, is offering a spectacular fare — the Rajasthani Food Festival. The menu has been specially curated by their masterchefs and brothers, Panna Lal and Heera Lal.
The place has been beautifully decorated with handpainted pots, mini umbrellas and torans to create a mini Rajasthan. The staff dressed in traditional Marwari attire and the soothing shehnai playing in the background add to the ambience.
But before we move towards the meal, here is a tip for anyone who has never previously had Rajasthani food — there is ghee in almost all the dishes. So the ideal way to relish the meal and reach till the desserts would be to consume small quantities.
Ours began with Kesariya Paan Shot which is a local welcome drink.
Supposed to be consumed in one go, the drink leaves a strong and refreshing aftertaste.
The starters section has a huge variety for both vegetarians and non vegetarians. Dahi Ke Kebab with a melt-in-your-mouth kind of texture and a tangy flavour will surely be a hit amongst people. Chatpata Paneer does absolute justice to its name. Perfectly cooked, the chatpata flavour will leave you asking for more. But it is the Moong Dal Ka Pakoda that wins the battle of starters. Served with green chutney on the side and chopped onions and tomato and garlic chutney on top, the Pakodas are perfectly spiced and capture the exact flavour of Rajasthan.
Non-vegetarians can try Lal Maas Ki Boti. Lal Maas, the most essential part of any Rajasthani spread, is known for its spicy and juicy texture. However, keeping in mind the palate of non-Marwaris, the chefs have kept both the starters and main course medium spicy.
Another true delight for any Marwari is Dal Baati Churma. To see the Baatis dripping with ghee becomes the most satisfying part of the meal.
The piping hot Dal with its perfectly spicy flavour served along with the Baati, makes it an exquisite one-bowl meal to gorge on this season.
Gatte Ki Sabzi with chapatti was our next adventure. Usually, the dish is supposed to have a bit of a tangy flavour with a strong taste of the spices but in this case, the curd overpowered the other flavours. However, the Ker Sangri Sabzi, a typical vegetable for any Marwari household, was perfectly cooked and tasted authentic. The Panchmela Sabzi, which is a mix of five vegetables, will fill your appetite if you take spoonfuls.
The non-vegetarian options in the main course comprise Lal Maas which is juicy and succulent but could do with more flavours. Safed Murg, on the other hand, is the richest part of the main course. Made in a thick gravy of cashew paste, the dish has a distinct taste of cloves and garlic — a must try.
Rice lovers can try Gatta Pulao, which is a rich combination of steamed rice and gatte. However, the unique part of the spread is Bajra Khichdi. This traditional Rajasthani main course preparation was noteworthy. The chef told us that it had been cooked for over five hours after having soaked the bajra overnight. A small amount of milk was added to the khichdi, giving it a creamy texture.
The dessert counter was equally delightful. Ghevar, which is served at Rajasthani festivals and weddings, is a must-try sweet at the fest. The malai on top makes it more sinful and irresistible too. Moong Dal Halwa, with a layer of ghee on top and almonds in every bite you take, will give you a sweet high. Jalebi lovers can actually try their hand at frying them. Later served with Rabdi, it is a perfect way to end the meal.
ST READER SERVICE
Rajasthani Food Festival
MoMo Café, Courtyard by Marriott Pune, Hinjewadi
Till July 27, from 7-11.30 pm