Verdict: Artery-choking form of heaven.
Venue: Shakahari, Pune Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune
Date & Time: Till 30th June, 7pm onwards
Though the region from where the variety of cuisine arises is rather arid, Pune’s current weather probably calls for a dinner that even in small quantities makes you susceptible to not wanting to move from the dining table and bask in the glory of ghee-laden preparations. While most traditional cuisines are changing to adapt to our at-the-desk lifestyle (the extra carbs were required for all the manual labour our forefathers did), we let that pass for the sake of authenticity at food festivals.
Maharaja, as the staff lovingly calls the chef, is from Chittor and if you manage to chat him up about the Rajasthani dishes being served as part of the regular buffet, you’ll hear him say, “Traditionally, Kear Sangri was collected and then dried by the village women while sitting under the tree since they didn’t have much to do. And, the Daal Baati Churma? It’s literally dipped in copious amounts of ghee.”
“That’s how you’ve made it as well?” we enquired, slightly worried about having to double our cycling route the next day.
“Yes!” he beamed. Amusing.
We started with some Mirchi Wada and Moong Dal Chila. The potato-stuffed mirchis were crisp fried and not at all spicy – you could end up having a bunch of them without realizing how many you’ve had.
Apart from the omnipresent ghee, yoghurt also makes a regular feature in Rajasthani cuisine. Gatta ki Sabzi, gram flour dumplings in yoghurt gravy, is quite similar to Kadhi. Kear Sangri has a slight bitter taste and goes well with the Daal Panchmella – a coriander herbed five lentil dal.
In case you intend to try more stuff from the menu, then leave the Daal Baati Churma for the end. A medium-sized bowl with crushed baati and churma topped with the daal is enough to fill you up. And it’s heavenly.
We wrapped up dinner with fresh jalebis topped with rabdi. Miniature-sized, crisp, light on the sheera and creamy rabdi. Reminded us of the jalebi rabdi we had at Tawaah!
The festival has three rotating menus. View entire menu here.