Taste the delicacies of Marwar

Royal platter

The best way to describe Marwari cuisine is to probably call it a royal surprise. The fact that habitants of Thar could cook up so varied a delicacy from limited raw food materials available to them is a testament to their enterprising and innovative spirit.

The Rajasthani style of cooking reflects the lifestyle of the people of the region. Their food is filling, would normally last for several days without refrigeration and is mostly based on gram flour, dried pulses and beans. The vegetables were scarce, but they too find a place as well in this royal scheme of things.

Bringing this delectable culinary journey to Delhiites at Kempinski Ambience Hotel are two famous chefs, Rohit Tokhi and Pushpita Singh. While Tokhi is a multiple award winning chef having served at Leela Kempinski, The Oberoi and The Taj Mahal Hotel, Singh hails from royal family of Kharwa and pursues with enthusiasm her twin passions: Jewellery designing and cooking.

The Marwari menu at Kempinski starts with traditional Rajasthani coolers like Aam panna, Raab (cornmeal porridge with buttermilk), and is then followed by Sangri Kebab, a sun dried desert bean patties, coated with poppy seed and shallow fried.

To follow it up, there are a whole lot of starters for the foodies to choose from like Paneer Soola, Pyaaz Ki Kachori, Mirchi Vada, Kanji Vada and Chhena Seekh. The easy winner among them is the crispy Pyaaz Ki Kachori filled with a mixture of onion, potatoes, peas, cashewnut and mango powder. Mirchi Vada, potato stuffed large green chilli fillers, is strictly for those who can handle the spice.

Among the non-vegetarian starters, Mokal, Maans Ro Boothan and Murgh Ka Soola leave their mark on the tastebuds. The best, of course, is the unique Mokal, which is basically crispy strips of rabbit meat cooked with lemon, almond and nutmeg.

The main course is an extensive array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes from all parts of the desert state, with more than 40 dishes to choose from.

Among the vegetarian option are Pittod Ro Saag, Raabori Hara Kanda, Panchkutta, Kabooli and the ever famous Dal Bati Choorma, which can satiate the hunger pangs of even the most ravenous eaters among us.

Pittod Ro Saag is one of the best kept secrets of Jodhpur, made from Bengal gram cake in onion and yoghurt curry. While Raabori Hara Kanda is made from sun dried maize flour and buttermilk poppadum, asafoetida and spices tossed with spring onions. Panchkutta comprises sun dried desert beans – sangria, ker, kumutiya simmered with amchoor and whole red chillies.

Among non-vegetarian options in main course, Lal Maans easily outshines the rest. Savoured by the erstwhile Rajasthani prince and princesses, Lal Maans is a special mutton preparation cooked in mathani chilli of Jodhpur. Another dish worth trying is Sohito, delectably made from chicken, millets, ginger and chilli.

Though Rajasthani food doesn’t serve desserts in the end, but are instead consumed during the main course, the chefs have chosen several mouth-watering sugary fantasies. This part of the menu is strictly not for the calorie conscious, with options like Malai Gewar, Doordh Ro Kheer, Gahhon Ri Lapsi, Mawa Ki Kachori and Moong Dal Halwa.

The best is the Mawa Ki Kachori, khoya stuffed crispy puri dipped in saffron flavoured sugar syrup, though Malai Gewar comes a close second, which is a disc-shaped Rajasthani sweet. The sweet dishes are prepared in a traditional way, complete with the toppings.

If one is looking to give a try to the traditional Rajasthani delicacies in the city, the fare at the Kempinski Ambience is worth going for. It may surprise you, satiate you and make you come back again.

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