Sample the flavours of Middle East

Sample the flavours of Middle East

Culinary display

Sample the flavours of Middle East

Exciting and inviting aromas from the Middle East have made their way to the city, through the Middle Eastern Food Festival which is on at Mynt,The Taj West End.

The chef and creator of the festival, Chef Sandip Narang, executive chef, got the inspiration for  this festival because of his brief stint at ‘Souk’ at The Taj Mahal Palace and Towers, Mumbai. He and his team curated the extravagant menu, featuring varied items that are derived from his travels abroad. The festival includes delights from Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria, Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.

“The food festival is meant to map out the different culinary experiences one can have from the Middle East. The platter offers something for everyone who is ready to try something new. The festival includes a Lebanese spread,” says Sandip.

Some of the highlights of the festival include items like ‘mouttabel’ (char grilled aubergines pureed with sesame paste and olive oil), ‘fattoush’ (traditional middle eastern green salad topped with crispy bread), ‘hummus’ (chickpea puree with sesame paste and olive oil), ‘muhammara dates’ (kimia dates stuffed with fiery red pepper, walnuts and pistachio dip), ‘falafel’ (fried chickpea, garlic and onion nuggets), ‘rubiyan meshwi’ (char grilled prawns marinated in traditional Lebanese spices) and ‘lamb tagine’ (lamb cooked with preserved lime and olives in flavoured onion and saffron sauce).

“No spread is complete without the traditional sweets that can elevate the experience and what better way to do this than with delicious desserts like ‘baklawa’ (traditional Lebanese phyllo and mixed nut pastries),” says Sandip. The spread also includes interesting delights like ‘Omali’ (baked phyllo pastry with reduced milk).

Ask the chef about the must-haves in this lavish culinary display and he says that everything has to experienced to be believed. “Everything should be tried. One should start with the cold ‘mezze’. The ‘kebabs’ are interesting, as some of them can be spicier than what even Indians can tolerate. Lovely stuffed breads from Turkey are a part of the spread. We have also tried to dish out interesting ‘hummus’ variations, like with meats, nuts and pickled vegetables,” he adds.

The chef says that depending on the customer being a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, the options would vary. Sandip adds that interesting traditional items like the fast-breaking soup of the Ramadan month is also a part of the festival. “This soup from Morocco is called ‘harira’,” he says.

The chef vouches that the spread is in a sequence which is best had as it is and that each item complements each other. “But one could skip a cold ‘mezze’ and have a warm one or go to the grills directly. It’s all about the customer’s taste,” he says. The festival is on till August 27 and the timings are from 7 pm to 11 pm. For details, call 66605660.

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