Dishes that bring back memories of tradition

Dishes that bring back memories of tradition

A festival of traditional dishes of Punjab is on till February 7

Chef Amrick and his team have put together a traditional Punjabi menu for the ongoing food festival, ‘Rivayaat –E- Punjab Food Festival’ at Indian Durbar, Conrad Bengaluru. The chef has revived the flavours of the traditional cuisine through the many dishes that he has curated and crafted for the festival.
Chef Amrick explains that ‘Rivaayat’ means tradition. “That which we follow from our forefathers,” he adds. He says their cuisine has evolved into its own distinct identity and its roots can be traced back to the Harappan civilization.

“Punjab has a tradition of the local way of cooking, the most famous being the tandoori form of cooking. Punjabi food is known for its rich, buttery flavour and has a large variety of meat and vegetarian dishes,” he adds. What is evident when you start tasting the dishes is that none of the flavours are overpowering and the mix is just perfect.

Among the starters, which have the feel of the main course, ‘Nalwa Raan Ke Charrey’ is worth trying.
This famous dish is named after Hari Singh Nalwa, who was a great general in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army. It is said that he killed a lion with his bare hands and thus was given the title ‘Nalwa’. 

“This is soft lamb morsels, cooked in tandoor with Afghani spices. The method of cooking ensures that there’s no pungent aftertaste. The long duration of cooking ensures that the meat is tender and gives enough time for the spices to blend in with each other,” explains the chef.

Another dish called, ‘Chakunder Aur Tulsi Ka Multani Tikka’ comprises beetroot and basil stuffed in cottage cheese marinated with yogurt and spices.

The non-vegetarian dishes at the festival are a rare treat. ‘Mutton Beliram’ is a dish named after Beliram, a famous chef of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. “The Maharaja was fond of the way Beliram cooked mutton and hence named the dish after him. This dish comes straight from his kitchen,” the chef narrates.

‘Jalandhar Da Tamatari Murgh’ is Tandoori chicken cooked in a rich tomato and cream gravy. The ‘Sialkoti Jheenga’ is prawns cooked with cream and cashews with a hint of mint. It literally melts in your mouth. Among the lentils, ‘Dal Panjrangi’ stands out for its distinct taste. It has five varieties of dal cooked with ginger and garlic. “It denotes five different colours and different texture because it has five different dals,” says the chef.

A perfect accompaniment to the curries is the breads. The ‘Chur Chur Amritsari Naan’ is a stuffed Indian bread with a special filling, ‘Pudhine Ka Paratha’, a traditional lacha paratha sprinkled with mint powder and ‘Makhmali Naan’ is made with cheese, garlic and chilli-- together with the curry of your choice make a great meal.

The desserts are not to be missed. ‘Rasmalai’ is a milk dumplings steeped in saffron flavoured milk and ‘ Gulab Jamun’ is cardamom flavoured milk dumplings steeped in sugar syrup. Both these desserts have the feel and distinct flavour of sweets that are made in a typical Punjabi household. 

The festival is on till February 7.