A feast fit for royalty and the dry lands of Rajasthan

- May 10, 2024
| By : Ahona Sengupta |

Chefs at Infinity, Crowne Plaza Mayur Vihar-Noida, join local cooks to uncover secrets behind Marwari cuisine dishing out ‘Jowar and Bajre ki roti’, ‘laal maas’ and the quintessential ‘lehsun ki chutney’

In the arid lands of Rajasthan, lies a history of culinary tradition as vibrant and diverse as the state itself. Influenced by centuries of warfare, nomadic lifestyles, and bustling trade routes, Rajasthani cooking is a testament to the resilience and resourcefulness of its people.

Inspired by the kitchens of Rajasthan, the chefs at Infinity, Crowne Plaza Mayur Vihar-Noida travelled to the state to unravel the intricacies of Marwari cuisine, delving deep into its secret recipes and age-old traditions. Local cooks were also enlisted to ensure an authentic culinary experience, bringing the flavours of Rajasthan to life.

Set on the theme Panch Rang Panch Nagar (five colours, five cities), the festival Rangeelo Rajasthan is a celebration of Rajasthan‘s rich cultural and culinary heritage. Running from May 3 to 12, this 10-day extravaganza promises to transport diners to the vibrant cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, and Bikaner, with each dish a testament to the region’s diverse flavours and culinary traditions.

At the forefront of this culinary journey is the Mawa Kachori, a delicacy that originated in the city of Jodhpur. Bursting with dry fruits and mawa, these kachoris are a symphony of flavours, complemented by a generous dip in sugar syrup and served with the tang of lehsun ki chutney, which is perhaps the unsung hero of Rajasthani cuisine.

The chutney has been elevated to new heights with the inclusion of Mathania chillies.

“These peppers, known for their rich flavour rather than searing heat, add depth and complexity to every dish they touch, including the much-coveted Laal Maas,” says Executive Chef Roushan Sharma.

Speaking of Laal Maas, this iconic dish traces its roots back to the 10th century, where it was enjoyed as camp food during the long outings of Rajput kings.

“Lavish hospitality was the order of the day then just as now, with royal cooks armed with little more than chillies, garlic, and yoghurt, alongside their trusted ration of water,” he says.

As the sun set over the desert landscape, the aroma of marinated meat filled the air, a tantalising preview of the evening’s feast. From deer to wild boar, locally sourced game found its way to the camp kitchen, where it was transformed into culinary masterpieces fit for royalty.

In every dish, from the humble kachori to the regal Laal Maas, lies a story waiting to be told. A story of tradition, resilience, and the enduring spirit of Rajasthan.

“People usually consider Laal Maas to be extremely hot, but that is not the case. It is supposed to have a rich colour and an array of flavours,” says the chef.

With over 100 dishes gracing the menu, diners are treated to an array of exquisite delicacies meticulously crafted by culinary artisans. From the fiery Laal Maas to the soul-satisfying Papad Mangodi ki Sabji, each dish is a masterpiece that promises to tantalise the taste buds and transport diners to the heart of Rajasthan‘s culinary heartland.

Guests can immerse themselves in the warmth and authenticity of village-style preparations as local women from Rajasthan expertly prepare fresh, piping hot Jowar, Bajra & Bejar rotis straight from the chulhas to your plate. Accompanied by Kutty Mirchi and an assortment of chutneys, each bite is a journey through the flavours of Rajasthan.

The festival, however, isn’t just about food; it’s a celebration of Rajasthan‘s vibrant culture and heritage.

Dine under the stars amidst traditional decor and live folk performances, including the enchanting ‘Kathputli’ puppetry, spirited ‘Ghoda Gadi’ dance, and soulful folk singers. For those looking to indulge in retail therapy, a traditional ‘Rangrez Bazaar’ awaits, complete with lively stalls offering local handicrafts and entertainment.

Sharma shares his profound insights into the significance of the culinary expedition to Rajasthan.

“Our journey was a blend of royalty and authenticity,” he explains. “From unravelling the secrets of royal recipes to learning from local villagers, every experience added depth to our understanding of Rajasthan‘s culinary traditions. We have incorporated dishes from Marwari, Mewari, Shekhawati, and Hadoti cuisines, ensuring a truly authentic culinary experience for our guests.”