Unsung recipes of India

A food festival at Roseate Hotel’s Kiyan restaurant offered food from different parts of India

Recently, Roseate Hotel held a very interesting food festival on August 17-30, showcasing some iconic, unsung dishes of regional Indian cuisine at its Kiyan restaurant. When I got invited to a tasting session, I confirmed with a big yes, because there were many dishes in the menu from diverse parts of India that I was dying to taste.

I met up with the hotel’s chef Anand Panwar and its assistant F&B manager, Abdul Jalil. After a refreshing welcome drink, I straight got on to the tasting.

The first dish, that got me so excited, was an iconic dish from Kot Kapura in Punjab. This is a historic city, about 50 km from Bathinda, which is known for its large cotton market, considered one of the best in the world. And of course, among the foodies it is known for its atta chicken and meat pickles. Atta chicken (Rs 1,200) arrived at the table — encased in a whole-wheat crust with a slow roast spring chicken, marinated with freshly ground Punjabi garam masala inside. The dish was fantastic. The chicken had slowly poached in its own juices and the taste was to die for. I will be coming here to have this dish again.

The next dish, Meen Polichathu (Rs 1,200) from Kottayam in Kerala, was a little disappointing since it was oversalted and the choice of the fish was wrong. Traditionally the dish is cooked with a flavourful sea water fish called Karimeen, but here they had cooked it with river sole which has not much of a flavour. Sea fish brings out the flavours of Kerala the best. Paya shorba from Hyderabad (Rs 650), a slow braised lamb trotter soup, was pleasant but could benefit more with a longer time simmer.

In the main course, the first dish to be served was an inspiration from the traditional Himachali food festival called Dham. Sepu Badi (Rs 1,100), a lentil dumplings dish simmered in spinach and yoghurt gravy is served with ghee laced phulka, and is a fascinating vegetarian treat. Moge Wala Dukkad (Rs 1,500) is right out of the patilas of Punjab’s dhabas. It is a robust chicken curry, more like a lighter version of butter chicken, and is appropriately served with methi missi roti. While the not-so-unsung railway mutton curry (Rs 1,500) disappoints because of its meekness, Mash ki Dal from Hyderabad (Rs 550) got me bowled over so much that I just can’t stop eating it. The taste and the texture of this tempered husked urad lentils topped with crunchy red onions and lotus stem is delicious.

I end the meal with a dolled up version of the Oriya classic Chhena Poda (Rs 750) which, with the addition of mango relish has a dimension added to it.

I would recommend trying out some of the dishes from this festival, most definitely Atta Chicken and Mash ki Dal.

Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.0 | Service: NA | Value: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for two: Rs 4500 | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Wheel chair friendly: Yes
Address: The Roseate, 21st Milestone, Samalkha, NH 8, Kapashera, New Delhi. Tel: 011 3015 8676

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