13 May 2013

The Punjabi Food Festival at Jamavar, Leela Palace, Bangalore


                         


Some of us bloggers and food writers were invited for the Chef's tasting table on occasion of the Punjabi Food Festival at the Indian restaurant, Jamavar, the Leela Palace. Chef Farman Ali, the Corporate Indian Chef at The Leela Palace Bangalore had designed the menu using his innovations on traditional Punjabi cuisine. 


The menu was selected from the vast special menu that's out for the two week Punjabi Food Festival from 13th May-26th May. Jamavar has four food festivals in a year, two showcasing North Indian cuisine & two from the South.

The current festival gives the food connoisseur a wide range of Punjabi dishes to choose from - both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. We started the meal with a refreshing Ambi Panna- a raw mango drink before moving on to starters. There's also the thandai and a variety of shorbas to start the meal with.




The vegetarian spread of starters comprised of  palak di tikki,  paneer amritsari, and gande di bhaji (onion fritters). This Palak tikka was like no other I've ever tasted. Soft inside with bites of corn for texture, crisp on the outside and the roasted tomato chutney on the top not only provided a brilliant contrast of colour but also of flavour. 


Palak Di Tikki

Tomatoes roasted in the tandoor and ground with a mix of spices for the perfect balance of sweet, sour and spicy was what made this chutney extra special with great depth of flavour. If there is one thing you must taste from their special menu, I'd recommend this one. The other starters recommended by the chef are tandoori kukkad di chaat (tandoori cooked chicken tikka tossed with chutney and vegetables), jheenge de pakore (tiger prawns marinated in a tangy masala coated with gram flour & deep fried), machhi de tikke (fish tikka). 








In the vegetarian main course, we got a taste of curries showcasing different flavours and textures. Amritsari vadi paired with potatoes in a spicy-tangy sauce, the legendary sarson da saag with generous quantity of white butter (they didn't leave out the extra butter and jaggery when serving this), and the simple home style gobhi mutter where big florets of cauliflower mingled with plump green peas in a delicately spiced mix. Some of the other options from the extensive festival menu are Jheenga kadai, Kukkad Sarson da, Lobster masala, Bharmay Kareley and Bharwaan Guchchi Kesari. Of course, no self respecting Punjabi menu is complete without the ever popular Mah Ki daal, tasted as luxurious as the silver cups they were served in.





What's a festival meal without some sigh-inducing desserts! Punjabi cuisine has some lesser known desserts like badam te gurh da halwa (almond-jaggery fudge), Pinni Nabha Di (sweet made using udad dal & dried fruits which were served as a part of the tasting plate. Also served were the ever popular desserts like kesar pista kulfi, jalebi-rabdi and a slice of fruit. Chef Farman Ali was also talking about Haldi ka halwa something I've never heard of, where fresh turmeric is ground and roasted in ghee before proceeding to make a halwa with it. This is not a part of the menu, just the constant innovation the chef tries to bring in by introducing ancient foods to the modern palate.

The special menu also has set menu options at INR4000/person comprising of 3 starters, 4 mains, roti, rice and desserts.
To check the whole bunch of pictures from the Chef's table I attended - click here (Facebook album)



Details:Jamavar, Leela Palace, 23, Airport Road, Bengaluru
Punjabi Food Festival from 13th May-26th May 2013
Open for lunch & dinner
For Reservations, call 080-3057 1344 / 1234
Meal for 2 - Approx INR5000





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