Chef Vikas Khanna, a proud Punjabi, once mentioned that there always ensues a fight at a Punjabi wedding regarding who gets the leg piece of Chicken Tandoori! Hence, it is quite natural to assume that Punjabis are hard-core foodies. And why wouldn't they be? Punjab is hailed as the land of abundance and Punjabis as the most vibrant lot.
|The theme-based decor at the entrance|
Backpacking through Punjab is on my bucket-list; experiencing the lush countryside made famous by DDLJ and savouring the langar at The Golder Temple has been a dream since, forever now. So when I got a chance to sample the delicacies of this glorious land as a part of the ongoing Baisakhi Food Festival at Nawab Saheb restaurant, right here in Mumbai, I could not pass up the opportunity.
|The rustic yet refined table setting|
I happened to be the first of the invited diners to arrive for the dinner service, yet, it wasn't awkward in the least bit! The theme-based decor and the live performance of ghazals instantly put me at ease. The overall welcoming ambience warmed my senses up for the gastronomical delight ahead.
|This is the warmth I was talking of.|
Quite predictably, the food journey began with a Kulhad-full of Malai Lassi. It was every bit luscious and creamy- just like how a lassi is supposed to be. Next in line, after the welcome drink were the appetizers. I am not kidding when I say I was spoilt for choice; who wouldn't be when the spread includes Kastoori Paneer Tikka, Bhutte De Kebab, Gurmandir Di Tikki, Bharwan Kumbh, and Rupnagar Di Seekh.
|The luscious Malai Lassai|
Personally, I loved Bharwan Kumbh. These lovely bite-sized tandoor cooked button mushroom stuffed with cheese and spices were delicately succulent and flavoursome. Gurumandir Di Tikki, a potato tikki stuffed with raw papaya pickle, and Bhutte De Kebab, a vegetarian lollipop made up of fried baby corn cased within ground American corn are my other two picks from the appetizer section.
|Bharwan Kumbh- button mushroom stuffed with cheese and spices.|
|Bhutte De Kebab- baby corn encased in ground American corn.|
|Inside view of Bhutte De Kebab.|
|Gurumandir Di Tikki- Potato tikkis stuffed with raw papaya pickle.|
|Inside view of Gurumandir Di Tikki|
Rupnagar Di Seekh was strictly okay, very bland and too dry for my liking. Kastoori Paneer Tikka wasn't anything spectacular either- an average dish, in my opinion.
|Rupnagar Di Seekh|
|Kastoori Paneer Tikka|
After devouring the appetizers, we were greeted by the main course comprising of quintessentially Punjabi dishes like Sarson Da Saag and Makke Di Roti, Dal Makhani, et al.
|Makke Di Roti and Sarson Da Saag.|
Given the fact that I am not a big fan of leafy greens, the star of this course, for me, were the earthy Keema Gobhi Choleya De Naal and the creamy Dal Makhani- all happily gobbled down with Tandoori Rotis and Wadiyon Waale Chawal.
|Keema Gobhi Choleya De Naal.|
|Dal Makhani with Laccha Parantha.|
|Wadiyon Waale Chawal.|
Honestly, I was full yet when the dessert bar was unveiled, but that did not stop me from relishing the goodness up on display- the Barfis, the Ladoos, the Rasmalais, the Malpuas, the Halwas...it seemed like the world was indeed my oyster!
|My sweet plate.|
|One of the numerous mawa sweets.|
|Rasmalai- just divine!|
All in all, it was a terrific meal and a perfect slice of Punjab, right on my plate. Do you love Punjabi cuisine? What's your favourite dish? Let me know in the comments below.