Chef Vikas Khanna, a proud Punjabi, once mentioned that there always ensues a fight at a Punjabi wedding regarding who gets the leg piece ...

Baisakhi Food Festival At Renaissance

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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 Golden 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.

Bread Basket.

Paneer Naliyaari.

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.



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