Eating out : Nawabi aromas


You actually feel like royalty the moment you enter the newly opened Awadhi restaurant at the Soaltee Crowne Plaza. Well known for years for their fabulous restaurants, Soaltee’s Kakori looks a popular place for the crème de la crème.

The restaurant’s neo-traditional decor gives a Nawabi ambience — the silver gate resembles those of Lucknow palaces, while the silver surahi gives it a very traditional touch with the bead separators giving the place a mystical look. The soft instrumental music falls pleasantly on your ears while your taste buds are ignited by the aromas wafting from the kitchens.

Begin your Awadhi gastronomic delight with a glass of chans spiced with salt, finely chooped mint and zeera (coriander). Then what follows is a feast literally fit for the kings.

Awadhi food originated in a place called Kakor in Lucknow, India. The secret recipes from the kitchens of great Nawab Mir Wazir Ali Kazmi have been delicately preserved by his sons and grandsons. The consultant at the Kakori restaurant is Sayed Nazir Haider Kazmi, who has preserved the legacy and authenticity of the traditional family kitchen. Awadhi dishes are prepared using the dum process of preparing food. In this unique style, food is sealed in large pots called handi and placed over slow fire, allowing the ingredients to be cooked in their own juices. Heavenly aroma emanates when the food is served hot from the handis. A

potli of khara garam masala (whole spices tied in a muslin cloth) and dry fruits are commonly used in Awadhi cuisine. It is believed that more spices are used in Awadhi cuisine than in any other cuisine, but the flavour is very, very subtle.

Kebabs are the best choice for starters and you cannot go wrong with the popular Kakori Saeekh Kebab, which is prepared using the right proportion of lamb mince and fat mixed with spices. The lamb fat makes the kebab soft and juicy.

The Murgh malai tikka is something to die for.

The dish is prepared by marinating the chicken pieces in hung curd and cheese. As you bite into the tikka, the tangy taste of cheese and curd makes every morsel heavenly.

The main of layered biryani will do wonders to your appetite and taste buds. You drown in the rich taste of the meat cooked with the rice, the different spices and saffron.

And the vegetarian dishes are equally delicious. The rich Awadhi dal, thick and topped with cream goes best with the rotis whether it’s the Roomali roti, Ajwaini naan or the Shreemal.

Another must-try is the Mushroom hara pyaaz (mushroom with spring onion). You will surely ask for more of this dish.

And to wrap up your fine dining, dig into the traditional kulfi. And while you are pleasuring your sweet tooth, try the Lucknowi Gulabi Chai.

Bon Appetit.