Punjabi food is a lot like Punjabis - rich, robust and full of life. Bold textures and hearty ingredients are what make punjabi cuisine so popular all across.
Punjabi cuisine is that one cuisine which has survived civilizations, colonialism and partition to make it's own mark.
It gives me great pleasure to share with you, my experience at the Punjabi food festival happening at Kangan, Westin Pune.
One of the most impressive things about Punjabi food is its variety!
While hardcore carnivores like me can never have enough of the evergreen Butter chicken, Bhuna gosht, Amritsari macchi and the quintessential Tandoori chicken, their vegetarian fare which includes Sarson ka saag, chhole, kulche and daal makhni are equally delightful.
I have been fortunate enough to check in to the picturesque Westin a couple of times this month and last night's dinner has been one of the most memorable dinners in a long time.
I got to sample the chef's signature dishes which were showcased in a collection of table d'hôte menus.
Here's a list of the Culinary treasure hidden but available during the Punjabi food fest at Kangan, Westin Pune!
1) Bhatti da Murgh
The char Grilled young chicken leg is a gem from the streets of Punjab. You might want to go and try it yourself to believe me. Yes, it's that good! Perfectly grilled with the right amount of Tandoori marinade.
2) Kacche Ambi aur Gosht ki Seekh
I am sucker for good seekh kebabs and what I tried last night at Kangan were truly a delight. This meat eater was highly impressed with the hand pounded spiced lamb kebabs.
3) Rajma ki Shaami kebabs
They're going to take great care of you, so what if you're a vegetarian? They have a lot for you too my friends. The Rajma ki shaami kebabs are kidney bean cakes which are pan seared and served with mint chutney. Yes! I tried these.
4) Amritsari aloo wadi
Arguably the most popular vegetarian dish in North India, and rightly so. Loved, loved, loved the thin home style preparation of daal wadiyaan.
The other appetizers included Amritsari fish tikka, methi Murgh malai tikka, Bhatti da paneer, achaari bharwan mushroom, etc.
Time for some mains, ain't it?
Tried Martaban ka Gosht in the mains which is a pickle flavored lamb preparation of whole coriander and chili tempered with onion Masala, something which is made at my place as well, the Northern frontier style. The Martaban ka gosht is highly recommended if you're at Kangan.
The next on the table was the Methi Murgh which was nothing but boneless chicken with fresh fenugreek leaves cooked in a traditional punjabi gravy. Now, I'm not really a fan of fenugreek, so this one didn't sit quite well with me.
After my not so great experience with the Methi murgh, they served us the Punjabi daal makhni along with the appetising Baigan ka bharta which is a favorite punjabi recipe and is part of the national cuisines of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. This carnivore is surely going back to Kangan for their thrilling vegetarian fare.
Other dishes like Amritsari fish curry, paneer tak a tak, khumb mutter hara pyaza, Rajma Masala, punjabi kadi pakoda, etc are all part of the punjabi fest.
Among the rice preparations I only tried the gosht ka tawa pulav and fell in love with it. Succulent meat, flavored rice and the right balance is all that is required and the tawa pulav had it all.
Desserts included one of my absolute favorites, the divine Paan ice cream and Aam ki Phirni which is a north Indian style dessert made with mango puree, sugar and basmati rice.
The Punjabi food fest is currently on and is available a la carte and the chef's special set menu. Dinners only.
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