|Chef Imtiaz Qureshi with his team|
Kolkata Food Bloggers were invited by ITC, Sonar for an oppurtunity of a life time to meet the Grand Chef Imitiaz Qureshi and sample royal masterpieces crafted by him. Chef Imtiaz Qureshi belongs to a remarkable lineage of cooks in the royal court of Awadh where Dum Pukht originated about 200 years ago!
When the chef arrived to our tables, we were collectively in a state of awe with the deep knowledge of the cuisine that he masters in. He explained us the meaning of 'Dum Pukht' where 'Dum' means 'to breathe in' and 'Pukht' means 'to cook'. He emphasizes on the age old importance of maintaining a clean kitchen before cooking. Dum Pukht uses a round heavy-bottomed vessel where food is tightly sealed and cooked over slow fire which intensifies the flavours of the food.
While we waited for the enchanting five course to unfold we were served fruit juices of our choice along with beautifully rolled conical Papad served with some amazing chutneys.
Our Nawabi treat began with Kababs and the first one to amaze us was the Raan-e-huzoor (baby lamb legs cooked on dum with thick date sauce, embellished with almonds and walnuts) The meat was super tender and the date sauce gave it a unique flavour.
The sheermal served along with the Raan-e-huzoor made a delectable meal in itself.
Next to come was Jhinga Qureshi, a dish created by the chef where Jumbo prawns stuffed with dried apricots and cheese are covered with a layer of puff pastry giving it a unique presentation.
Our next course comprised of Qorma, Qualiya and Salan where we were served Samudri Ratan which had crabmeat koftas in a raw mango and tamarind flavoured gravy. The gravy had delicate hints of fenugreek.
Desi Murgh Ishtew was next where country chicken is braised over slow fire with onions, yoghurt and spices. Tender, juicy and flavourful, this dish is a winner.
Koh-e-Awadh is the chef's specialty where a special kind of lamb meat is used and is cooked in dum in its own juices and marrow, finished with saffron.
Dal Badami is something you will have never tasted before. Here urad dal is cooked with badam and is tempered with dill leaves. The chunks of badam that come in your mouth along with the dal makes a unique combination.
The Naans presented with the above dishes were Naa-e-Bah Khummach, Muglai Parantha and Roomali roti.
The Biryani served was named Dudhiya Biryani which the chef told is made in olive oil and is cooked on dum with milk. The biryani truly was very light and flavourful and had tender lamb morsels.
The Biryani was served with a garlic flavoured Bhurani Raita.
The last and always my favourite course, for Meetha we were served the famous Shahi Tukda (saffron rabdi on syrup drenched bread) and Lab-e-Mashooq which was kulfi served on a sugar lace.
We also had the company of whiskey expert Mr Sandeep Arora who broke myths about drinking and pairing whiskey with food. He represented a famous brand of scotch whiskey called Royal Salute 21YO.
The royal Nawabi lunch was finished with the quintessential Paan.
Dum Pukht, ITC offers a unique dining experience where each dish on the menu comes with its own story. Truly labelled as a 'Nawabi Dawat' (Royal Feast) this experience can be savoured till the 30th June, 2014.
The signature collection is available at the Eden Pavillion from 22nd June to 30th June, 2014 for dinner (7:30 to 11:45 pm) It is part of the dinner buffet and i priced at INR 1850 plus applicable taxes per guest.
There is also a Royal Repast at Dum Pukht (Dinner only) from 22nd June onwards priced at INR 6500 plus applicable taxes per guest.
Happy Nawabi Indulgence