New Menu Curated By Chef Mohammed Khursheed at Radisson Blu, Noidaby Opinion Express January 4, 2019 0 comments
While planning the new menu at Radisson Blu MBD, Noida, Master Chef Mohammed Khursheed decided that he would be traversing beyond the realm of the usual. “So if patrons ask for something like butter chicken, which is available everywhere, we coax them to try other dishes,” he says.
The other thing that was kept in mind was to have dishes that represented the Walled City of the capital. They had dabbled with Hyderabadi as well as Rampuri cuisine during the curation of the menu but decided to stick with recipes from Delhi-6.
Care is taken to get the basics right. So Khursheed makes sure to source the spices from Old Delhi, dry roast them and then grind them in a mill. “The spices are mixed keeping in mind the clientele. While the ratio of the spices is the same, the amount that is added is reduced because the flavours are a little robust, especially for the expats,” he says.
The specially-curated menu took more than a year of research and development. There are several entrants on the menu and the array, both in the starters segment as well as the main course, does throw up some stellar preparations. But interestingly, it was in the vegetarian section that the envelope was pushed further and with spectacular results. For once, the carnivores can feel deprived, if they decide not to dig into their vegetarian friend’s plate. In texture, taste as well as the complexity of flavours, the vegetarian dishes were way ahead of the non-vegetarian section.
We started with Bharwan paneer, which is an in-house speciality marinated with deep-fried gram flour and spices. The crisp cover made it unusual but it was the succulent pineapple inside that made for a sweet and tangy surprise. It was indeed a hint of things to follow.
Next up was Khumb gilawate, mushroom kebab with spices, which lived up to its description of mouth-melting. It barely touched my tongue to become a gooey mass. Bonus came in the balance of flavours, which was spot-on. There was not a single one that dominated the taste. Slightly sweet with a tinge of garam masala, this could be compared with the best of mutton gilawati and be none the worse for it.
This was followed by two more — Hare mutter ke kebab (green pea kebabs) and Zameeni Hayat (shredded beetroot patties) which were equally succulent. But the honours must certainly go to the mushroom ones which took the flavours and elevated them beyond the usual. Khursheed says, “The vegetables are blanched and then mixed with the spices. These are then fried in desi ghee which brings out the flavours. If you compromise on the quality of the ingredients, the dish too would not live upto the expectations.”
In the non-vegetarian starters, while the flavours were balanced and the meat tender, it was essentially a replication of the existing Gosht ke Shammi, which is mutton mince galette cooked on slow heat.
Next up was Tala murgh that reminded one of the fired chicken which is sold at innumerous street shops that dot Old Delhi’s Matia Mahal and Urdu Bazaar areas. Crisp on the outside, the flavours of the masala that coated it had seeped inside. This is bound to find favour with the locals who love their chicken spicy and fried.
There was also Sultani seekh, which entailed some drama as it was brought to the table still plastered on to the skewer. While the flavours were mild, the dish, as compared to the really tender seekhs that are the norm, was a little tough.
For those who love fish, there is Salmon tikka which is ideal for those who like their spices mild and the flavour of the flaky fish to come through.
In the main course, a walled city speciality, Murgh Estew, was certainly the go-to dish. For those who are familiar with the way it is cooked in Delhi homes, this was the closest that the dish came to in any hotel outside the precincts of the walled city. However, the same cannot be said about the Mutton qorma. The consistency was unlike that of a typical qorma. Moreover, the balance of the caramelised onions, curd and masala veered in favour of the first making its taste alien in sensibility.
In the vegetarian section, it was the Khubani bharey kofte, cottage cheese dumplings stuffed with apricot and simmered in a blend of almonds and milk with its mildly sweet in taste and soft koftas that made for a really rich dish.
For those who abhor any hint of sweetness in the main course, there was also Paneer mirchi ka keema which had grated cottage cheese with capsicum.
A sweet dish is essential to round off any meal. Here we had a choice of four — a carrot halwa, a phirni, gulab jamun and home-made malai kulfi. I preferred the first and the last options. The halwa was not as decadent as some of the hotels tend to make it, so after a large meal, it seemed just right. Moreover, it was perfectly sweetened — not too intense to make me want to leave it after the first bite as often happens. The malai kulfi, on the other hand, was smooth, which made for a perfect ending to the meal.
Writer: Saimi Sattar
Courtesy: The Pioneer