Friday, 11 April 2014

Rasoi at JW Marriott's Lotus Cafe

Rasoi, the food event happening at JW Marriott Mumbai's Lotus Cafe is an ode to authentic Homely Punjabi Cuisine, headed by none other than Jyoti Arora, one of the most talented participants on the last season of Masterchef India. With a warm personality, and a lovely smile, Chef Jyoti reminded me of that caring motherly figure, who would never let you leave her house with an empty stomach.

We had a big table and a running discussion about the common perceptions about Punjabi food and cuisine. Had a lot of misconceptions debunked. Did you know that Daal Makhni and Butter chicken are actually not actually a part of authentic, traditional Punjabi cuisine? They are inspired and tampered from the original recipes like that of Maa ki Daal :D

Coming to the food, we were welcomed with two drinks - the Badam ka Sharbat and the ever so famous Pede ke Lassi.. The Badam ka Sharbat was a non dairy drink - almonds, cardamom and sugar - perfect and light; whereas the Lassi, was its heavier cousin with a distinct, mild undertone of the mawa pedha (mawa is a thickened by-product of milk. Similar in consistency to ricotta). A fit beginning to what was to be a delicious meal.

Just a small heads up - My co blogger, who usually covers the non vegetarian dishes is on a vacation, so this post will sans all the meaty delights :) 
The appetizers were Tawa paneer and Aloo methi ki Tikki. On a personal note, even though the paneer was tasty and well done, I couldn't simply have it on its own. I would prefer eating it with some naan or roti to accompany because it strongly reminded me of paneer bhurji. The tikki was perfect, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside with appropriate chopped chili to give it the right spunk.

One thing that I simply had to mention, was the broccoli pickle that was there along with an array of other pickles. It was absolutely delicious and made me want to come home a pickle a jar full of them. I am certainly going to request Chef Jyoti, if she would kindly give me the recipe, because I am an absolute pickle lover. Summers are my paradise and I have never had something so good, that too with broccoli in it :P 

The broccoli pickle in the center

The main course consisted of a large variety of vegetables, right from the smoky Baingan ka Bharta, Chole, Arbi (Yam) ki Sabzi, Paneer Makhanwala, and Aloo Gobhi with a bowlful of Kaali Daal.
The Bharta had just enough of the smoky flavor to send you back to your Nan's cooking. All the food was simplistic, and light on masala, keeping it healthy without the excessive layer of oil we find in the restaurants.
One unique kind of bread was a brother version of the bhature - only crisper and lighter. It is fermented using gram flour dough - something that is unique to the city of Amritsar. These were to be had with sheera (semolina pudding) which was gorgeous, soft and fragrant with infused saffron.

We were already almost full, even though we did no more than simply taste what was served. This was followed by an array of the most sinful desserts. All those dishes laid out just took me back to my childhood. Especially the kheer. There is something about food that rings our memories. There was Paneer ki Kheer (which was very similar to Rabri), with the pistachio and saffron flavored Rice Kheer. There were Raw sugar cane Sheera, Jaggery Sheera, a Mewa Barfi of sorts. I was too full to sample the different sheeras. But I was in love with the Kheer. it was absolutely flawless. 

All in all, I had a super wonderful evening thanks to Chef Jyoti and the wonderful company I had. A special mention to Stacy and Shimonti. Chef Jyoti's Rasoi will be running at JW Marriott's Lotus Cafe until the 22nd of April. So do drop by to experience Amritsar, right in the heart of Mumbai. 

Until Next time - 
Cheers :)

1 comment:

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