There are many ways of generating heat in the culinary world and ITC Hotels has all of them down to a science with legendary brands Bukhara, Peshawri, Dum Pukht, Dakshin and K&K. Having dined frequently at Bukhara, I was looking forward to dinner at Peshawri, ITC Rajputana, Jaipur during my stay there this week. I just knew I would love the rustic ambience, unparalleled hospitality and sumptuous tandoor cuisine. I was right.
Walking into the fine dine restaurant, I was transported into a rustic wonderland. The crockery is earthenware and guests are given checked aprons [red for the non-veg and green for vegans!] and are encouraged to eat with their hands. As we took our table, the aroma of kebabs, curries, and biryani being prepared in the kitchens seduced my senses. And as we examined the menu, Chef came over and suggested we go for assorted platters of kebabs and shared a nugget that each dish cooked in the kitchens here captures the essence of the original recipe of the royal courts including long forgotten herbs and exotic flowers! Whoa!!
So, after much debate, my friend and I narrowed down the delicious dishes to Pomfret, Murgh Angaar, Sikandari Raan and Dal Bukhara, with a side of sinfully buttered naan. I’m a seafood devotee so I dived into the 'Pomfret' marinated in ajwain-flavoured mix of yoghurt, red chills and flavours, and roasted over coals. It was masterful… I don't know how the chef did it but it registered as a totally new experience, which demonstrated how great marinating and rubs can do amazing things. 'Sikandari Raan' was next. There was nothing thin about this shoulder of lamb! This was the kind of meat that makes diners proud that they're able to hold it up with both hands… revelling in anticipation: the raan was marinated in malt vinegar, cumin and cinnamon, cooked on dum, skewered and finished in a tandoor, so it's got to be delicious!! The final entree 'Murgh Angaar' was so delicious I was afraid I'd eat my knife and fork as I rapidly consumed the aromatic chicken kebab flavored with ginger, garlic, onions, bay-leaf, dry fenugreek leaves and red chilli, grilled and served with a sprinkle of herbs and lemon juice. Accompanying this feast, the iconic Dal Bhukara, simmered over coals overnight, and served with butter naan, was the perfect comfort food. The meal ended on a sweet note with Kulfi. It was heaven in a bowl.
Even as I reminisce about the culinary experience, each dish was so distinctive and seasoned just right, I had to ask the chefs the secret. ''Each of specialty chefs are responsible for a particular dish. There's no multi-skilling. Bawarchis pass on the trade to their sons and you have to go to the gallis to find them" he explained. All said, do visit Peshawri at ITC Rajputana Jaipur for a leisurely meal! It has carved a niche, satisfying cravings for fresh flavourful meat, seafood and vegetables, from the royal kitchens, prepped and seasoned by some of the best chefs in the nation. Bon Appetite!
— JASMEEN DUGAL
PESHAWRI, ITC RAJPUTANA, JAIPUR