Awadhi cuisine is the traditional food of Lucknow. The recipes, its spices, cooking style is inspired by Persians and Mughals. Veg and Non-Veg preparations have some exotic spices garnished with dry-fruits for the richness.
Lucknawi or Awadhi cuisine is not only limited to non-veg Kebabs and Biryanis but also they have wide spectrum of Chaats, Faloodas, Halwa, Thandai, Makkhan Malai and Paans for vegetarians.
The extensive and exclusive dishes includes Kormas, Kaliya, Nahari-Kulchas, Zarda, Sheermal, Roomali rotis, Biryanis, Warqi Parathas and above all kebabs of different types.
We are so glad that Pune is opening its avenues to try new regional cuisine and this time The Orchid Hotel has arranged Awadhi Food Festival at its restaurant, Boulevard.
Located on Pune Bangalore Highway, Balewadi, it is an easy find. Valet Parking is available. Boulevard is located on the left side on the ground floor. For the food festival, they had adorned the restaurants alike a palace. Entrance was majestic and as soon as you enter, you will be welcomed by the servers wearing traditional lucknowi attire. Rose and Kevda Attar is sprinkled at the entry.. Little shamiyana with hukkah, lights, royal decoration and live ghazals by Ustaad Hasan Ali were making whole ambience mesmerizing.
Food is served in buffet and the menu is rotating with a balance of veg and non-veg dishes. Menu is designed and prepared by Chef Deep Prakash Noudiyal. Following was the servings for the day...There are 3 types of welcome drinks–Jaljeera being the favourite.
Salads and variety of chutneys-Tamatar, Kairi, Seb, Turai, Lehsun, Lal Mirchi were surely spoiling us for the choices. Refreshing, healthy and colorful salads like Tawa Ande Ka Salad, Kachche Kele ka salad, Dahi Kheere ka, Arbi ka Salad were plated beautifully. Starters are served on the table. Dahi ke Kebab was soft, melt in mouth and tasted good with mint chutney. Veg Shami Kebab, Phaldari Seekh Kebab was equally delectable. Taste was balanced.
Vegetarian main course had mixed veg, Mushrooms, Aloo Tukday, Makhmali Shai Paneer in buffet. Breads were served on table. We opted for Garlic Butter Naan and Lachcha Parantha. Aloo Tukday were fried crispy and spiced perfectly.Just like homemade. Makhmali Shahi Paneer had rich white gravy with kevda essence. The flavours were intact and one could smell the aroma of shahi dishes.
Diwan-E-Sabz was made with the goodness of mixed veggies made in red gravy. Oh that aroma of Kevda water in Biryani, as soon as the container is opened hits your nostrils. Amazing, great in combination with Dal-E-Shan. It was my favourite of the buffet. So thick, so rich and the dash of Kasoori methi was surely enhancing the taste. I could not stop myself after one bowl.
Most looked upon thing is dessert and that too from the lands of royalty-Lucknow. Though mostly regular ones. The one that caught my attention was Egg Halwa. It was crumbly in texture and medium sweet. Malpua were on live counters and were made hot and fresh. Gulabjamun, Kalakand and Mohanthal were also drool worthy. My favourite was Falooda Kulfi–Kulfi with chia seeds; much refreshing and soothing for the soaring temperatures.
Special mention to Ustaad Hasan Ali who is a gem and while he was singing old melodies and taking us back to years. His live singing was as good as the recorded one. Truly enjoyed and it was one of the best thing of our evening along with delicious food.
Last but not the least our evening came to an end with the invigorating paan shots. Looking forward to visit again! Enjoy more photos....
What: Awadh Cuisine
Where: Boulevard, The Orchid Hotel, Balewadi
When: 15th April - 24th April 2016
Cost: Rs.981 (all inclusive) per person.