I am not very fond of eating Indian food  in a five star hotels,as I feel, if you want to taste good Punjabi food, you should try it on highway dhabas., I love travelling and have travel throughout the country and have always eaten on highway dhabas that have been amazing.
. When I got invitation to try new menu at Vivanta by Taj Surajkund, I thought it’s a good chance to change my perception. I have always admired hospitality of Taj, and I know they are the best in class. When I entered in the restaurant, which is located on first floor, I was really surprised to see the interiors. It was a  typical Punjabi set up where you can see truck and lots of local Punjabi stuff.

We were welcomed by the staff followed by the Chef himself and the GM. Chef Ganesh Joshi explained us the story and the idea behind Paranda. As per their description:
It takes inspiration from a typical North Indian highway eatery and offers the five river cuisine which is fragrant with the flavours of Lahore; it celebrates the famed street treats of Amritsar and the Grand Trunk Road; it pays homage to culinary maestros like Beliram, Beera and Sucha Singh; and it is redolent with the embers of home fires from the kitchens of the Kaurs and the Singhs.
At Paranda, themes of soil, water, fire, charcoal and forest permeate the menu resulting in aromatic dishes that are rooted in the landscape from which they were drawn.

The food stays true to its old-world heritage with the chefs using regional Northern Indian cooking techniques and secrets to create small moments of surprise. The menu features an abundance of robust, earthy dishes that have evolved from the province of Punj (five) Ab (water) – The Land Of Five Rivers. From the ingenuity of the ingredient to the flawlessness of the execution, every aspect of Paranda will lead to an emotive, intense, liberating way of eating with fingers unlike any other.

We were welcomed with chach shots which was perfected with all the ingredients, and stuffed gol gappa with spicy tangy water, which was delicious and tangy.
We started our meal with Magan murga shorba and dal dhaniye da shorba which was good in taste but lacked the punch as we felt. Though I like the idea of dal dhaniye da shorba.
 Next was the non-vegetarian platter consisting of methi macchi tikka, murg sunehri tikka and bhutta malai jhinga with baby khasta roti. I loved the fish tikka which was cooked perfectly and tasted great. We felt that starters were less spicy. Chef cleared that idea was to give us less spicy starters so that we can enjoy our rest of the meal as otherwise our buds will get mum and we will not be able to relish rest of our food. Chicken was soft and cooked nicely. Prawns were really huge in size and were delicious. I didn’t try out the veg kebab platter
We then moved to main course which was sec 7 ka mutton tariwala, that was inspired from a local dhaba in sec 7 in ambala, a perfect mutton curry which had the  right blend of spices, aroma and flavour. I liked consistency of the gravy that gave a perfect complement with the naan. I loved their assorted breads be it stuffed paratha or  mirchi namak wala naan or pudina paratha and here I would specially like to mention zeera pulaowhich was full of spices and flavour and it won my heart. Other items were bhatto aloo, Shimla mirch was cooked like the way we eat at home, typical Punjabi homely stuff. Sood De dhabe di daal was super yumm and delicious and according to chef it was inspired from a very famous dhaba in firozpur. Chooza khas makni was similar to butter chicken which was good. Palak kofta maknhi was another innovation from chef which I think was quite nice.
So if you like eating in highway dhabas and missing the same in Delhi, then Paranda at Vivanta by taj is the perfect destination for you.
Overall a well spend afternoon in the company of some good food and great hospitality.
I wish all the best to Vivanta and Paranda team for success.
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  1. Food photography is product photography. Start with a good D SLR Camera. I use a 17 to 55mm Wide angel lens for this. A light box will help light your food. You can buy a expensive one or make one out of a cardboard box and some gauze and some cheap lights. Here is a link india2australia .Use a tripod on your camera. Good luck!

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