Dum Biryani

 An invitation from Courtyard by Marriott to review their awadh food festival which started on 5th October and will continue till 14th October , made me apprehensive as most of the places that I had visited earlier, failed to live upto the expectations. I would have skipped had it not been for the skills of chef Amit Dash and I was sure that he would do justice to it.

Awadhi or Oudh cuisine has a very rich and traditional history. They are the ones who have introduced slow cooking or dum cooking as we call it now. Lucknow not only has rich history, the food too has a great impact from the culture that it has seen. Nawabs  of awadh were known for their cuisine and their love for meat. The famous biryani which travelled all the way from Persia where it was known as pilaf, went through several customization before it became the famous biryani of lucknow. Lucknow is not only known for biryani, it’s a city which has given us kormas, currys, galautis and best part is eating together on dastarkhan. So for someone like me who has spent half of his life in Allahaad, Lucknow and Varanasi you can understand Awadhi food J
I will not get into the  enigma  of biryani and kebabs, else it will continue to be more on the cuisine than on the great food that I had at Courtyard. Rest of the history of nawabss will be continued once I am back from my lucknow trip.
I have been to Courtyard before for their launch of champagne brunch and was really impressed. You can read my review here.
Nizam – e – Nazakat
So, when I reached with my friend,  F&B Manager Umesh showed me the entire buffet. A splendid spread of 7-8 curries along with 3-4 deserts, biryani and off course, the ever intriguing kebabs section. And the first sight of a huge lamb raan was waiting to be grilled! As we started discussing Chef Amit Dash also joined us and shared that he had readresearched a lot on the cuisine and gave his best.
This awadh feast that will continue  till 14th October  caters to Dinner and the menu changes daily. It will be interesting to call them and check on the special menu that they will have on a particular day.
We started with assorted kebabs,   mix of veg and non-veg both. Dahi ke kebab and paneer tikka was good, however the  fish tikka failed to impress., While I was expecting mutton galaouti , however chef had prepared chicken galaouti and it was good. From their live grill section we tried raan, chaat and warqui paratha with paya. Raan we quite liked and it was well cooked, good marination – I somehow prefer raan with less masala and little dry.
Nevertheless, the main section got me completely glued! In most of the interesting places, I have always preferred starters and do not quite like the main course. Here , my heart set rolling on the main course!
Thande Gulaab ki Kheer
 Nalli nehari was exceptionally good – Starting from the choice of mutton pieces, to perfect marination and cooked well! Dum ki daal needs special call out as it was one of the best daal I had in recent times in a five star hotel.  Lehsooni palak kofta and dum ki gohi was par excellence, though I didn’t like the fish curry(mahi anarkali ). The mutton biryani had the perfect aroma, however  mirchi ka salan didn’t complement it well. I was expecting more tanginess and spicy in mirchi ka salan.
We ended our meal with some outstanding desert. We tried thandhe gula ki kheer , dudhi(lauki) halwa and both were outstanding – great flavor and not too sweet. For me, deseert of the day was Nizam ki najakat – small gulab jamun cooked in condensed milk and with boondi – absolutely mind-blowing dessert. Infact,  I couldn’t stop myself from having it repetedly and requested for the recipe.
Well I must that that they have worked really hard and researched really well to get the dishes right and  I strongly suggest that you must and try the Awadhi cuisine, it’s an experience in itself.  Awadhi cuisine is a saga in itself and courtyard By Marriott takes you through the interesting journey of exotic food that you will remember for long!! A sensual treat and a reverence for food is what Awadhi cuisine is all about – Enjoy it here at Courtyard!

Where: MoMo Café, Courtyard by Marriott, Gurgaon, Sushant Lok – 1

Date: 4th – 15th October, 2014

Time: 6.30 PM to 11.30 PM

Price: Food buffet @ INR 1550 plus taxes per person
Unlimited IMFL Alcohol @ INR 850 plus taxes per person

For reservations, please call: +91 124 488 8245

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