Chef Divya Kalwara brings a Rajwadi platter full of appetising flavours at the ongoing food fest-Kitchens of India-Royal Repasts at Hotel ITC Rajputana
A grand assembly of flavours awaits you at the food festival ‘Kitchens of India – Royal Repasts’ going on at ITC
Rajputana. And if you wish to savour every bit of what is served, you might have to go slow as there is a lot on the platter right from the welcome drink to the delectable starters and the true treasures of the Kalwara region. The festival, which continues till September 20, promises authentic taste of Rajasthan whose culinary secrets have been closely guarded by the Royal families. The Kalwara dishes have been meticulously prepared by Divya Kalwara, who hails from the royal lineage. “The idea behind the food festival is to bring forward some hidden and forgotten flavours of the Kalwara settlement. The 10-day food festival will have authentic Rajasthani cuisine,” shares Chef Divya.
The main attractions on the menu, including both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian, are Makkai Ki Subzi (Corn niblets simmered in milk and spices), Maans Soola (Escalopes of lamb marinated and grilled in charcoal), Makkai ki dhokle (Steamed maize discs) and Pitod Ka Saag (Gram flour dumpling simmered in yoghurt gravy). But, you haven’t tasted it all until you have tried Safed Murg (Cashew nut and poppy seeds flavoured chicken) and Bhuna Maans (Lamb marinated in yoghurt, onion, garlic and spices).
To top it all, there are a variety of mouthwatering traditional desserts like Malpua Rabri (Refined flour discs simmered in sugar syrup and served with sweetened reduced milk), Besan Ka Seera (Sweetened gram flour cooked with clarified butter and topped with nuts) and Fauladi (Sweetened refined flour tossed with desi ghee and nuts).
Chef Divya, while demonstrating two of her favourites recipes Makkai Ki Subzi and Maans Soola, shares the magic ingredients and secret behind the scrumptious dishes. “I make sure that I use milk instead of water to boil so as to make the dish tender and maintain the consistency in the taste. And I seldom cook without Kachri powder, which adds a tangy taste, and yoghurt other than the basic spices,” said Divya. After the live demonstration, Divya relished these dishes at the Chef’s table paired with Nine Hills Shiraz (Red wine) along with her friends and relatives.
On asking about the culinary voyage of the 10-day festival, Divya said, “There will be three vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes each every day that I have inherited from my mother, grandmother, mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law. There are two dishes that are exclusive to my innovation, including Chakki Ki Tikki (Spiced gluten cutlets grilled on a griddle) and Paan Guddi (Spiced gram flour, wrapped with pastry, steamed and tossed in gravy).”
Speaking about the festival, Sunil Gupta, general manager, ITC said, “It is an effort to discover something
beyond the regular traditional dishes, like Divya presented Rann (Whole leg of lamb marinated with choicest of spices) and Chakki Ki Saag. These are generally not very common.”
Divya, who is taking forward the cuisine of the Kalwara region, plans to write a book soon. “I will soon be coming out with my book on exclusive recipes that have been passed down from generations, probably by next year,” she shared as she intends to keep alive the originality and heritage of these delicacies. If you are a foodie and want to delight your taste buds with authentic Rajasthani cuisine, Royal Repasts is the perfect getaway.