Tag Archives: gujarati

Indulgently Indian

Thalis in Indian cuisine, are my weakness. The sheer variety and sight of small vatis or katoris with different dishes in a glistening thali attract me. The Grand Thali Feast at Soma, Grand Hyatt Mumbai which begins today and goes on until July 23, daily for dinner, naturally was something which beckoned me. I was fortunate to get a preview last night.

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Curated by Chef Vinod Singh Rana of Soma and his team, the thali looked delightful and appetizing as expected. In fact I even witnessed the thalis being set in the spotlessly clean and well-planned kitchen.

I opted for the Non-vegetarian option with laal maas, a typical Rajasthani preparation of mutton which is lip-smacking. Naturally, that was the first dish I tried and it turned out to be one of the best lal-maas preparations I have ever had. Often hyped, it disappoints owing to too much spice and a rich and heavy gravy. But this one was a palate-pleaser. The yogurt was just right, as were the other spices and the texture of the succulent mutton pieces, slow-cooked, were just the way I enjoy mine.

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The other dishes on my thali included Rajasthani bhindi, sev tamatar, batata-nu-shaak, kadhi, dal, khichdi, thepla, rotla, puri, rice and of course lot of farsan in the form of khandvi, dhokla, samosa, patra made of arbi leaves, et al. Each dish was distinct in its flavours and textures and obviously painstakingly prepared. The taste of each Rajasthani and Gujarati dish was authentic with no room for compromise.

Desserts were the highlight of my meal with malpua and rabdi and of course the quintessential, moong dal halwa, as I have an incurable sweet-tooth.

The quality of ingredients was expectedly the best and the flavours shone through with ease. A sumptuous meal, perhaps difficult to finish, but enjoyable nevertheless. I was satiated. The meetha paan served in a traditional manner was the perfect finale to this grand thali meal.

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One can also enjoy an array of delightful cocktails and mocktails themed to compliment the menu from their a la carte beverage menu.

Given the variety and the fact that it is unlimited, as well as being priced at an all inclusive price, at Rs 999 for veg and Rs 1111 for Non-veg, this thali is a steal and every gourmand fond of the diverse flavours of Rajasthan and Gujarat must head to Soma soon. Furthermore, the thali has 4 rotational menus, so even if you land up more than once in the ten days, you are likely to experience a new set of dishes.

Rating: 4/5

 

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A Little Bit of Gujarat On My Plate

The sweet-sour taste of Gujarati food is what draws me to it and always has. I love the way, the hint of sweetness, enhances the other latent flavours. With my fetish for this cuisine, I found myself heading to Sofitel Mumbai BKC for their Padharo Gujarat food festival complete with dance, folk music, puppet shows et al

Tuskers, the all vegetarian restaurant at the Hotel which boasts of a separate kitchen to ensure the purity of vegetarian food, played host to this food festival. Quite naturally, all the Gujarati food was strictly vegetarian and yet, lip-smacking.

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The well-arranged thali, was a treat for the eyes. Farsan in a Gujarati meal is always the highlight and the vatana ghugra and khaman dhokla served to us were no different. Delectable flavours of the starters paired with tangy chutneys was the perfect beginning to our meal. Prepared by 2 Home Chefs Neha Varma and Urmila Gohil, along with the Maharaj Jankidas Vaishnav, at Tuskers, the meal was bound to be a unique experience. And it was.

The aam panna was refreshing and energized us completely.

Neha Varma  one of the Home Chefs told me, “Working at Sofitel Mumbai BKC, was as comfortable as my own home kitchen and that helped me serve up the right balance in the cuisine. Gujarati cuisine has a sweet touch and the combination of flavours is designed to please every palate.”​  There could be no greater compliment for the Hotel, I thought.

Gujarati Specialists

The Phangavela Mug-Mut No Salad was fresh and wholesome. Something that I enjoy wholeheartedly. For the mains we were served, an array of Gujarati delicacies. Ringna-Batata Sambharyo, Surti Kadhi, Undhyo, sev tamatar, dal, theplas, bajra rotla and of course khichdi. The delicate flavours of each dish were distinct and no where did the spices over power the taste buds. They gently teased the palate, leaving us craving for more. With so much of variety, of course no monotony would have set in and the brilliant Home chefs ensured, none did. Each dish was different and had its own identity. The food was home style, with less or negligible oil and the ingredients absolutely fresh.

The surti kadi and undhyo were two dishes which were outstanding, as far as I was concerned.

The desserts, after the sumptuous main course, sadly did not match up to our expectations.

The service was warm and hospitable, in keeping with the Gujarati household culture and Sofitel Mumbai BKC’s tradition.  A thoroughly enjoyable evening, well spent over a heart-warming meal.

On till February 28, make your way quickly and savour this authentic meal.

Rating: 3.5/5