A royal feast at the Taj Falaknuma

When a chef comes down from the Lake Palace Udaipur, to serve Rajasthani food based on traditional royal recipes, at the stately Taj Falaknuma Palace, you don’t want to miss it. And sure enough, the Rajasthani Food Festival being held at Adaa, the Indian speciality fine dining restaurant of the Taj Falaknuma Palace is one you absolutely must visit.

With the influences of the desert state prevalent in some dishes – like the souring agent Kacchri — used to tenderise the meat which is a local fruit that belongs to the cucumber family, and ker sangri – a staple Rajasthani vegetable dish is part of the menu. But given the fact that very little of anything actually grows there, the chef, Amar Singh of the Lake Palace had done full justice to the food.

In luxuriously subtle surroundings, we started with the Badam ka Shorba – a lightly spiced almond broth which had just the right amount of spice to tickle our appetite.

Then came the starters – Paneer ke Soole – paneer marinated with Rajasthani spices and yoghurt and roasted in a tandoor with a light layer of pickle in between the slices. The paneer just melted in my mouth and it was delicious. And I don’t even like paneer.

Other starters included a chicken kebab, a mustard marinated prawn, a picatta of lamb marinated with Kacchri – the meat tenderizer and Mathani red chillies – which are from the region that Chef Amar Singh is from.

All of the starters were delicately spiced and the burst of flavour once bitten into has to be tasted to be believed.

The mains which included a wide range of dishes were next. The Gucchi Khumb aur Matar – a curry made with wood smoked morels – a kind of exotic mushroom, green peas and button mushorooms – in a base of almonds and saffron was nothing short of heavenly.  As was the the Padampuri Chicken curry made with cashewnuts and yoghurt. You don’t even need a roti to help you savour the delicate flavours of these two curries. The Lal Maas – the Rajasthani version of a minimalistic lamb curry – and Chakki ki subji which was a curry made with gluten dumplings in a gravy of fried onions and condensed milk were tasty enough but perhaps they would have made a better impression if the chicken curry and the Peas and Mushroom curry had not overshadowed them completely.

No Rajasthani meal is complete without the dal-bati-churma – a combination of a wheat dumpling, a spicy dal and churma – also made from wheat but slow roasted with ghee and sugar. The dal is cooked in an earthen vessel which gives it a unique flavour.

Followed by the Jodhpuri Kabooli Pulao and the Murg Hathoda Biryani which were rice dishes both cooked in the Rajasthani style were worthy finishers to the meal.

While I was in a rush to leave for another appointment, I am glad I stayed back for dessert. The Kulfi falooda was deliciously peach in colour and every bite was divine. The falooda was nice and soft, the rabdi making a very subtle presence and the kulfi with a smattering of rose petals took the dish to a whole new level.

The festival is on till the 6th of July.

Dishes not to be missed would be the Padampuri Murg, the Safri Gucchi Khumb aur Matar and the kulfi. Actually, strike that. The festival itself is not to be missed.

The festival is open for lunch (12:00pm to 2:45pm) and dinner (7:00pm to 10:45pm).

For reservation and more information, please contact: 040 6629 8585 & 8019003288