Monday, June 23, 2014

An afternoon with the Grand Master Chef @ ITC Sonar

When KFB got an invite from ITC Sonar to a part of their press lunch with the Grand Master Chef Imtiaz Qureshi there was no way I could say no. I had heard a lot about the man solely responsible for bringing the royal cuisine to the masses.Chef Imtiaz Qureshi has an impeccable lineage, his ancestors were cooks in the royal courts of Awadh where Dum Pukht originated some 200 years ago. Now when you get an opportunity to be a part of such history you do jump with joy. Chef Qureshi presents some of his best creations from a culinary journey which spans over 50 years. A burly old man with white hair and moustache, he gives out such positive vibes. You are only charmed as he shares with you anecdotes in pure Urdu. I was awed! And the fact that he has such a modernist approach to traditional cuisine only adds to his persona. I couldn't believe it when he said that he used olive oil for the Biryani - something only a man with so much experience can fathom.

Dum Pukht, ITC Sonar offers a fine dining experience serving food with a Royal lineage. Guests are guided through the menu and each dish is presented with signature service rituals.A dining experience here takes you back to the royal era and each dish has its own story. We had the privilege to sample some unique innovative dishes crafted by the Master Chef and his team.

Grand Master Chef Imtiaz Qureshi
We started with the Jhinga Qureshi ( Puff pastry covered jumbo prawns stuffed with dried apricot and cheese ) and Raan-e-Huzoor ( Baby lamb legs cooked on dum with date sauce)
It was a great start I must say - with me being totally bowled over by that Raan -meat literally falling of the bones and melting in your mouth.

The main course had a whole lot of dishes, the most innovative and totally new for me was the Samudri Ratan ( Soft marbles of fresh crabmeat in a tangy gravy ) which Chef told us was cooked with tamarind and raw mango extract.The Desi Murgh ishtew ( country chicken braised over slow fire  cooked with onion and other spices ) was a deviation from the normal stews that one could think of. Now if we are taking of Awadhi cuisine we have to talk meat. Koh e Awadh ( Chef's recipe of lamb shanks cooked in its juices and marrow) was delicate and flavourful. The meat again melting in your mouth. By now I was stuffed and in food heaven. The star dish here  for me was however the Dal Badami ( White urad dal cooked with almonds and spinach). A total exit from the signature Dal Dumpukht. This was light and creamy and totally balanced out the other dishes.

Finished our meal with the Dudhiya Biryani ( Tender lamb shanks cooked in milk) For dessert we had the famous Shahi Tukda and Lab-e- mashook ( Frozen dessert of reduced milk scented with orange)

The entire menu was graced beautifully with a fine spirit. Mr. Sandeep Arora  - the whiskey expert - curated the whole event and enlightened us  on whiskey pairing ( Royal Salute 21YO)

So there! If you love your Shorbas, kebabs,Qormas and Qaliyas you know what you need to so. Yes, head straight to ITC Sonar and be a part of this iconic food journey presented by the legend himself.

The Signature Collection is available at the Eden Pavillion from 22nd june to 30th june,2014 for Dinner.
It is a part of the Dinner Buffet - priced at INR 1850 plus applicable taxes per guest.
There is also the Royal Repast at Dum Pukht ( Dinner Only ) from 22nd June onwards priced at INR 6500 + taxes.


1 comment:

  1. Nice done chef It’s great pleasure to get the chance to comment on such an informative blog. Thanks for share the knowledge and keep it up.