A few days ago the Bombay Foodies were invited to check out the Mewar Food Festival at the famous Pure Vegetarian restaurant of Sofitel called Tuskers. This was a part of Sofitel Mumbai’s attempt to pay tribute to the ‘Make in India’ Week offering its guests rich culinary treasures from the vibrant states of India.
Now, we all know Bombay Foodies are avid non-vegetarian eaters. But when someone promises you dishes that have names like Mawa Kachori, Malpua with Rabdi, Bharwan Bati, Dal Panchmeli, Gatte ki Sabzi, Ker Sangri ki Subzi, Mewad Mix Veg you imagine smokey, rich ghee laden morsels of food which we all know is an entirely different affair. This time the Foodie took with her a friend who is a pure vegetarian marwari to accompany her through this meal.
About the Festival: The Mewar food festical was curated by Chef Jankidas Vaishnav, who hails from Chittor and works at the Sofitel property in Rajasthan.
On the menu:
For starters we tried the Bharwan Paneer (Tandoori Paneer stuffed with Green chutney, Heeng dal stuffed Kachori and Cheese and Makai rolls and Palak and Anaardane ki tikki
What Worked: The Makai Rolls were nice and cheesy with freshness from the corn. Crispy from the outside soft and cheesy from the inside. But one wouldnt be blown away by the idea of it. Well made though. Anaardane and Palak tikkis I personally liked because of the addition of the anaar. which helped in breaking the monotony. the Kachori was also really delicious. Stuffed with hing daal and topped with curd, tamarind chutney, and sev. Heavy but nice. The stuffing was delicious and who doesn’t love the flavours of our favourite Chaat item dahi puri.
On the table we also had some ghee, jaggery and pickle.
What didnt work for us was the Stuffed Paneer which wasn’t as stuffed as the name suggested. And the drinks which were a bit of a lack lustre. One would imagine a lot could be done with a Kala Katha. Kokum mixed with soda and the rim laced with Chaat masala.
For the mains and desserts: We had mewar mixed veg, Ker sangri ki sabzi, Tarkari Bhaji Pala, Arbi Kadhi, Bharwan Bhindi and Pulao along with some rotis.
What worked: The Ker sangri ki sabzi which was rich and tangy. This one is a traditional Rajasthani recipe. It is a combination of Ker ( a round berry) and Sangri which is a type of a bean and the whole dish is supposed to be a chatpata affair. Balled up in a paneer coating this one is cooked in a curd-based gravy. My friend loved the dish along with the bharwan bhindi that was served. Although I found it just about ok I would have preferred a crunchy and crispy bhindi with masala like that. I personally loved the Arbi Kadhi (It wasn’t sweet) and the Tarkari Bhaji pala (Seasonal greens cooked in garlic and garnished with Red chilli). My mother taught me how it can also be eaten with plain boiled rice and ghee. Umm.. just the site of this got me excited. I, however did not eat it with boiled rice here. Just decided to load it nicely with ghee and jaggery. It did good things to it. Trust me. The Mewad mixed vegetables were cooked in a nice spices (garam masala was it?) , onion and tomato gravy. Really liked it. The pulao was a regular affair but went well with the Kadhi. The ladoo in the end was coated with what looked like semolina and.Not big on presentation and not too sweet, it was loaded with dry fruits and was passable.
What didnt work were the desserts. The Malpua was a little to stiff to cut through served with a decent Rabdi.
What we loved was the ambience of the place. Fairly busy for a week night, with families and people busy with business meetings.
There were live singers, bangle makers and puppet shows keeping the kids happy.
Here are the bangles made for me. Pretty, no?
A big shout out to the Manager Elvis who was energetic and helped walk through the menu. It wasn’t a 10 on 10 experience, foodwise but I would give it solid 7. However Tuskers gets full marks for creating such authentic experiences for their patrons!