One of the many, many reasons that I can never relocate out of India is the festivals that we celebrate across the year! However clichéd it might sound, I absolutely love the charm and splendor of it all! From Makar Sankranti in January to Christmas in December, there is always something or the other being celebrated in our country!
Of course, one of the most important and integral part of this celebration is the Food! Each festival that is celebrated in India has some special dish that is eaten on or during the celebrations! Apart from the religious sentiment to it, the most wonderful part about this is that each dish that is eaten during that festival has some sort of scientific significance to it which is encompassed in a beautiful manner to make it festive and celebratory!
Come April, come the festivals of Baisakhi (Punjab), Poila Baisakhi (West Bengal)! All these festivals are basically a celebration of the start of the glorious Harvest Seaso*-n in the country. The food eaten during and around these festivals is prepared from the glorious produce that is harvested by the farmers the glory of the produce is what is highlighted in this food.
Taj Hotels, apart from its unparalleled service and luxury is known for its Indianness. It is this very Indianness that sets them apart from the rest of its competitors. The Taj Hotels in Mumbai (Taj Mahal Palace, Taj Lands’ End and Taj Santacruz) are celebrating the beautiful festivals of Baisahki & Poila Baiskahi in its full pomp and splendor at their respective Indian restaurants. I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of both their festivals at Taj Santacruz’s sall day dining restaurant – Tiqri.
Flamboyantly gorgeous, Tiqri boasts of a huge beautiful, dramatically lit tree of life inlayed into the wall (with 4000 pieces of glass…Rajasthani Tiqri). Simmering in natural light during the day and with dim lighting in the evening, this Tree is literally the soul of this restaurant!
We began our meal with the specialty drinks from both the regions. While Punjab’s Dry Fruit Lassi was rich and indulgent, the Aamras from West Bengal (which is what we call Aam Panha in Maharashtra) was light and very refreshing!
What followed there beverages what an array of some delicious food that were authentically prepared by the Chefs at Tiqri.
The Hariyali Aloo has to be my favorite appetizer here wherein the Aloo was cooked perfectly and the delicate and subtle green masala marinade worked wonders with it!
The Sarson Murg Tikka too was very flavorful and perfectly cooked. The flavor of the sarson though was a tad little too much!
The Pindi Chana here has to be the finest I have had in the city and it tasted absolutely heavenly with the Laccha Parantha.
Inspite of being a Biryani lover, though the Mutton Biryani was very fragrant and flavorful, the Dum Wale Rajma Chawal totally stole the show for me!
Poila Baisakhi (West Bengal):
The Kasha Posto Bora which is a Bengali poppy seed cake was soft and luscious ans well perfectly well with the cilantro & chickpea mash served with it.
The Egg Roll too was very flavorful and nice and flaky.
I have always been a huge fan of Bengali food and all the mains boasting of a subtly brilliant Chicken Rezale, the beautifully flavored Potol Posto and the best Dal ever – Bhaja Muger Dal were nothing short of spectacular. All these curries went beautifully with the crisp and luscious Luchis.
All in all, in spite of having some strong and unique personalities of its own, Tiqri splendidly manages to coalesce both the Bengali & Punjabi cusines together in an absolute spectacular manner. What resulted was a meal that will be etched in our minds for many years to come.
You too can enjoy these festive specialities at Tiqri, Taj Santacruz from April 14, 2017 till April 23, 2017 (lunch & dinner).
Trust me, it will definitely make your festive spirit rise even higher!
Until next time..