Park Hyatt ropes in a Marwari chef for their upcoming festival.
He is unpretentious, but Amrit Maharaj’s food has been doing the talking for him for the last 35 years. The go-to caterer for Marwari weddings in the city, he is now bringing his vegetarian offerings to The Dining Room at Park Hyatt. With live counters and over 18 dishes on the menu, the pop-up restaurant kicks off today for dinner. “Marwari cuisine is very different. The harsh climate of Rajasthan coupled with the unavailability of many ingredients have shaped it,” explains Amrit, who began cooking at a young age, helping his mother in the kitchen. “The dishes are simple and we use a lot of lenils, gram flour and yoghurt,” he adds.
Expect a variety of starters like Jodhpuri mirch vada (suffed banana cillies) and kalmi vada (deep-fried chana dal crispies). But no meal can start without a serving of the popular dal baati churma. “The baatis are made with wheat flour and are traditionally baked over cowdung cakes, but we make them in an oven,” laughs the 52-year-old, elaborating, “They are served dipped in ghee, along with a panchmel dal and a sweet churma (crushed deep-fried baatis, mixed with jaggery and dried fruits).”
The non-vegetarian in me is curious: has he ever made anything with some meat on it? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. “I’d catered at Rajinikath’s daughter, Aishwarya’s wedding, and I made Bihari chicken for him. He still asks me for it,” he smiles. But don’t expect any drumsticks here! Instead, look forward to favourites like meeta chawal, sangar ki sabzi, gatte ki kadi and aam ki launji, besides a selection of sweets, including malpua, moong dal halwa and jalebis. “We will also have chaats and a live counter for phulkas,” Amrit concludes.
Till July 24, from 7 pm. Rs 1,350 plus tax.
— Surya Praphulla Kumar