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    Le Jardin takes you on a culinary journey around India

    Showcasing an eclectic selection of dishes picked from various states in India, right from West Bengal and Rajasthan down to Kerala and Coorg, Spice Trail at Le Jardin aims to shine the spotlight on spices, the real hero of Indian cuisine.

    “Spices form the basis of our cooking and we have so many different composi-tions and variations that can make or break a dish. Like the garam masala in Punjabi cuisine where hing and black pepper form part of their spice mix,” explains chef Santosh Kumar.

    Getting started
    After a brief overview of the menu, we tucked into a truly indulgent Indian meal. We started off on a promising note with Bengali beet-root chops — grated beetroot blended with mashed potatoes with a touch of ginger formed into cylindrical patties and crumb-fried. Followed by prawn ajadina – the highlight of the spread for us. Succulent and fleshy, the prawns are tossed in Mangalore spices, includ-ing the fiery badige chilli, and then in dessicated coconut. The tandoori anjeer is a great way to infuse fresh flavours into your meal. The inher-ent sweetness of the figs comple-ment the spice marinade quite beau-tifully and the slightly bitter kick from the orange zest leaves you with some citrusy notes on your palate.

    Hearty inclusions
    For the main course, we were served the bagara baingan. Big on flavours, the Hyderabadi mainstay comprises baby aubergines in a gravy of pow-dered peanuts, ground coconut, ses-ame and poppy seeds. The pandi curry, while a bit lacking in kachum-puli (Coorg vinegar), is definitely a hit and tasted great with the light and fluffy sannas. Daab chingri, a Bengali preparation, is also a crack-er dish and features prawns cooked in a thick coconut milk gravy inside a sealed tender coconut. Apart from the novelty, it also tastes wonderful and must not be missed.

    “We have stuck to classic recipes without much experimentation as we want to give diners an authentic experience,” Kumar informs.
    Dessert lovers have little to choose from but the choices on offer are divine and include elaneer payasam – tender coconut water, coconut milk and cardamom powder, a kulfi plat-ter and malai sandwich.

    Rs. 2,400+ for two. At The Oberoi, MG Road. Details: 25585858

    —Rashmi Rajagopal

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