The Ritz Carlton’s signature Indian restaurant, Riwaz, has a line-up of dishes from the palaces of Patiala, Jaipur, Kashmir and Agra. So it’s not about regional fare and homely recipes, but food meant to tickle royal taste buds. It starts with an apple and strawberry fizzy affair, with a welcome hint of red chilli, which the Kashmiri king accidentally dropped in. Voila! A new flavour was added, says chef Ramandeep who has spent six months researching the festival.
An amuse-bouche of papdi chaat was followed by a series of appetisers with distinct meaty leanings. Kabargaah, lamb chops seasoned with fennel and ginger powder were fork tender and very moreish. Kokkur kebab, chicken flavoured with cardamom, pan-seared fish, tale gade, nadir kebab and lotus stem galettes seasoned with black cardamom rounded off our starters. Between courses, we sampled a hearty serving of yakhani shorba, a perfectly delightful winter soup of rich lamb mince redolent with saffron and a hint of spices.
For our main course, the classic rogan josh arrived in a rich gravy just waiting to be mopped up by the crisp Indian breads. No Kashmiri meal is complete without gushtaba, minced lamb koftas lovingly pounded by the chef till silky smooth, then delicately flavored with fennel and dry ginger. We were introduced to the rather unusual shahdeg, lamb cooked with turnips, light in texture but a bit of an acquired taste. A small serving of rajma, along with khumbi pulao, morel mushrooms was cooked to perfection with basmati rice.
Kong firin, a delicate rice pudding with saffron paired well with the gulab jamun which was soft and had a delicate hint of rose in the sugar syrup.
Rs. 3,000++ for two approximately.
At The Ritz Carlton, Residency Road. Details: 49148000
— Frances Rao