Celebrate the new year with Punjabi food and fanfare
With Surjan Singh Jolly helming the food and beverage section at the JW Marriott, you know you’re in for a Baisakhi treat! “Baisakhi always brings back fond memories from my childhood in Amritsar and it is the time to eat, drink and be merry, Punjabi style,” begins the chef, and with that in mind, we began to tuck into what he called an ode to a culinary heritage.
Ridkey lussee, a yoghurt shake flavoured with saffron, pistachios and home favourites figs, chicoo and rose, started us off before we dived straight into the Amritsari street food, sampling the divine makhan chooza roast – chicken in a rich marinade of cumin, cream, garlic and coriander. Next came our favourite, the chaampan tey botiyan which is roasted lamb chops in green papaya mixed with yogurt and chilli. Not to exclude the vegetarians, chef Jolly whipped up some sinful samosas, cauliflower and spinach pakodas, roasted rajmah with pine nuts and rich khoya milk cake.
As most hospitable Punjabis do, he then brought on more food. As obliging guests, we gorged on lotus stem dumplings loaded with prunes and almonds, spiked with the sweet and nutty flavours of fenugreek. The ever popular roadside lamb dish of Punjab, lamb mince with kidney, liver and sweetbread, and the pot roasted lamb with fried onion, mint and yogurt, hit all the right notes, especially when paired with kulche, stuffed with spiced potatoes, cottage cheese, onion or lamb keema.
Look out for authentic yet unusual ingredients like gooseberries and jackfruit, and favourites like Amritsari machchi (Singhara fish), tandoori jheenga (prawns) and bhatti da murgh (char-grilled chicken drumsticks).
End on a rich and sweet note with gajar halwa, kulfi and phirni. Or like we did, go all out and have the badam halwa made entirely out of almonds and jaggery before indulging in the saffron-flavoured jalebis. Rs. 1,599 for dinner only. Until April 19. At Spice Terrace, Vittal Mallya Road. Details: 67188555