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Traditional Indian Food

We as humans have evolved from a civilization of gatherers. There was time when royals would venture out on hunting expeditions which sometimes lasts days. The game meat then had to be cooked in the wild using rustic cooking methods. This gave evolution to the Sand and Stone cooking methods.

The Sand pits were quite popular in desert and arid areas where the meat was packed in a parcel and placed inside the hot sand. This heat cooked the meat evenly giving way to a dish which was nearly fall-apart. The marinades for the meat could be of different types based on the spice availability of the region. The sand cooking technique was liberal in it’s use of spices making the food, fiery hot. This led to the body giving of sweat which in turn acted as a cooling mechanism. There’s always so much history to learn through the evolution of food. And this is exactly what Chef Angshuman and Team at Bidri, Marriott Hyderabad showcase with their ‘Sand & Stone’ Festival.

Pathar ka Paneer Tikka

Two years ago Bidri had organized a Stone and Wood Fire festival. This time there is an extension of selection in the food options which have lot of vegetarian options too. Off the vegetarian side of the menu my favorites were the Bharwan Karela and the Sand smoked mushrooms. I absolutely love bitter-gourds unlike many, especially when it comes with a filling. With the Sand Roasted Bharwan Karela, the chefs have filled the bitter-gourd with spicy potatoes, nuts and cilantro and cooked it in sand. Bidri has actually built a make-shift sand-pit in the outdoor area which heats the sand from the bottom.

Arbi Aur Chnna ka Shammi

The Pathar ka Gosht is quite a familiarity with Hyderabadi cuisine. If you ever venture out to the Old City, you’d find a lot of street vendors making this famous Hyderabad dish on a slab of granite. Thin strips of meat are let to break down with raw papaya. This helps in cooking the meats to cook much easier on the stone slab. The rest among the non-vegetarians include Pathar ka Pomfret, Prawns among many other. My favorite among all the dishes was the Sikandari Raan where a whole leg of lamb was marinated in a mix of malt, vinegar, spice rub and cooked in the sand. The meat was deliciously tender and beautiful.

Sikandari Raan

Sometimes you want to sit down for a meal and not have to think on what’s happening on your plate. The traditional Indian style of cooking methods have always been special and will continue to do so. Kudos to the chefs of Bidri for truly showcasing Indian history on a plate.

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There was a time when food focused on flavors rather than each chef throwing in their Masala mix when it came to Indian food. A time which focused on the food rather than the fancy plating on shiny new gadgets. With Rivaayat now it’s third edition,it was time to bring back soul food. I’ve been a big fan of the Rivaayat food festival that Trident Hyderabad hosts every year. The reviews of 2016 and 2015 editions can be read in the attached links.

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For our readers who’ve visited Kanak during the Rivaayat festival would be pleased to know that most of the appreciated dished do continue to feature on the menu. But the ones we’ll take a look around in this post is of new dishes introduced.

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We started off our dinner with the Khumb ki Galavat which had been beautifully done. I swear it’d be difficult not to appreciate a Galawati Kebab made of Mushrooms when they can be on the same par with the non-vegetarian version. The Aloo Kachalu had tempered potatoes and colocasia (arbi) with sweet and tangy chutney.

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Now the time was to delve into the non-vegetarian starters with the Khatti Kairi ka Rampuri Jhinga and Lagan ki Boti. The cooking of the prawns owe their recipes back to Rampur where the marination was both with yogurt and raw mango.You’d think that a mix of yogurt and raw mango would increase the sourness of the prawns but not so. In fact they’d been so perfectly balanced that you’d get only a bit of the sourness at the back of the palate.

The new Rivaayat menu has put a bit more of a focus on new dishes in this edition with the introduction of the Lagan ki Boti. Truly loved the tempering of the spices along with the onions until dark brown. So along with the hint of sweetness of the onions you get delectable chunks of meat to savor on.

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The main course was elaborate with our table featuring quite a dishes from the North and Eastern sides of India. Trust me when I say that if you do miss your home dal and want to savor some of it, cooked exactly how it’s done in most North Indian homes. Then head over to Kanak in Trident Hyderabad. It’s the no-frills, dialed down in spices and perfectly awesome with Puran Singh ke Dhaba wali Chicken Curry and Rice.

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Considering that it’s still winters in some parts of the country yet, so time for Makai Roti with Sarson ka Saag. The Sarson ka saag was absolutely brilliant with another simplistic and yet rustic Baingan ka Bharta.

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The dinner ended with a truly content meal and desserts to look forward to. In the dessert section we tried the Dry Fruit Halwa and Gulab Phirnee with the phirnee being a favorite of mine among the two.

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The new edition of Rivayaat is on in the evenings at Kanak from January 15th to 25th 2017 for dinners. It’s Indian traditional cuisine that you’d not want to miss.

 

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