Rajasthani food has a lot of takers, with people often calling out their favourites from their travels to the state. Who doesn’t have memories of the eponymous aloo kachori from Jaipur’s favourite shop, to Jodhpur’s sweet shops and thali places, Udaipur’s rooftop places serving the best lal maans, and so on. If thinking about Rajasthan’s cuisine makes you salivate, head out to Saga, Gurugram, to enjoy some authentic dishes that remind you of those places and the food you ate.
The Rajasthan Tourism department came together with Saga to announce a special collaboration involving food and cultural performances, called Rangeelo Rajasthan till November 20 at the restaurant.
The Atul Kocchar-Moonshine Venture led restaurant’s latest venture called The Great Indian Platter involves have focused sample menus of cuisines from across the country, of which the first chapter is Rajasthan. Each temporary menu will be around for two weeks, in which time different dishes from the region can be explored by the patrons. Said Vishal Anand, the co-founder of Saga along with London-based Michelin Star chef Atul Kocchar, “Rajasthan is one of my first loves when it comes to food and culture and I wanted to showcase a part of it here in Delhi.”
Starting November 5, the first chapter is called Rangeelo Rajasthan, and it explores heritage dishes from the different regions and ethnicities of the area such as Mewar, Marwar, Shekhawati as well as others. The period will also see different musicians from the region providing entertainment to the patrons of the restaurant. The 15-day fest was inaugurated by Dhiraj Srivastava, the Resident Commissioner for the Government of Rajasthan, who said, “This is only a start to the beautiful initiative by SAGA to promote the diverse regional cuisines and cultures that lost in time. I am particularly excited for this one as SAGA is well known for making all things premium and their wholesome approach towards food and cultures.”
The Indian fusion band Swaraag was present on location to play music, and dancers from the region presented Rajasthani folk dance to popular music inspired from the area.
The menu included vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
Some starters such as Banjara Murgh and Khad ka Pind, inspired from indigenous dishes, were served with a modern twist. While the banjara murgh was plated beautifully, it retained its authenticity, the spices reminiscent of the food served and available in the desert of Rajasthan where the nomadic communities reside. The khad ka pind, on the other hand, was a decadent dish, mutton stuffed inside a dehydrated roomali roti reminiscent of a hard taco shell, full of delicious mutton cooked in the royal style. Rajasthani kadhi kachori, the popular Jaipuri aloo kachori dunked in kadhi made with besan made for a delicious, albeit heavy starter.
Paneer ke sooley was another popular vegetarian starter where steaks of cottage cheese were stuffed with paneer, khoya and fresh mutter. This dish is particularly popular in Rajasthan’s city of lakes Udaipur.
Mains had to include Mathania Lal maas, one of the more popular dishes from Mewar in Rajasthan. It also included Bhuna Kukkad, a spicy chicken dish served with bajra roti, as well as dal baati churma, another popular Rajasthani dish, where baked dough balls is served on a platter of richly cooked dal. While the dish is very popular in Rajasthan, Saga’s version did justice to it. The mains had ample amount of vegetarian options, including Govind Gatta Curry, a popular dish from Jodhpur, Mangodi Palak ki Saag and Papad Paneer ki Sabzi.
The beverages include aam panna, bel cocktail, makhana lassi and coconut lassi.
We had matka kulfi for dessert with falooda for dessert. Other dessert options included the classic moong dal ka halwa, and Rajasthani lapsi. The whole place was decked up in colourful bunting and wooden puppets popular from the state.
Winter afternoons in Delhi is the best time to enjoy a good hearty meal, and art, music and good conversations enhance the joys of eating a hearty fare.