Taj Vivanta Dwarka, a beautifully done property from the Taj stable is holding its very first food festival at their Indian Cuisine restaurant called the Indus Express. As its regular fare, Indus Express offers signature dishes from Kashmir, Punjab and so on. And for their maiden food festival, they have chosen to bring the flavours from amazing Amritsar to our plates in Delhi NCR. Chef Amarjot has been brought in from the Taj property in Amritsar and I was told that the he is even carrying the water from Amritsar to be used in some of the dishes to give that authentic flavor.
To savour are some signature Amritsari dishes like Aloo Vadi, Amritsari Macchi, Amritsari Kulcha, Makki ki roti & Sarson ka saag.
We started with the sweet, cool, makhni lassi, topped with malai and dry fruits which was perfect after a long drive down from Gurgaon. And it was just the pre-cursor for the spread that was to follow. A special mention, before I talk about the different courses, of the wonderfully delicious pudina (mint) chutney, which was done on a sil batta instead of the normal mixer, hence it retained all the flavor and was thankfully kept spicy and not toned down using curd which is what we usually find in restaurants doing North Indian fare. It was an excellent accompaniment to the dal papad, another Amritsar signature item.
Interestingly we started with kebabs instead of soup, which worked well as the soup helped in preparing us for the heavy main course which was to follow.
For me, the Amrtisari macchi and Bhatti ka murg stood out for well balanced flavours in the non veg kebabs. Both cooked well and quite tasty. The Jalandhari seekh kebab was coarsely ground meat which though tasted good but disintegrated the moment you broke into it. The Mirchi Paneer Tikka was another standout which was presented in a unique manner and was quite tasty and did justice to its name.
Rarely does a vegetarian dish score over a non veg in the same course for me. However the Dal Pudine ka Shorba was head and shoulders above the Nalli Kharode ka Shorba. The rich flavor of urad dal with subtle hints of pudina made for an excellent combination and made me wish for a much cooler weather. The Kharode soup needed to be a bit more gelatinous to compete for flavor with the dal soup.
The main course was presented on a beautiful and very practical “thali” if I may call it so. Small portions of pretty much everything on the same so once could taste a variety and still not end up wasting food. We strongly recommended the hotel to keep such a thali as a regular part of the menu. The Dal Amritsari did full justice to its name and went well with the Amritsari Kulcha, though the kulcha itself could be made crispier to be true to the delectable kulcha’s served in the streets of Amritsar. Tawa Gosht Kaleji (Mutton Liver) and Murgh Makhanwala (butter chicken) were tasty but not really standout. Some also found the butter chicken to be too sweet for their palate. Makki ki Roti and Sarson ka Saag were done well and served with white, unsalted butter and jaggery. Quite love that combination of jaggery with white butter. In all a good variety being served in the main course with something to tingle the taste buds of both vegetarians and non vegetarians.
Desserts had moong dal halwa which was perfectly done, fruit cream which could have been thicker and phirni which was well done again. A good end to a good meal.
So head out to Indus Express at Taj Vivanta Dwarka till the 20th October to enjoy this interesting attempt at bringing Amritsar to Delhi.