Cubbon Pavilion celebrates the rich heritage of Punjab, the Land of Five Rivers

This month, Cubbon Pavilion celebrates a cuisine crafted from the rich heritage of Punjab. Chef Arshdeep who is from Ludhiana has worked on this concept for over three months to bring out the taste of his cherished family recipes and the forgotten flavors of the North.

The Land of Five Rivers Food Festival is part of ITC Hotel’s ‘Kitchens of India’ campaign which aims to bring back the forgotten flavours from different parts of the country.

The Land of Five Rivers food festival will be on for nine days, starting 17th Feb to 25th Feb. Authentic to the very essentials, the exquisite menu features Punjabi specialities such as Patiala Shahi Pulao, Amritsari Tari Macchi, Zimikand ke koftey, Mathi-Channe, Annardana papad Choley, Besan ki Subzi and many more. Making the culinary journey even more wholesome will be specially curated beverages like Lassi-e-Khaas, Patiala Peg & Goli Banta.

Speaking to Chef Arshdeep about this theme, he says “Punjabi food is one of the most popular cuisine in India and you can find different versions of it in every nook and corner. The primary reason behind curating this food festival was to show people that there is so much more to Punjabi food, not just Chicken and Paneer Tikka”.

Review

For starters, Chef Arshdeep had curated Chirga, Qazlaeela Talli and Laal Mirch Paneer Tikka. True to his word, there is so much more to Punjabi food. While we have had Paneer Tikka all our life, this version was fresh in its taste and approach. The paneer was ever so soft and that strong essence of laal mirch is what makes it very interesting. Chirga and Qazleela Talli a different version of Tandoori Chicken and Fried fish in a batter. There was one thing common in both, the flavours by Chef Arshdeep stood out as a hero. It lead from the front and left everyone asking for more.

For mains, there was Murghabi Pistadarh, Shikar Qorma, Aloo Bukhara Kofta, Dogra Dal, Bharwan Karela Aloo, Makki Roti-Sarson da Saag.

One thing that stood out and surprised everyone dining on the table was Bharwan Karela Aloo. Yes, you heard that right – Karela. This is the only vegetable that I always avoid due its bitterness but Chef Arshdeep did what my family couldn’t all my life, i.e. make me eat Karela. But do I complain? Absolutely not. It was lip-smacking to say the least. The veggies were going gaga over this. Chef Arshdeep should get an award to produce gold out of coal.

When we are talking about Punjabi food, how can we skip Makki Roti-Sarson da Saag. Chef Arshdeep made sure we do not miss out on this classic Punjabi dish. Taking this to another level, Chef asked us to rub some makkhan and jaggery on the Makki roti and then have it with Sarson ka saag. Trust me, this gives a lip-smacking twist to the classic.

For the non-vegetarians, it couldn’t get any better in the form of Murghabi Pistadarh, mutton dish and Shikar Qorma which is a brilliant duck dish. Talking about the former, this is an absolute delight for the red meat lovers. Cooked to an absolute perfection, the meat just comes of the bones and melts in the mouth. The flavours again beautifully balances the heaviness of the meat. If you like the mutton kosha, you will fall in love with this.

Shikar Qorma, another master piece from Chef Arshdeep’s kitchen. He surely knows how to delight the meat lovers. People don’t think beyond Chicken, mutton and fish when we talk about Punjabi food. But Chef has taken it to next level breaking the stereotype attached to Punjabi cuisine. This is one of the many that you should not miss out on. Make sure to eat when the meat is hot, the duck tends to get stiffer once it is cold.

All the mains were accompanied with different breads like Roti naan, Lachha Paratha and Misi roti. There was also Bataor (Quail) Pulao. It was so pleasing to see something different other than the regular chicken and mutton biryani.
Concluding with the desserts, all the three were my absolute favourites: Gulab Jamun, Gajar ka Halwa and Kulfi.

Rounding off, it was amazing preview of Land of Five rivers food festival. There is a whole range of buffet that would be changed every three days. Looking at the preview menu and tasting experience, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Chef Arshdeep has done wonders. His effort to bring out freshness to the Punjabi food is really appreciable. This food festival is highly recommended. 

Rating: 4/5

What: Land of Five Rivers Food Festival

Where: Cubbon Pavilion, ITC Gardenia, Residency Road

When: 17th Feb – 25th Feb, 2017

Time: Only Dinner. 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM

Cost: 1850 ++

Suman

Dreamer, Blogger, Writer, Foodie, Movie buff, Public Relations. Contributor for The New Indian Express and recently started a news publishing website 'Unkrate'.

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