The Telegraph
Friday , September 30 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Food for festive thought

Feast after the fast. The hospitality sector of the state capital is dishing up pure vegetarian delights for the nine-day Navratri that started across the country on Wednesday.

For thousands of Ranchiites fasting for Navratri during the day, the multi-cuisine restaurant of Hotel Golden Tulip, Eight Above, is the place to break the fast with pristine fare such as saboodana kheer, singhara ki puri, aloo jeera, chane ki subji, among others.

The menu will be revised daily till October 6 when the festival ends.

Employee of the hotel’s sale department Ritesh Singh said so far the food festival had evoked a healthy response from the crowds, who have been thronging the restaurant to get a taste of cuisine that has no trace of garlic or onion.

“The food being prepared by us are being served in the thali (full meal platter) system. We will be rotating the menu daily to incorporate dishes like lauki ki subzi, green vegetables and paneer items,” Singh said. The cost per thali has been pegged at Rs 250 plus taxes.

Guests thronging the eighth-floor restaurant of the hotel also praised the initiative, which they said, might be first of its kind in the city for Navratri.

“We are happy that at last we can treat our taste buds to vegetarian food that hasn’t been cooked by us. This food festival has saved me the hassle of cooking,” said home-maker Manu Shandilya.

Trying to cash in on the festivities, Hotel Landmark too is gearing up to host a Bengali food festival on the occasion of Durga Puja. The seven-day food fest is likely to start from from October 1.

“We will have Calcutta-based chef Abhijit Mazumdar to rustle up authentic Bengali delicacies this time around. Mazumdar had been an integral part of the mango festival that we had held earlier and hence he is experienced. This food fest hopes to emulate the mango festival that was a runaway success,” food and beverage manager of Hotel Landmark Kaushik Gupta said.

Landmark’s restaurant Peppercorn will host the lunch and dinner buffets with elaborate and authentic spreads being planned to tempt the taste buds of the discerning residents.

The menu on offer is likely to be chicken chop, beguni, fried papad, tomato-khajur chatni (tomato and dates chutney), chhanar dalna (paneer in a gravy sauce), chholar dal narokal diye (lentils with grated coconut), kurkure aloo, (crispy fries), kochi pathar jhol (tender mutton gravy), katla mache kalia (freshwater fish in thick spicy gravy), luchi or poori, mishti pulao, (sweetened fried rice).

The rich spread will end on a sweet note with rosogolla and mishti doi.

“The cost per platter has been set at Rs 275 plus taxes,” Gupta said.

A thali system will also be arranged at the coffee house of Mint, another hotel, for pandal hoppers from October 3-6 at the price of Rs 150 per plate.

Hotel Capitol Residency, however, will keep the fest low-key this year. “Ours is not a food festival, but we will serve an a la carte menu for our guests,” said chef Asit Kundu.

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