Even if you haven’t been fortunate enough to taste Kayastha khaana, you’re sure to have heard about its rich overpowering flavours. Sadly though, to get a taste of it one usually has to wait for a food festival or an invitation from a Kayastha family.
The community is known as ardent lovers of non-vegetarian food and the cuisine is said to be inspired by the Mughals. Although the Kayasthas are said to be among the original inhabitants of Delhi, anything but this cuisine can be easily found in the city.
Fire, the Indian restaurant at the Park known for its community-specific food fests, is hosting a ten day Mathur-Kayastha food fare that will be on till May 2.
This festival is the idea of freelance journalist and food critic Anoothi Vishal. She says she took care not to call it a Kayastha food festival for the dynamic nature of this cuisine. “Every house has a different style of cooking, I was only sure of how we, the Mathurs, went about our food. For the rest, I’d need a lot more research.”
Among the starters, we tried kurkuri palak chaat (crispy spinach with raw fruit salad), shammi kebab, kalmi vade (fried lentil fritters) and mutton chops. The chops were way too chewy and crisp but the chaat and shammis were delicious.
The menu of the main course comprised papad aloo (dried papad with potato), pakori ki sabzi (dal fritters with curry), home-style chicken (chicken cooked in hot gravy with oodles of garam masala, coriander etc) and bhuna meat (lamb cooked with whole spices) along with Ram Dana tahiri (rice with gram flour). True to their reputation, the two non-vegetarian dishes stole the show.
The meal concluded with firni sprinkled with chopped nuts and edible gold, which hit the spot after the heady explosion of spices. Don't miss out on this original Dilli ka khaana.
The festival is on at Fire, The Park, Parliament Street till May 2. A meal for two: Rs 2,200 plus taxes. Call 23743000 for a reservation