On the menu, a monsoon flavours redux - Hindustan Times

On the menu, a monsoon flavours redux

ByRuchika Garg, New Delhi
Jul 16, 2023 12:28 PM IST

From eclectic takes on chai and inventive spins on iconic teatime snacks to comfort bites to find solace in, season-special menus are the rage at restaurants across Delhi

Crunchies and fritters, hot chocolate and stir-fried snacks — don’t they all make the monsoon all the more pleasurable? And with that thought in mind, Delhi restaurants are offering a whole smorgasbord of seasonal specials.

Varsharitu festival at Khandani Rajdhani offers comforting food for the monsoon season.
Varsharitu festival at Khandani Rajdhani offers comforting food for the monsoon season.

Chef Tarun Sibal’s menu — featuring chicken pakora, aloo mulun chaat and more at Khi Khi, Delhi — for instance, evokes monsoon nostalgia. “More than ingredients, it’s the cooking method of frying and the textural nuance of crispness. I use fresh produce, too, such as corn, jamun, potatoes, chickpeas and spinach. I make my own chaat masala and imli chutney to go with different types of batter varieties,” shares Sibal.

One for immunity

Who would have thought the constant pitter-patter would also offer an opportunity to boost immunity? “Monsoon is a transition period and immunity tends to dip. While designing our monsoon thalis, we have included dishes such as patrode that help clean the alimentary tract with their rich dietary fibre,” says executive chef Sukesh Kanchan of Sana-Di-Ge.

Corn Kees Chaat at KhiKhi
Corn Kees Chaat at KhiKhi

A tasty toast

If monsoon bites are here, drinks can’t be far behind! Joel Scholtens Lindsay, mixologist at The Blue Bar, Taj Palace, says, “The menu is inspired by the ingredients, subtle fragrances and sounds of the season. The mistiness of monsoon can be seen in BBQ, a smoked cocktail. Jamun is popular during this time and is used in the drink.”

Comfort food with a twist

Baarish and chai are inseparable. Teaming up unusual takes on the latter with street food, Plaka has a lavish monsoon menu. “We want people to enjoy the rains with the monsoon staples — chai and chaat. We have given a twist to chai, with varieties such as gulab chai, made with rose petals and the popular masala chai, which can be paired with vada pao, dabeli and chaats,” says chef Ajay Chopra. Similarly, the menu at Mister Chai, Shangri-La Eros, features an assortment of samosas, including butter chicken and edamame samosas.

Monsoon is also a time to cosy up with comfort food. Thus, Khandani Rajdhani, across all their outlets, has launched the monsoon festival, Varsharutu. “We have a diverse range of khichdi dishes and pakoras. The twists include cheesy hari bhari khichdi, Rajwadi khichdi, Vaghareli khichdi and spicy Kathiyawadi khichdi. We’ve infused traditional flavours with a blend of aromatic spices and herbs,” says corporate chef Maharaj Bhawar Singh.

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