There are times when one is conscious of the calories we take in. But there are times when one must simply eat for the joy of eating something really tasty, never mind the calories. And while I don’t mean to gloat, I belong to the happy few on this planet who can eat and not worry about gaining weight.
So when the good folks at Taj Deccan invited us to a paratha and lassi festival aptly named Butter Up at Arena, I went despite the fact that I was just recovering from an upset tummy. And the sight of a nicely sized cube of butter, gently melting onto a hot paratha made the bad stomach from the day before a distant memory.
Besides the more regular parathas with stuffings like aloo, gobi and mooli, there were a lot of unusual options to choose from. Achari Mushroom, Boti Masala, Malai Cheese, Papad Mirchi Masala, Prawn Piri Piri and Murgh Kali Mirch were on offer, I was asked to try the Achari Mushroom Paratha and I am glad I went with that. The paratha had to be the tastiest Indian style preparation of mushrooms I have had. Fresh mushrooms cooked in a tangy masala and placed inside the paratha that looked like it was fried in ghee. All those ubiquitous mushroom masala curries just pale into insignificance in comparison. The Murgh Kali Mirch and the Prawn Piri Piri didn’t quite cut it for me but the Papad Mirchi Masala and the Paneer Hara Pyaaz were delightful.
To accompany the paratha, the pre-plated dishes were served with Punjabi pickle, one more cube of butter, curds, kali dal and kachumber – sliced onions with curds and mint. And to wash it down there was the thick and creamy lassi – mango, pista rabdi and sweet lassi. Other flavours included butterscotch, strawberry and even chocolate lassi!
Reasonably priced [the veg parathas cost Rs 245 and the non-veg ones Rs 295 and a huge glass of lassi costs Rs 275], two people can very easily have a full meal for less than a grand. But that is not why you should check out the festival.
If you want home style parathas that are uniquely flavoured and cooked to authentic perfection in ghee and butter served with creamy lassi, then this is where you will find them. Even the most discerning and hard to please Punjabi mother-in-law would approve.
It is only on till the 19th of this month but hopefully the festival will be extended given the very positive response it has received.