Dawat-e-Iftar

starters
Come the month of Ramzan and Iftar parties become quite the zeitgeist everywhere. Especially here in Hyderabad, which has many Muslims and non-Muslims coming together for an Iftar dinner.
Kanak, the fine dining Indian cuisine restaurant at The Trident Hotel, decided to have a food promotion based on this ritual, and it goes on till Ramzan comes to an end, on the 24th of June. While it goes without saying that a traditional Ramzan favourite – the Haleem – is a fixed item on the menu, Executive Chef Manik Magotra and his team, have added other dishes, from various parts of the country, to make the Iftar spread more interesting for the guest.
Another important fact to note is that contrary to popular perception, not everything served at an Iftar dinner has to be non-vegetarian. At Kanak, at the dawt e Iftar, Chef has included enough vegetarian dishes so those who abstain from meat, can still have a filling meal.
lotus stem
The starters include Tandoori Bharwan Aloo, potatoes filled with nuts and cheese and cooked in a tandoor, Nadir mand, sliced lotus stem, marinated in a spicy paste and deep fried; Tala hua Gosht, a Hyderabad speciality – morsels of lamb, sautéed with onions, green chillies and mint; and of course Haleem, traditionally cooked with wheat and lamb and served with fried onions and wedges of lime. The menu includes a vegetarian variant of this dish which is what I had, and the wheat and ghee preparation was as good as its non-vegetarian counterpart.
Among the starters, I liked the Bharwan Aloo, the sweetness of the dry fruits and the bland potato make a surprisingly good combination; and though I abstained from the lamb starter, I was told by the others at the table, that it was quite delicious.main course
Mains included Gobhi Mussalam, cauliflower stuffed with nuts and cooked in a rich cashewnut and yoghurt gravy; Dhaniwal Korma, chicken cooked in a yoghurt based gravy flavoured with saffron and fresh coriander; Dahi Gosht, lamb cooked in whole spices and yoghurt; and Kacchi Gosht ki Biryani – lamb and basmati rice cooked with saffron and nuts in the dum style – in sealed pots.mains rice
All the main course dishes were served with different kinds of rotis – sheermal, Peshawari naan and Khamiri roti; along with Navratan Pulao. I tried the Khamiri roti with the chicken and the cauliflower curries – they were a match made in heaven. Filling yet light on the palate, the flavours blended beautifully with the thick roti.rotis
Desserts included a Seb ki Kheer, an apple and milk based pudding; Baloshahi – a deep fried flour dumpling dunked in sugar syrup; and the Lauki ka Halwa – bottle gourd cooked with milk and sugar. While others liked the apple pudding, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Lauki Halwa was outstanding. Having a dish I was forced to eat in childhood, this version, slow cooked to creamy perfection, was a perfect finish to a very well cooked meal.dessert

 

The Dawat-e-Iftar is on at Kanak, The Trident Hotel, Hitech City, Hyderabad till the 24th of June.

Timings: 7 pm onwards.

 

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Tuscany’s newest additions

Tuscany, the Italian fine-dining restaurant at The Trident Hotel, recently launched its new menu. What constitutes a new menu, you might ask? Well, besides adding new dishes on to an already extensive menu, it is a chance for the chefs in the kitchen to explore their creativity, use the fresh winter vegetables available, and by doing so, give patrons something new.
Executive Chef Manik Magotra informs us that based on feedback from patrons, and the change of seasons, inspired them to come up with the dishes that have been added to the menu. Besides using a variety of mushrooms, the good news is that there are now several vegetarian dishes on the menu, which means the herbivores among us, don’t have to stick to a few tried and tested options.
The meal, accompanied as always, with a full bodied red wine, started with the Aubergine stack, batter fried aubergine layered with fresh mozzarella, basil and tomatoes, and saffron cream. The unanimous feedback at the bloggers’ table was that the dish was too bland for the Indian palate.

batter-fried-brinjal-1

But then, the non-veg starter, the Gamberi fritti, a prawn fritter came along. Served with garlic cream and potato chips, this delight of a starter had a myriad flavours tickling my taste buds.

prawn-starter

Choices of soup included a Consommé with chicken mousse tortellini and vegetable julienne; or, the Wild Mushroom Cappuccino – a mushroom soup with a hint of espresso foam and thyme dust. At the Mushroom promotion held earlier, this soup was a winner, and obviously, regular diners at the restaurant too thought so; for Chef Manik to include it into the new menu. Those who chose to have the Consommé vouched for its taste appeal.
The main course too included a mushroom dish – the Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tortellini, with porcini cream, toasted hazelnuts and truffle oil. Delicately flavoured so as not to overpower the taste of the mushrooms, this is for those who love fungi.

mushroom-main

This was followed by the Bacon wrapped Chicken, filled with spinach and ricotta, and served with mashed potatoes, tomatoes and green beans. A little dry on the palate, this dish needed a bit of sauce to give it a boost.

chicken-bacon

The last option, the Beetroot Risotto, served with orange segments, arugula and goat cheese, was the prettiest version of beetroot I have seen. A lovely pink, the risotto was as filling as it was tasty.

beetroot-risotto

Dessert. At Tuscany, you absolutely must leave space for some. Chef Praful is obviously given a free hand to creatively go where few have gone before. Each time, his desserts have us all gushing over their deliciousness; and, the way they are presented. This time was no different. The Lemon Tart, a pretty little concoction served with burnt meringue and raspberry macaroons; and a delicious Homemade Gelati, made with macerated fruits, where the fruits had been churned along with the milk, were apt showstoppers to what was a fine meal.

lemon-tart

No wonder Tuscany is an award winning restaurant that is quite popular with the hotel’s in-house guests and city folk. If its new menu is any indication, Tuscany is going to win some more hearts with its ouvre of delicious Italian fare.

dessert

Tuscany is open only for dinner.

 Tel: 040 66232323