Taste of Awadhi at Hilton Garden Inn, Trivandrum

Hilton Garden Inn, Trivandrum is hosting ‘Taste of Awadhi’ food fest from Jan 24 to Feb 02, 2020, at their Garden Grill fine-dine restaurant. As the name suggests, it’s a celebration of the Nawabi cuisine, inspired and influenced by the Mughals.

The food fest has an elaborate spread of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes prepared with exotic spices and herbs, garnished with dry fruits, with stress on ‘dum’ items. The food was aromatic, rich and heavy; definitely not for the calorie-conscious.

The spread was impressive and the ‘Taste of Awadhi’ literally takes you to the city of Nawabs. This food fest is highly recommended for those who like, enjoy and appreciate north Indian food. Want to know the details, read on.

Upon reaching Hilton, we were greeted by Shinu Paul, the Marketing Executive who introduced us to Sougata Ghosh, the F&B Manager and Asmic Raj, the Executive Chef. While Sougata explained the idea behind this food promotion, Asmic gave us insights into the dishes and how the menu was conceptualised. Every day would have a different menu but the starters and sweets would be repeated at regular intervals. Some of the spices and ingredients needed for the menu were specifically sourced from north India for that authentic taste and flavour.

We started with Mutton Paya and Badami (veg) soup. While Paaya was hot and spicy, the Badami soup was rich and creamy. It was a perfect start to a culinary journey into the Nawabi cuisine. For starters, it was Mutton Galouti Kebab and Mushroom Galouti Kebab, which actually melted in the mouth. It was just fabulous. We also tried out the Awadhi dahi murgh kebab.

Paneer tikka salad, Sabz aur akhrot ki salad, Dum murgi ki salad and Samudri machli salad made up the salad section. There was an assorted collection of pickles and chutneys including Tamatar ki chutney and Beetroot ka achaar. The Kaddu ka murabba was something I wanted to try but missed out.

The veg main course was quite elaborate – Subz moti makhana biryani, Baingan tamatar ka bharta, Dum ki bhindi, Phaldari kofta, Subz takatak, Lauki ki sabzi, Bharwan aloo labambdar, Paneer begum bahar, Teen mirchi ka salan and Dal mumtaz. The non-veg section had Awadhi dum murgh biryani, Lagan ka badshahi gosht and Dum ki machli.

The biryanis were very aromatic and the dum items had a distinct smoky flavour. The bhara aloo was stuffed with shredded paneer and dry fruits. The dishes went well with saffron-flavoured Sheermal rotis. Overall, the dishes were so rich and heavy that we felt full despite having only one spoon each.

The dessert section too was detailed with Kaju barfi, Shahi tukda, Mishti dahi, Gulkand peda, Lasoon kheer, Mirchi ka halwa and Malpua (from the live counter). The Lasoon kheer and the Mirchi ka halwa made with Shimla mirch was something very different from the usual stuff.

We were going for a food fest at Hilton after a gap of more than a year and it was worth the break. It was an evening well spent.

Anil Philip

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