First on Indulge On Invitation

Spice Terrace

Friday, January 27, 2017ruthdsouzap

This experience first appeared in Indulge. The Spice Terrace at the JW Marriott now has Chef Abdul Quddus steering the kitchen and the course has been set for the North West Frontier in terms of cuisine. With Awadh being the primary focus of the new menu, Chef Quddus says that this new menu also has quite a bit of his personal food experiences and experiments blended into it. The idea, he says, is to bring forward flavors, techniques and tastes, not only as they have passed down through the generations in his own family but also through the course of life and the evolution of food in homes and on the streets.

The elegantly set table

The roasted papads and chutneys
Before the menu was unveiled

 The selection on the menu has a balanced number of offerings for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Start of your meal with the tender Murgh Gilafi Seekh made of juicy chicken mince and peppered with garlic, shah jeera and colorful slivers of peppers. 

The Quinoa Aloo Bhukhara Kebab has that interesting rounded texture of quinoa, which paired with a m̩lange of vegetables and potato come through subtly. The beauty here is that the flavor of every vegetable used comes forth clearly. How can we not have a Gosht Galouti on the menu here? This one served on mini ulte tave ke parathe has the distinct flavor of rose water and saffron to give you that indulgent mouthful. What will truly blow your senses away is the Narangi Shammi, a kebab of lotus stem and potato that is stuffed with orange Рnot just the juice, but actual bits of orange, creating a dish that is one of its kind in this part of the world.

 The Paneer Tikka Lazeez, stuffed with a finely pounded mix of nuts, hung curd and saffron made for an interesting dish though a softer paneer would have put the dish up there with the rest of them.  

 The Zaitooni Malai Jhinga comes with that wonderful sear from the tandoor, and has a touch of cheese and olives, along with a marinade of hung curd and cardamom – a tribute perhaps to the traders that visited the region back then. 

  Sabz Zaitooni Kofta
Considering the poolside setting of the Spice Terrace, a warm Shorba would not be out of place. The Subz Ashrafi Shorba with delicate quenelles of a range of vegetables is brought to the table and the warm spiced broth poured over it from a kettle. The same goes for the Murgh Zaffrani Shorba. Both soups have a predominant flavor of pepper and saffron, with the meat soup being deceptively delicate looking, while packing in a solid punch.

Main course is served up with a choice of Indian breads and rice. The Khumb Mutter Makhana Qorma is a very heavy dish, of mushrooms and green peas in a tomato-onion-cream gravy. Sinful and very indulgent. The Murgh Kundan Qaliya as well as the Shahi Nalli Nihari both stand as testimonies to the chef’s ability to handle his meats really well. The Sabz Zaitooni Kofta and the Sabz Abir, more familiar to us as the palak paneer are also great dishes in their own right. 

Finish your meal with some dum style biryani – Chef Quddus prides himself on cooking his rice with stock and mixing the meat and rice together to cook on dum for hours. It is the Quddus Biryani – an amalgamation of three generations of his family’s efforts that constitute his recipe today! There is also the Shahi Gosht Biryani and the Subz Chilman Biryani that you can opt for. And for people like me, who simply must have a dal – the Dal e Awadh is that perfect steaming bowl of Ma Ki Dal that you can have.

Kulfi Falooda

The Shahi Malai Tukda is a layered version of the dessert, served in significantly indulgent portions. The base of condensed milk, pistachio, saffron and varq make this single dessert good for a party of 4! The Shahd-e-Jaam is a gulab jamunesque dumpling of condensed milk stuffed with pistachio and drizzled with saffron honey syrup. The Kulfi Falooda has pink stained vermicelli forming the base for slabs of kulfi – pretty and spot on.

The setting is by the pool and a meal for two is approximately Rs 3000++ 

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