Platter after sizzling platter hit our table that day, and three hungry souls stared at the splendour, sipping on glasses of cold, rose-flavoured drinks. We were there to sample some of the specialties from the ‘Shaam-e-Kebab’ at Kalash, the sumptuous Kebab festival which featured some interesting and unusual dishes prepared by Sous Chef Shakil Akhtar. Born in Kolkata, he had travelled extensively, and the result was an array of dishes – some traditional, some innovative twists – which he had brought to the table.
For example, the Rajma ki Shammi – shaped like Shammi Kababs, these were filled with cheese, and they broke apart at the first touch of the fork. The dish is a take on the traditional Shammi – where instead of smooth mince, the beans formed the base and tasted quite nice, albeit a tad too salty for my liking. I preferred the Chilly Milli Paneer Tikka, where the pieces of paneer were tender, with a hint of smoke from the Tandoor, and a touch of coriander and clove, which was possibly the reason why I went back for a second helping of it.
The potatoes were stuffed with a filling which was dominated with pomegranate seeds. I have a really soft corner for potatoes and this was a great example of how succulent it can get – the mildly sweet and sour stuffing was perfect against the backdrop of perfectly roasted potatoes, fragrant with butter. We had this with one of Kalash’s Signature Sherbets – Crystal of Roses, which was a refreshing concoction with rose syrup, ice and soda.
The Pomfrets were not too large – but the flesh was sweet, if a bit overcooked by the time it hit the table. But I would blame it on the sizzling plates – they tend to add to the cooking, and I was rather more interested in the Prawn Lahsooni Kababs, which was declared excellent by the table.
The Murgh Kalmi was a fairly straightforward dish – the chicken legs were succulent, and the meat was soft, but not mushy. It was also rather hot as per the other diners at my table – but I wasn’t complaining.
Dahi Malmali Kabab was one of the things I was looking forward to. In general, I have a fondness for this particular dish, and done right, its one of those dishes that gives you infinite satisfaction. Here, the outer cover held a bounty of creamy yoghurt, which disintegrates in your mouth, the creaminess continuing to charm.
But the highlight of the meal for me was possibly this mutton burra kabab, which was a variation on their dish ‘Lazeez Pasliyan’, where, instead of the creamy coating, the marination had pomegranate seeds and pomegranate juice, which added a rather delicate, tangy sweetness to the meat that fell off the bone and was, in one word, divine. If you come to Kalash for the ‘Shaam-e-Kebab’, you would be wooed with ghazals and beautiful music to accompany this rather lavish a-la-carte spread, from which you can pick and choose what you like. The event is on till the 19th of June, 2016, so I would suggest you hurry up and make a reservation.
Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was invited to dine at Hotel Hindustan International by the management.