Whenever we used to drive past Hotel ITC Maratha while heading to the airport we were always tempted to check it out . Especially for any events and weddings the entrance of the hotel would be beautifully decorated giving it a grand look.
We got an opportunity to visit it when they were having their Kashmiri Pandit cuisine “ KOSHUR SAAL” at THE PESHWA PAVILION restaurant at the ITC Maratha.When we entered the hotel the beauty and the décor was completely mesmerizing. The hotel has a beautiful décor and interiors which depicts it more as a Palace than a Hotel.
THE PESHWA PAVILION is their restaurant which has their buffet lunch and dinner. It is in the center of the hotel on the ground floor. Though it is interior you feel that you are having your lunch/ dinner outside in open due to their décor which has artificial Palm trees surrounding the restaurant.The ambiance of the restaurant is completely breathtaking.When we reached the restaurant and were escorted to our places, we had one of their staff explaining us about the Kashmiri cuisine, the spices that they use and about the Thali which they were offering us.
The Delicious Kashmiri Thali.
As per the tradition, the thali began with a Welcome drink, and the welcome drink was none other a cup of KHAWA.
The cup of Khawa was very refreshing and aromatically delicious. The blend of the spices and dryfruits in it were giving it a heavenly flavor and a refreshing taste.
After having the Khawa were were all the more excited and eager to have the entire thali.
They first brought us the starters which included “Kahargah” Which was Lamb ribs simmered with Youghurt and saffron and “Kokur kaanti “ which was Roasted Bonelss marinated chicken cubes. The starters were just yummy. The Lamb ribs were well cooked to perfection. It was having an authentic flavor of cooked lamb meat with a hint of spices and youghurt and smelled awesome. The roasted chicken was also very soft and coated with cream and was delicious to have. We loved the Kahargah – the lamb ribs.
Post the starters, we had the amazing Kashmiri thali placed before us. The Thali came in a Rajbhog style silver plate with the Kashmiri delicacies. The items in the thali were arranged in the order of Spicy ones – To medium spicy – To sweet.
The main course included Rice the unique Kashmiri curries mentioned below.
- “Nainey Qaliya”( Lamb cooked in yellow gravy) – The lamb meat included well cooked lamb ribs. The yellow curry complimented the lamb very well with its spicy taste and aromas.
- “Tschere Mousch”( Minced lamb balls with Kashmiri Apricot) – This was a spicy curry with the minced lamb meat balls in it. The minced lamb meat was blended very well with Apricots to give it a unique taste. Mixing it in the red curry added to the taste of these meat balls.
- “Kokur Yakhni”( Chicken cooked in yoghurt based gravy) – This was one of the less spicy ones. The blend of spices in the yoghurt based curry was just amazing. The chicken was also well cooked and was yummy.
- “Gaad”( Fish cooked in Kashmiri Spices) – After Tschere Mousch, Gaad was another dish with Kashmiri spices on their spicy dish list. The Basa fish in it was well cooked. The curry was spicy enough to give the fish a unique taste. The aroma of the curry was just amazing.
- “Nadur Yakhni”( Lotus stem cooked in Yoghurt Gravy)- This was one of their vegetarian dishes which they offered us , Dishes with lotus steam is one of the Kashmiri specility, Any Kashmiri soup etc would include a lotus stem. It gives the soup, dish a unique taste. Accordingly as the dish says it was lotus stem cooked with yoghurt gravy. The lotus stem was well marinated and had a tangy taste in the yoghurt curry. It was something different that we were trying and it was awesome.
- “Madhur Pulav” ( Rice mixed with dry fruits and simmered with saffron and sugar)- This rice was sweet with lots of dry fruits in it. It was not just perfect to have this after having all the above spicy gravies. The sugar content in the rice was also not very high. The saffron in the rice gave it a unique colour and taste.
The thali also had yoghurt served in a small pot shaped clay container and Dry walnut mint chutney known as “ Dhoone Pudhene Chateni”.
The main course was truly amazing, Not to end the feast, we also had desserts waiting for us.
The deserts included “ Shufta” (Assorted dry fruits simmered in saffron and honey) – Loads and loads of cut dryfruits with honey and saffron on it is all we can say coz it tasted so genuine and amazing that we cannot describe it and “ Phirnee” – The phirnee was very delicious and not too sweet as we get at various other places.
The quantity of the thali was adequate enough and not too much which allows to taste each and every item and savour it. The thali overall as a whole which they offered us right from “ KHAWA “ to the “SHUFTA” was just “DELICIOUS and AMAZING” and we thoroughly enjoyed it to the full.
After this amazing dinner, we than went and chilled out at their Bar Lounge and watched the Argentina v/s Iran #FIFAWorldCup2014 match. They had some really cool coktails being served specially for the World Cup.