Bidri’s ‘Sand and Stone Festival’ brings in the best of starters cooked in retro style
“Don’t miss the beginning,” alerts Aungshuman Chakraborty, Executive Chef at Bidri, the dining-only restaurant at Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre. Having attended special workshops on the cooking techniques at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, the chef says he has 10 starters that are made using the ancient royal techniques. “The dishes were made using the sand and stone approach to give it an earthy flavour,” he adds. The hotel has specifically commissioned for a sand pit to be built in the outdoor space adjoining the restaurant for the 10-day food festival. A local vendor supplied them a stainless steel rack in which the fire is lit in the lower one and the upper has sand which gets heated. The main ingredients in dishes are definitely time and love.
Pathar Ka Paneer Tikka (cottage cheese filled with dry fruit and saffron flavoured cheese) and Pathar Ka Gosht (lamb slice marinated with raw papaya and rose petals) had something in common besides being cooked on a pathar (stone). Yes, both had the other elusive ingredient called ‘time’ – a good five hours in it. This style of cooking is practised in the desert areas of Rajasthan and Norther Frontier region.
Chef Aungshuman also has two dishes cooked on sand in his menu. Sand roasted Bharwan Karalla and Sikandari Raan were examples of long-form cooking. When one starts with the best food forward, the dessert really doesn’t matter. It was indeed a meal worth remembering.
Price for two Rs. 2,500
Ends December 3. For dinner and a la carte only.
Pics: Sathya Keerthi