This Punjabi food festival in Bengaluru is serving delectable dishes, laden with ghee and love!

Chef Sweety Singh brings his favourite Punjabi dishes to JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa
In frame: Chef Sweety Singh (L)
In frame: Chef Sweety Singh (L)

“You cross Ambala and the water gets sweeter and the food becomes richer,” was one of the first few things that Chef Sweety Singh told us as we sat for an exclusive dinner at JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa. The five-star property, which often flies down culinary maestros from across the country to treat its guests to authentic Indian delicacies, is currently running a Punjabi food festival, which by all means, is worth the trip.

Approximately 2000 kms away, his town Amritsar, is one where you will find food dipped in butter and also love. By serving this food festival in Bengaluru, his sole focus is to treat the common tourist and the expat crowd to traditional slow-cooked Punjabi food, rooted in regional pride.

Our dinner started with a glass of creamy and cooling Kesar Wali Lassi, coupled with insightful conversations about what makes Punjabi food so aromatic and distinctive. According to the chef, the freshly sourced tomatoes, onions and handsome use of ginger and garlic are the hallmarks of vibrancy in these regional dishes.

With that food for thought, we hopped onto a delightful culinary experience which started with Tandoori Meat and Murgh Laal Surkh Tikka. Both appetizers boast a smoky and charred flavour profile that is often the result of tandoor-style cooking.

Picking either one of them seemed unfair until we tried the Khatta Meeta Pineapple and it won us over. For anyone thinking how pineapple landed in the kebabs and tandoor section, this is one delicacy that will call for round two. The dish maintains the natural sweetness of the fruit whilst adding a refreshing twist to the traditional tandoor-cooked starters.

We took a little break from the appetisers to make room for the main course and used that opportunity to soak in the pretty skies blanketing over Nandi Hills — an unmissable sight from the property’s Aaleeshaan restaurant.

<em>Tandoori Meat</em>
Tandoori Meat

All set for the main course, we sampled small portions of three staples of Punjabi cuisine– Shai Maa De Dal, Sarson Ka Saag and Butter Chicken.

A Punjabi food festival is almost incomplete without aloo kulcha and it did not take more than five minutes for the chef to run to our table with the sought-after bread which we then paired with the Shai Maa De Dal. A prime example of Punjab’s rich culinary heritage, this combination gained chef’s kisses all the way!

<em>Butter Chicken (L), Shai Maa De Dal (R)</em>
Butter Chicken (L), Shai Maa De Dal (R)

We then tried the Sarson Ka Saag with makki roti and Butter Chicken with butter naan, one just as hearty as the other. We would have scooped the Butter Chicken further but its sweet aftertaste was a little too overpowering for our palette.

To conclude the night, we called in for two out of the three tempting options of desserts. We started with the cardamom-infused Gulab Jamun. Garnished with pistachios, this sugar syrup-immersed sweet treat made us sit back and savour the flavour and we completely forgot about the second dessert.

We over-indulged and could sadly scoop only one bite of Gajar Ka Halwa and it was at this point that we realized that we should have come to this festival with a bigger appetite and even bigger pants!

Meal for two: INR 2700 onwards. On till January 21. At Aaleeshan, Devanhalli.

X: @muskankhullar03

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