Savour the authentic flavours of Northwest Frontier province at Spicery in Kolkata
SPEARHEADING THE NORTHWEST Frontier food festival at Spicery, executive chef Harman Singh, transported us all to the historic route and its impressive cuisine with authentic and evocative fare from the region.
A Punjabi himself, the chef sourced spices from select stores in his home state to recreate the flavours of the cuisine that is influenced by local tribes from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Punjab. Over 25 delicacies adorn the menu that includes kebabs, daal (lentils), pulao (fragrant and flavoured rice), Lahori Paaya (mutton shanks) and the Sindh Pomfret, among others. You have this entire month to relish the distinct flavours of the historic region at this 100-seater restaurant in the Acropolis Mall.
“The cuisine is unique due to its geographic and historic relevance. Since it’s more of a mountainous region and less coastal, the cuisine is dominated by meat. Also, the locals use lots of spices, even though there is no use of green chillies at all,” explains chef Singh. We started our gastronomic sojourn with the Mutton Chapli Kebab. A succulent treat, with mint and yoghurt chutney as the complementing accompaniment, the flat and round kebabs were flavourful with finely diced onion and tomatoes which makes them stand out from the regular kebabs we usually savour.
From the veg selections, the Kachumbur Tikka impressed us with its dual filling. While the smoked beetroot paste had a distinct taste, it is the hung curd with its delicate sweet notes, that make this dish a must-try. Moving on to the entrées, we sampled the Kabuli Pulao, a signature Afghani delicacy. Light and flavourful, it is made with dry fruits and julienned onions. Pairing it with Lavand Chicken, another Afghani recipe cooked with yoghurt and topped with pomegranate, we relished every grain of the pulao.
Gosht Yakhni, from the kitchens of Kashmir, too found space on our plate and we enjoyed the aromatic and light dish. The soft Afghani naan, went well with Daal Pakhtuni which was a much-improved version of dal makhani and can become anyone’s favourite. From the three desserts — Badshahi Tukda, Meethi Sewai and Kulfi-e-Khas, we drooled over the latter. The exotic toppings of fruits like dragon fruit, kiwi and pomegranate added an extra punch of flavour to the icy-cold dessert. The Chef also recommends trying Meethi Sewai which is a dry version of sewai cooked in rose extracts.
Meal for two Rs800 ++. On till the end of the month.