The Masala Klub from Taj West End, Bengaluru is hosting a pop-up in Chennai that starts today
It's a marriage between bhangra and bharatanatyam taking place at the Verandah, Taj Connemara. The ‘Masala Klub’ from the Taj West End, Bengaluru is here for nine days doing a pop-up of what has become a trendy menu of mix ’n’ match flavours. Chef Paramjeet Singh sous chef at the Masala Klub at the evergreen Taj West End brings with him a delicate combination of spices of old favourites with a fresh new twist. Believe it or not, when they offer you a Tamarind Sorbet, light, bright, and filled with memories, it’s from a tamarind tree that has been standing at the West End for the last 130 years.
First things first however, there is an array of chutneys; rich orange-red Kancheepuram Mango chutney, matched with the deep green of a mint and coriander one and the speckled creaminess of a hung curd mix with herbs. You dip into them with a sliver of naan that has micro-green scattered lightly on the top and a tiny cup of soup. It’s made with the cream of sweet corn cooked to a wonderfully golden consistency with almonds.
“We use both ghee and olive oil,” explains chef Paramjeet ‘to create a texture of lightness to the ingredients, together with a mixture of spices, some of them dry, the others wet’.
He’s also very fond of rose petals, the essence of Kewra, and of course filaments of saffron scattered in and over his finely tuned creations. One of the highlights is the famous mushroom of the Kashmir Valley and also of Himachal — the Gucchi. These mushrooms are supposed to be born in a flash of lighting in the hollows of old trees, so are deemed to be very precious. We have just such a pale golden nugget of Gucchi mushrooms at the centre of which there is a filling of button mushrooms. It’s better than the best Galouti kebab I have tasted. Equally interesting are the circular tikkis — local cutlets of mashed potato mixed with crunchy nuggets of water- chestnuts and filled at the centre with prunes.
The desserts that follow the main course are as ravishing as the tales from the Havelis of Lucknow. Pale as lace bowls of kheer with silvers of green apple and a mound of baked figs like the henna on a princess’s hand covered with the silver of thickened milk.
Paramjeet Singh is a magician with both spices and silk flowing out of his delicate fingers for nine nights only at the Verandah.
Available for lunch and dinner. September 20 to 29. Meal for two is INR 2,750 (without taxes or beverages).