Dine like a Nawab at this Awadhi food festival by Feathers hotel
Chef Rehman Mujeebur tells us what is in store...
Nazaqat by Chef Rehman Mujeebur promises to serve up a feast of biryanis, kebabs, and Nawabi magic at Feathers Hotel next week. The menu at this Awadhi food festival has a myriad of rich flavours in store that were delicacy at royal tables back in the day — from a hearty Nehari Gosht to aromatic Awadhi Dum Pulao and an assortment of kebabs that melt in your mouth. We get in conversation with chef Rehman to find out more:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I was born in old Lucknow with an ancestral legacy of royal cooking because my great-grandfather, the late Abdul Raheem Quraishi, was associated with Royal Kitchen of Awadh during British Era. His job was to organise and redefine food and develop new delicacies. So I grew up with tales of what Nawabs liked and disliked in their food, and developed a curiosity to know more about the food of this region and its history.
What are the highlights on your menu for this festival?
Galouti Kebab, Boti Kebab, Majlisi Kebab, Murgh Tikka Mirza Hasnu, Paneer Khushrang Tikka, Chowk Ke Tikki, Dum Aloo Awadhi, Gobhi Musullum, Kishmishi Karele, Subz Akbari, Paneer Ke Tahiri, Nehari Gosht, Murgh Korma Wajidali, Dal Sultani, Shahi Tukda and Eid Ke Sewiyan.
Are you carrying any ingredients in your suitcase for authentic Awadhi flavours?
Of course, yes. I am carrying special spices from Lucknow including Potli Ka Masala, Subz Masala, Asal Ittr, Kewra, saffron based colour etc…
You grew up in Lucknow. And your great-grandfather was associated with the Royal Kitchen of Awadh in the British era. Give us some history on some of the delicacies from the region that is not common knowledge.
There are many lost recipes from the past, but one of the most fascinating ones is the Nawabi Khichri, which was developed during the reign of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. This dish was made of nuts only, which is hard to imagine, as we usually think of khichri as rice and lentils cooked with nuts. But the chefs of the Nawab had a different way of making it. They carved almond kernels into rice-like grains and ground pistachios into lentils. Then they cooked these ingredients with spices and ghee to make Nawabi Khichri. It was truly a masterpiece of the Super Fine Cuisine of Awadh Nawabi.
Meal for two: INR 4,000 nett. Lunch and dinner buffet. August 18 to 27. At Waterside, Feathers hotel.