Chef Bilal Khan brings an exquisite spread that's a must-try

Taj Krishna’s all-day dine-in restaurant, Encounters hosts the Jashn-e-kebab festival by Chef Bilal Khan and we recommend some must-haves
Bhatti ka Jheenga
Bhatti ka Jheenga

Winter is here and so are kebabs. There are self-basting kebabs of marinated lamb threaded with chunks of fat from a lamb’s tail at Uzbek grills; fried saucer-shaped patties of ground meat kneaded with flour; piled into freshly baked and opened loaves of flatbread at joints; bullet-shaped doner kebabs orbiting slowly beside a vertical flame at Turkish pit stops. But the world is even larger and even more full of kebabs, including many that are rarely tasted here.

In Hyderabad, there is always room for one more. This week, we were off to Encounters’ Jashn-e-kebab festival at Taj Krishna. The festival’s emphasis is Chef Bilal Khan, his delicacies and lost recipes of Hyderabad with live cooking, accompanied by some of their stellar dishes Dal-e-Firdaus and Roomali Roti. Bilal is a renowned and noted culinarian of Hyderabad for decades hailing from the Taj Banjara fame, celebrated for his charcoal-grilled varieties of kebabs.

We were welcomed with the Sunday Morning mocktail—a concoction that brought a burst of sunshine in a glass! A delightful blend of grenadine syrup swirling amidst orange and pineapple juice. The grenadine syrup added that touch of sweetness, while the orange and pineapple juices brought a zesty, tropical vibe. Sipping on it felt like a leisurely Sunday morning — with the world slowing down and you’re greeted with the refreshing, revitalising citrusy probity. Next, the Tangri Kebab, first off, was a feast for anyone who adores chicken.

The pulpous drumsticks, marinated to perfection with a blend of spices, yoghurt, and often a hint of lemon, are then grilled or cooked in a tandoor. The smoky aroma that wafted from these kebabs as they were cooked was simply irresistible. Machli Anar Daana, on the other hand, took us on a seafood adventure. Imagine tender fish, perhaps delicately seasoned, cooked in a delightful pomegranate-based sauce.

The fusion of flavours — sweetness from the pomegranate, balanced with the fish — unfurled contrasting yet lyrical tastes. Likewise, the Multani Paneer Tikka was a vegetarian treat that elevated paneer, a form of Indian cottage cheese, to a whole new level. This dish typically involves marinating cubes of paneer in a rich blend of spices, often including kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves), lemon, and a medley of earthy spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala.

On the other hand, Tandoori Malai Broccoli was a creative take on the classic tandoori preparation. Fresh broccoli florets are coated in a luxurious marinade consisting of creamy malai, delicate spices, perhaps a touch of garlic and ginger paste, and a hint of citrus for that invigorating pungency.

`995 upwards. At Banjara Hills.

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