The Clay Pot festival at India Bistro Hyderabad offers the best of Indian fare with a twist
Fusion restaurant India Bistro never fails to surprise you — be it their Pani Puri served as amuse-bouche or the bowl of Mutton curry served on a miniature train engine. When we’re invited to the six-month-old outlet to try out their Clay Pot food festival, we brace ourselves for delicious fare, followed by a food coma. However, what really impresses us is the mix of traditional favourites and complementing flavours.
While we were enjoying our first burst of calm sipping on Masala Mojito, Head Chef Surya Pal gives us a brief about the month-long festival. “The credit for this festival goes to our chef Ujwal from Mumbai for curating the menu. The idea is to go back to our roots and enjoy food cooked and served in a clay pot. We follow a slow cooking method (dum cooked), which not only makes the food remain hot, but enhances the aroma,” says the Uttar Pradesh-native chef. Meanwhile, we finish off a round of their signature Pani Puri, that’s usually on the house — crispy puris (sourced from Kolkata) stuffed with masala boondi and served with mint and meetha chutney. The menu for the festival has 10 dishes — eight main courses and two desserts, with enough options for vegetarians too.
On cue arrives our first dish, a clay pot filled with Paneer Shaslik Masala. Cooked in a creamy onion and tomato gravy, the tandoori paneer tikka is soft and best paired with a hot butter naan. If you’re looking for something dry, you can opt for Seasonal Subz Handi. Rich in flavours, this dish has everyday veggies on your checklist — capsicum, carrots, eggplant and potato, among others. Washing down the veggies with the refreshing Masala Mojito, we move on to trying the non-vegetarian options. Murg Bemisal is prepared with a flattened chicken breast stuffed with cheese and mince. The medium spiced gravy makes this dish a good combination with plain roti.
If you like meat, rice and spice, you must try the Chicken Kofta Biryani. The dish arrives in an earthen pot sealed with a layer of dough, which is cut to reveal the steaming aroma within. The succulent chicken balls are cooked to perfection with enough masala in the biryani to make a Hyderabadi happy. After the elaborate meal, we choose a simple dessert, Matka Kulfi, to round off our lunch. Served in a pot (predictably so, by now!), the chilled Kulfi comes covered in silver vark, with a generous amount of nuts and dry fruits.
The highlight of the Clay Pot food festival is certainly the well-balanced flavours, that will have you reminiscing about the dishes, long after you’re done polishing off the dessert.
Till October 31.
Price for two: Rs.1,000.
Pics: R Satish Babu.