Get ready for an iftar feast fit for a king at the resplendent Taj Falaknuma Palace
At Jade Terrace, Taj Falaknuma Palace vermilion rays of the setting sun filtered through opulent Belgian lamps hung above the antique table hold sumptuous delights to welcome the holy month of fasting – Ramzan. Expect delicacies like Kimia dates, Baklava, Murgh Tajdar and an array of other food items served in beautiful Raynaud and Rosenthal Versace crockery. The delicacies from the Nizam’s era take us back to a time zone that is preserved through its recipes. The luxury hotel has introduced a special iftar set menu throughout the month of Ramzan till June 26 or till the moon for Eid is sighted.
What drew us towards the open balmy terrace was the live Sufi qawwali by Rajab Ali group singing Man Kunto Maula on our request. As the music played, trays laden with luscious dates, an assortment of cut fruits, baklava and walnut cakes arrived, followed by a selection of specially crafted chilled drinks like Gulqand Lassi, Gulab Sherbet, Badam Doodh, Khus Sherbet and Anjeer Milkshake. The star of the coolers was a coconut drink prepared with grated carrot and apple pulp. The sparkling rosy Gulab Sherbet, served in a delicate Riedel glass, had the flavour of fresh roses.
For starters, there was Murgh Tajdar, Kebab-e-Daryaee and Gilafi Jheenga. The fennel seeds and star anise lent the Murgh Tajdar (chicken breast cooked in the tandoor) a unique flavour laced with freshness of its own kind. The meat was succulent enough for the tines of the Christofle fork to carve out a delicious chunk. Its flavour lingered till I tasted Kebab-e-Daryaee – tender chunks of lamb cooked with onions on a skewer cooked with the method of dum. The artistry of executive Chef Sajesh Nair, who curated the menu was in arranging boiled quail eggs with the meat chunks and onion cubes. The small eggs had an earthen taste – a slow blast of the meat, egg, onions and spices. Instead of prawns, I tried the Arvi Aur Kumbhi Ki Tikki next.The mushroom and colocasia patty pounded and prepared with select spices melted in my mouth.Those who want to take a break from non-vegetarian dishes as well can choose from a separate vegetarian menu curated for iftar.
The king of all Ramzan delights, haleem, which takes 12 to 24 hours to get its rich texture, was served as a trio comprising chicken, lamb and seafood. The freshly baked shirmal went well as an accompaniment. We dipped the fluffy bread in ghee-soaked meat and lentil preparation. However, what followed next overshadowed the haleem dramatically. The Sufiyani Safed Biryani arrived in pots sealed with purda – a thin bread on top of the pot, which help aromas rise better as the dish is cooked on a slow dum. The rice grains were fluffy, and the tender chicken pieces were marinated with cashew-paste and curd. The biryani was topped with a fried quail. The chef had done justice to the age-old dish. He shared, “We also have Murgh Zameen Doz. It’s a preparation of marinated chicken wrapped in rumali roti and baked in spit fire. The recipe is old and select condiments are used for the same. The recipes of most food items are from the
royal kitchen and need a lot of patience to prepare.”Aam Panna Sorbet, prepared with raw mangoes that grow in the courtyard of the palace, was the perfect palate cleanser to bring our iftar to a close.
Venue: At the restuarant Adaa. Time: 6.15 pm onwards. Charges:Rs. 5,500++