To me eating a traditional Rajasthani or Gujrati thali has always meant going to Rajdhani. Despite the fact that I don’t take a second serving the meal has always been fulfilling and enjoyable. I always wondered how they planned their menu, cooked the food and kept it fresh. All my questions were answered by Aji Nair, the Vice President of Mirah Hospitality which owns Rajdhani.
|Image courtsey foodmantra.blogspot.in
A group of bloggers were invited to Rajdhani’s Phoenix Market City outlet in Kurla to try out the Rajwar Food Festival. My first question to Mr. Nair was whether the menu at all Rajdhani outlets was the same on a given day. He told us that the menu stays the same unless a specific ingredient is not available in a specific region. In that case they are allowed to modify it a bit but the orders have to go from their main office. He also took us inside the kitchen. In fact a customer at Rajdhani can anytime walk into the kitchen. Mr. Nair also told us the science behind having small bowls or katoris in a thali and serving small chapatis and bite size rotlas and puran polis. Small katoris keep the food hot for longer time and chapatis don’t get cold by the time you eat the last bite.
Loaded with all the information we proceeded towards our tables where the shiny plates awaited us. Another interesting fact that we found out was that the staff has signs for every dish so that they don’t have to shout themselves sore. As we sat down to eat our first question was whether their famous chikoo halwa is on the menu or not. To our joy it was. We started with a very North Indian shikanji or nimbu sharbat. Our plates started getting filled up with farsan, chutney, salad, raita, kadhi, dal, dal-bati, gatte ki sabzi, paneer, phulka, pooran poli, rotla, bajre ki roti with white butter, dahi wada, etc. The food was good if not delicious with special mention to makhan wali bajre ki roti and gatte ki sabzi.
The dessert section was more elaborate with chikoo halwa, phirni, malpua with rabdi and jalebi. I concentrated more on the heavy ghee soaked halwa and jalebis which were thin and sweet (unlike the khatti jalebis that you get in every second shop in Mumbai). There was standard chaas to wash everything down. At the end of the meal we were served paan shots which were good but could have been thicker in my opinion.
Our bellies that were fasting since morning were full and relaxed and were egging us to rush home and take a long nap. We parted with a goodies and a small box of moong ka halwa.