Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Maharastrian Food Festival "Pangat" @ Mirador, House of Asia

The term ‘Pangat’ means having lunch/dinner seated on the floor mat and food being served in a specific sequential order in a thali or a banana leaf. These kind of Pangats, were very regular in the good old days and had their own charm. They are now taken over by table seating arrangement or buffet. However, you can now experience and get the feel of Pangat at Mirador, House of Asia during their Maharastrian Food Festival which is till 16th April 2015.

I was invited to preview this exquisite style of dining at Mirador. As soon as I entered, I noticed the neatly laid ‘chowrangs’ (raised short table) decorated with beautiful traditional rangoli. I was excited to see this setup, as it has sadly become a dying tradition for having meals. Infact we were thrilled to learn from the management of Pangat about the concept of waiters serving in traditional attire and the Marathi folk song/ Marathi Bhaav Geet being played in the background added more to the ambiance further alleviating our spirits.

Pangat seating arrangment
We were welcomed with a serving of Kairi Paana and Sol Kadhi. I liked the idea of serving paana in earthenware Kullad. Sol Kadhi was more nutty to my taste. 

Kairi Paan and Sol Kadhi
This was followed by two type of Saar – Khekdyaache Saar (Crab Soup) and Tamate Che Saar (Tomato Soup). Surprisingly Tamate Che Saar was the one which impressed our palate in comparison to Crab soup.

Khekdyaache Saar
Tamate Che Saar
The starters soon arrived with a spread of veg and non veg delicacies. In veg starter there was Kelfulache Vade (Banana flower patty) which had a slightly bitter aftertaste – the chef informed us that this is how it is suppose to be and hence is served with khatti-meethi sont Chutney. 

Kelfulache Vade
Dalimb Batate (Tangy potato patty with pomegranate seed) which had a slight tangy flavour that actually tingled the tip of our tongues.

Dalimb Batate
Kothimir Vadi (steamed coriander cake) a typical Maharashtrian snack which had a nice soft texture.

Kothimir Vadi
Then, for non veg starters we had Jeera Meerichi Kombdi, (Chicken in jeera and black pepper), 

Jeera Meerichi Kombdi
Makli Masala (squid masala) and last but not the least,

Makli Masala
The dish that stole the show was Tawa che Bombil fry (Tawa fry Bombay Duck), which was something to die for. It was nice and crisp from outside, soft & perfectly cooked from inside. It had the right amount of spice that made us call for more. The soft flesh just melted in the mouth … A must try.

Tawa che Bombil Fry
All the starters were served with varieties of chutneys like garlic-tomato, raw mango, black sesame (til), coriander-mint and sweet-sour sont chutney, which acted as an appetizer to awaken our taste buds.

Clockwise Top Left: Garlic-Tomato, Black Sesame, Raw Mango, Coriander-Mint
Center: Sweet & Sour Sont Chutney
Finally it was the time we all were waiting for ‘The Main Course’. The Thali was something one should not miss out on. It was nothing short of a culinary tour of Maharashtra. So, lets take a quick ride of the tantalizing Maharashtrian carte du jour

(From Left to Right)
1) Kombdi che Sukka (Dry Chicken) which was creamy, flavorful and mild spicy,
2)  Kairi chi Kadi (Raw Mango Curry) – Typical Coastal style. This has perfect blend of sweetness of coconut, sourness of raw mango and just a hint of pungency of chilies. This was yum, and I could actually have a whole bowl.
3) Masala Bhaat (Rice) from Vidarbha
4) Aamti, a typical lentil commonly prepared in every Maharastrian household. This had perfect blend of spice that will make any Maharastrian feel at home.
5) Bharli Vangi (Stuffed Brinjal), this was stuffed and then cooked in gram flour gravy.
6) A Bowl of Curd.
7) Mixed Ussal, a well known Kolhapuri dish.
8) Kolhapuri Mutton Pandhra Rassa, this was mildly spicy and the mutton was tender and perfectly cooked.
9) Tandalaa chi Bhakri (Rice Roti/Flat Bread) to go with all these gravies and curries.

As the saying goes “Let’s end it on a sweet note” similarly, when it comes to the sweets of Maharashtra, first thing that comes to our mind is the Puran Poli, which can be regarded as an empowering Maharashtrian sweet. This was delectable and was just like the home-made ones. The only element missing was a trickle of fragrant ghee that would have transformed it into one Lip smacking scrumptious dessert.

Puran Poli
The other sweet item was the Olya Naral Chi Karanji which I felt was more like the UP style Gujiya.

Olya Naral Chi Karanji
Unfortunately, we all were too stuffed with starters and hence couldn't do complete justice to the main course. My advice would be to go easy on the appetizers/starters enabling one to enjoy the true essence of Maharashtrian Main Course, which in literal sense is the ‘Life’ of the entire Pangat at Mirador.

Where:  House of Asia, Hotel Mirador, New Link Road, Chakala, Andheri (East), Mumbai
Duration : 10th – 16th April 2015
Timing: 7:30 p.m onwards
Price: INR 900/- (inclusive all taxes)
Contact: 022 6649 5000