One look at the menu and I was drooling. I just couldn’t wait for the meal to begin. We started off with a Aam Panna, which happens to be one of my favourite drinks to have this time of the year, and some Sol Kadhi.
|Aam panna (left) and Sol kadhi|
Close on the heels of these came the soups – a Tamatyache saar (tomato soup) and a Kekdyache saar (crab soup), interestingly it was the vegetarian one that caught our attention with simple, clean flavours.
|Kekdyache saar (crab soup)|
|Pangat: An informal setting|
This was followed by an array of starters – Kelfuache vade (banana flower fritters) which had a bitter aftertaste – the chef informed us later on that this was meant to be – then there was the Kothimbir vadi (chickpea flour and coriander dish), Dalimb Batate (potato patties with a pomegranate stuffing). The brain behind this food festival – Chef Kamlesh Salve, told us that the festival is called Pangat because that’s what an informal setting for a Maharashtrian meal is known as. The chef also told us that he hadn’t restricted the menu to just one part of the state but attempted to capture the best of every region.
|Some stunning chutneys to go with the starters: (From bottom left) Black sesame chutney, Raw mango and chilli chutney, Mint chutney, Tomato and garlic chutney and some Date and Tamarind chutney in the centre|
Then came some of the non-vegetarian starters, out of these, the Bombil fry stood out. Paired with the Raw mango and chilli chutney, it made for one lip-smacking combination.
|Makli Masala (squid)|
|Jeerameerichi kombdi (chicken with cumin and black peppercorns)|
|Bombil (Bombay Duck) fry|
Here’s what our thali looked like:
Like all Indian meals, this one too, ended on a sweet note – with some Puranpoli and Olya naralachi karanji (a dumpling stuffed with a sweetened coconut mixture and fried). That was the end of a fantastic meal and my only regret was that I wished I could do more justice to the main course, if you’re planning a visit to House of Asia, then I strongly recommend you give the starters a miss and head straight to the main course – it is worth it, trust me!
|Olya naralachi karanji|
7:30 pm onwards