It’s the state that welcomes people saying ‘Padharo Mhare Des’ and keeps them entertained and enthralled with an inimitable rich cultural tadka that’s bubbling with vibrancy and colors in every nook and corner – yes, that’s Rajasthan for you! The place attracts numerous tourists every year and it’s a treat for history buffs, art and handicraft lovers, classical music lovers, and foodies! Now, this state has a typical food culture which is of course influenced by the geographical and climatic factors. The scarcity of water and fresh green vegetables has their effect on the cooking and the eating habits. They prepare food with the ingredients readily available in the arid region that generally lasts for several days. And yes, as a matter of fact, almost 70% of people in Rajasthan are vegetarians and they generally savor a wide variety of unique chutneys made of garlic, tamarind, mint, coriander, etc which I genuinely adore!
So, Rajasthan is a state that is packed with regal history, numerous colorful festivals, forts and magnanimous palaces or havelis. Talking about Havelis, recently I had been to Haveli, but this one is in Kolkata! It’s a time-tested ethnic vegetarian restaurant in Salt lake area and they are celebrating their 18th Anniversary this month on 18th April. They are in fact running a month-long Rajasthani Food Festival called ‘Rajasthan Local’ in the city of joy! I was elated because it’s really hard to get good authentic Rajasthani food in Kolkata. A few days ago I was there to taste the food and realized that they have devoted a good amount of time in research to take care of every small detail and to maintain the authenticity.
Haveli’s month-long rejoicing will celebrate Rajasthan’s four colorful cities and their most famous Haveli’s – Samode Haveli in Jaipur, Kankarwa Haveli in Udaipur, Raas Haveli in Jodhpur and Suryagarh Haveli in Jaisalmer. The grand festival has started from 18th March and will end on 18th April 2018. Each week is being designated to a city. During their respective weeks, along with the lavish Thalis prepared authentically, they are also having special themed menus and décor which is in sync to the colors each city represents as well as based on their respective food culture and traditions.
So, when I was there it was the Udaipur week going on and the place was all decked up to represent small details of the city which looked absolutely gorgeous, colorful and vibrant! The place looked absolutely regal with a heavy wooden door having intricate carvings, colorfully painted puppets, wooden flooring, solid wooden ethnic furniture, mural of Radha-Krishna, loads of artifacts and wooden pillars all around! The lighting is perfect as well along with the crockery! The servers were dressed up in typical Rajasthani attire and were extremely warm and courteous.
Until 7th April you can enjoy their Jodhpur week! The Jodhpuri cuisine from this ‘Blue City’ will consist mainly of malai lassi, mirchi vada, bajre ro khichdo, aloo Jodhpuri, yellow tadka, lehsun ri chutney, etc and you can wrap up the royal meal with some Malpua or exotic Rabri. From April 8 to 18, you can enjoy their Jaisalmer Week! They will recreate the dishes from the Suryagarh Haveli in the ‘Golden City’ during this week. You can have kairi ro pani, kadi kachori chaat, dal bafla ro baati sang, bharwan aloo gravy, moth ka khakro, bhunwa ri lapsi, etc during this week! In fact, I tried few of these dishes and I loved the Bajre Ro Khichdo, Pyaaz Ki Kachori, Mirchi Vada and Bharwan Aloo Gravy! I was truly impressed by their authentic flavors.
I mainly tried their Udaipur Thali inspired by the kitchen of Kankarwa Haveli in Udaipur. The cuisine in the ‘City of Lakes’ is known for its simple yet rustic flavors that come from a plethora of fresh ingredients. I enjoyed some authentic delicious platter accompanied by traditional decors paired with folk music and puppetry show.
I really loved the Kesariya Lassi, Khasta Kachori Chaat, Dal Gajra Ro Baati Sang Churma, Malai Kofta, Makka and Bajra ki Roti served with ghee and gur. The Lehsoon ri chutney and Dhniya ri chutney were absolutely stunning! And yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the subtle flavors of Sohan Halwa in the end! Perfect end to a lavish royal meal!
This food festival is surely a treat to the taste buds! As I had said, Kolkatans are lucky to have this in their city. It is a cuisine that you readily do not get in this city at such price point. So, enjoy the regal cuisine from the homes of the chivalrous Rajputs and Maharajas.
From Dal Baati Churma to Dilkhushaal, Haveli will treat you to every royal flavor that you have dreamt of; this food festival brings to you the myriad taste of Rajasthan. Be there before 18th April 2018!
- What: Rajasthani Food Festival
- When: Till April 18, 2018
- Where: Haveli, CK2, Sector II, Salt Lake (near CK Market)
- Timings: Noon to 3:30pm and 7pm to 10:45pm
- Price: INR 1,200 for two
P.S. Foodiedada was at this place on Management/PR invitation for review purpose.