“I have worked in so many cities and I have realised that people of Hyderabad really love their food and they know what they are eating. Hyderabadis are the biggest foodies I have seen in my career,” says Chef Masaroor Waris Khan, who has meticulously curated the menu of the ongoing Nizami Food Festival at Farzi Café.
Nizami food goes the molecular way!
The region of Deccan plateau is known for its lip-smacking dishes and the area boasts of its authentic Nizami cuisine. “It was a challenge to do Nizami food fest in Hyderabad, so we have ‘Farzified’ the whole menu. We have given a modern touch to the traditional cuisine and people are liking it,” he shares.
Chef Masaroor hails from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, he completed his diploma in hotel management in 2003. “After my diploma, I started my career in a four-star hotel in Varanasi. There I learnt Nawabi and Awadhi cuisines; various biryanis and kebabs.
I worked there for two years and moved to Lucknow. After working for a couple of years I relocated to Delhi and later I moved to Bangalore, worked in a five-star hotel, where they were serving Awadhi food. I joined Farzi Café Bangalore after that and now I run Farzi Café at Hyderabad.”
Nizami cuisine is a rich mélange of bold flavours, tantalising spices and an array of local influences. With a strong culinary heritage, this cuisine is a blend of tradition and novelty and it is a herculean task to pull off the fest keeping intact the legendary philosophy of Farzi. The chef shares, “The dishes have the same authentic flavour, but we have made it molecular and we are doing the same dishes, but we are presenting it differently.”
“We are giving the khatti dal ka soup in cappuccino style in a transparent cup and it has froth on top of it. This also has molecular gastronomy, and so the guests can first taste the tangy taste of tomato initially and then comes the soup,” he says. The experience of having khatti dal ala cappuccino coffee makes the whole experience unique.
Haleem the seasonal dish of Hyderabad has many aficionados. People diligently wait for that time of the year when Haleem is served in every nook and corner of the city. The Nizami food fest has this special dish on the menu as Shahi Haleem Risotto and obviously it has been Farzified. “Everything is the same, but we have added arborio rice to the existing recipe.
The taste and texture of the Haleem remains similar, but one will also get a feel of eating a risotto. And this is what we call modern touch to the traditional dish,” Chef Masaroor informs.
Chef has also given a global touch to the uniquely Hyderabadi, Qubani ka Meetha.
The sweet dish comes in a tart and it just melts in your mouth. “We make the tart with the ingredients that are used to make Osmania biscuit and the combination of this tart and meetha makes the dish more flavourful.”
Chef says that presentation is as imperative as the taste. “When we create any dish, first we think how to present it. We try different things for 2-3 times and finalise on the best one. When we present it to guest, it should be eye-catching. Plating and elements of dishes is all we think about after it is done."
Nizami food fest includes a wide variety of dishes. For the lovers of non-vegetarian food, the menu is exclusively curated with dishes like Shikamipuri Kebab, Sheermal Sponge, Mint Pesto, Pather Ke kebab, Dum Ke Kebab, Darbari Chicken Handi, Shahi Haleem Risotto, Keema Aamras Croquets with Crispy Coin Paratha.
Foodies who prefer vegetarian dishes like Badam and Akhrot ki Tikki, Paneer Pakeeza with Gongura pickle mayo, Paneer Bagh-e-Bahar lasagna, Hyderabadi Shahi mix-veg Ratatouille served with whole wheat bread takes one on a gastronomical ride.
The desserts are sure to leave you to spell bound! In addition to Qubani Meetha ka Tart, there is Textures of Exotic Fruit Platter, Irani Chai crème Brulee with Osmania biscuit etc. available on the menu until March 7.