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Mezze and more…

Mezze and more…
Highlights

Mediterranean food brings with it a burst of flavours beginning with its amazing mezze platters both cold and hot hummus, baba ghanoush, moutabel,...

Mediterranean food brings with it a burst of flavours beginning with its amazing mezze platters – both cold and hot – hummus, baba ghanoush, moutabel, muhammara, fattoush and the kibbeh, falafel, fatayer, shawarma – the list goes on. Arabic, Lebanese, and Mediterranean are few of the most sought-after cuisines in our part of the world. And so, when Chef Simon Chakour from the speciality restaurant Souk of the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, brought in East Mediterranean dishes with their distinct flavours, it was indeed a revelation. Taj Krishna is hosting the Middle Eastern experience at its coffee shop ‘Encounters’ during lunch (buffet) and dinner (a la carte) until March 11. The menu includes the mezze as we know it with a few differences; for instance, hummus served along with freshly chopped onion, mildly flavoured baba ghanoush, and mouttabel, the Beiruti way…

While it is a common practice born out of love for the cold mezze and pita bread to make it a major part of the meal, it’s best to show restraint when one is trying the food promotion, all the more when one is yet to relish the delicious kibbe – a Syrian preparation of deep-fried ground lamb and cracked wheat shells filled with meat and pine nuts – rich in ingredients and mildly crunchy from the bulgur coating and soft inside, making for an addiction. On the menu is also the Lebanese Pizza that gets its name from the base made of Talas bread and the thin crust topped with minced lamb, tomatoes, olives and cheese and the Shawarma, simple yet scrumptious in its freshness of filling of lettuce, onion and tomato salad with chicken in a pita pocket.

On the main course is the not so common Aushak - Persian spinach, pine nuts and feta cheese ravioli with soya granules served with garlic flavoured yoghurt – thus reads the menu and when one tastes this Mediterranean version of the Italian pasta – each of the ingredients brings with it distinct taste making for a great flavour in every bite. Dishes like DijajMqualli (chicken cooked with preserved lemons, which is a commonly used flavouring agent in the dishes of the region, and the omnipresent olives) and Lamb Tagine, which is a meat version of former dish, and Talas Kebabi (a simple spinach and cottage cheese filled filo pastry) and the traditional pilaf – represent the preparations unique to each country of East Mediterranean region, and together they make for a unified cuisine incorporating influences from each other making for a delight to food connoisseurs.
– Rajeshwari Kalyanam

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