Feasting after Fasting
Fasting and abstinence characterise the month of Shravan but for chefs in the city, it about putting their culinary skills to test and serving delectable food made of only a handful of permissible ingredients. Savoury delicacies such as sabudana khichdi (an Indian dish made from soaked sabudana or sago), aloo bhaji, sweet curd, fruit salad, fresh fruit juices and kaju katli make the fasting package at Ramee Grand, Shivaji Nagar, exciting.
"New dishes other than those in the package, such as fruit rabri, amrakhand and paneer jalebi, are included in the carte for Shravan," says Biswa Majhi, Food and Beverage Manager, Ramee Grand. He adds that chandrakala, a milk-based sweet dish, is a huge hit among the patrons who visit the restaurant to break their fast.
Among the lip-smacking fasting food that Executive Sous Chef Sameer S Luthra is offering at The Westin, Koregaon Park, are Samo rice pulav, Rajgira-coated fried potatoes served with sesame tempered yoghurt, Farali bhaji, Sago batata wada and Rajgira ka halwa. "These items are not on the regular menu card. We include it during this month to make sure that anyone who walks into our restaurant enjoys their dining experience," says Luthra.
Malaka Spice loves experimenting with usual fasting dishes, giving patrons a variety to choose from an extensive special vegetarian menu to break their fast. Top hat is made of yummy rice cups stuffed with herbs and spicy minced vegetable, Thai spring rolls has carrots, bean sprouts and rice noodles wrapped together and fried, and Green pepper mushrooms are prepared with fresh green pepper and button mushrooms. These dishes add an uncommon zest to the palate.
The 64-year-old Asha Dining Hall on Apte Road is keeping it simple and tasty for the festival. "People who come to eat here can relate our food with the one made in their homes," says Prakash Kini, the owner. The menu includes sabudana khichdi, batata bhaji, rasam, shrikhand, rabri and eggless caramel pudding. Kini adds that they offer Shravan food only on Mondays and sometimes on Saturdays.