Here’s a look at the 10-course royal feast that was served by Abhishek Gupta, executive chef of The Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel & Residences as a part of Rivaayat, a special celebration co-hosted by Gwalior’s royal family, Maharani Priyadarshini Raje Scindia and Yuvraj Mahanaaryaman Scindia and T + L India & South Asia in association with Glenmorangie.
“The idea was to be inspired by the history of Gwalior. Marathas were influenced by the French, British, and Italians. So we will have the dishes that they enjoyed tweaked according to our cooking,” says Gupta about the royal feast that was served in Elitaire, the members-only lounge in The Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel & Residences.
Sampling A Royal Feast At The Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel & Residences
Instead of listing the names of each dish on the menu, Gupta created short rhymes for each of them. The first course, Narangi Glen Kanji at Gwalior Jn, included lacto fermented oranges with sea salt, sugar, fennel & peppercorn. And Gupta’s poem read,
Drenched in orange, bursting with flavours
Sitting in a jar overnight, waiting for you all night
A sip is all I need, to energise and be healed
For the second course, the chef and team served a dish inspired by the relationship between the French and the Marathas. It was called ‘Baked by The French & Marathas, Choux Bun & Naan Khatai’. The dish was accompanied by potato and peanut mousse, anardana leather, and coriander dust.
The third course was a blind taste test. All the guests were blindfolded while Gupta gave clues about the dish. It was a version of golgappa with candied beetroot and candied orange, orange marmalade, beetroot marmalade, and whisky and tamarind water.
And who was Gupta’s inspiration for this dish? “Laal Pani Wala near Ram Mandir in Gwalior, is widely known across the city for its association with one of the most yummy and mouth-watering street snacks popularly known as pani puri or golgappa,” he says.
While the fourth course, Hemu Ji Cheela & Bundeli Mangode was inspired from Italian Crespelle alla Fiorentia, with unleavened Indian pancake made with lentil or whole grain flour and small bite sized balls made using soaked and ground moong dal; the fifth course was Chilean Seabass Chi Amti, served with Malvani curry, batata chi bhaji, pickled beetroot rose, microgreens.
The palate cleanser, which became a huge hit among guests, was called Frozen Sunset. It was made from seven warm spices (allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, ground cloves, cumin, ground coriander, and white pepper) and tangerine sorbet, and presented in a huge orange ice nest!
If the fifth course was an ‘underwater diamond’, the seventh course was from the land. One of the most popular and spiciest dishes from the Kohlapur region in Maharashtra, Kolhapuri Tambda Rassa. Served alongside it was Puran Danish inspired from Puran Poli.
Courses eight and nine were desserts named ‘Check Mate’. Presented beautifully on a chess board, the desserts included Petit Motichoor Ladoo, Balushashi & Baked Yoghurt, Paan Petha Mille Feuille, Gold wrapped Gulab Jamun soaked in Glen, coated in chocolate, Mango Kalakand Cannoli, and Badaam Milk Tres Leches.
Gupta ended the 10-course meal with paan inspired from Jain Paan Bhandar in Gwalior. It had a blast of orange, gulkand, roasted coconut, chocolate, nutmeg, and khajur.