Glorious Repast from the Past

By : | 2 Comments | On : July 18, 2016 | Category : Events/Reviews

‘Culinary Retreat Afore 1947’ said the invite from Trident Hyderabad and I was initially a bit baffled by the Shakespearean English, especially the ‘afore’ bit. Not that I was ever in doubt about the food because Kanak, (Trident’s Indian speciality restaurant and which the executive chef Manik Magotra holds very close to his heart, in terms of innovations and ideas) at which the festival was being hosted, does things quite differently (read: no heavy duty and slumber-inducing calorific kormas, curries and what-have-you!).  So, off I went to Kanak last Friday afternoon.

“It is our attempt to recreate the recipes from erstwhile provinces of India before partition of 1947, which include Baluchistan (or Pakistan, if you may), Sindh and Bangladesh,” explained Chef Manik while seating me at a preview table at Kanak. “One of my chef’s family is from Bangladesh, so I called up his mother, grandma, and grilled them for recipes. For the rest, a bit of researching, tweaking and culling from my own repertoire and there you are!” he added.

We started on some Singara, “Bangladeshi style samosa filled with potatoes, peanuts and spices” proclaimed the menu. Every bit delicious as the popular staple from Kolkata, so like they say, what’s in a name? Bangladesh or Kolkata, the taste of this one was the same. Next served was Dudhiya Kebab, cottage cheese filled with nuts, an Awadhi savoury.

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The Bangladeshi singaras were as delicious as the ones you get from Kolkata or any Bengali home

However, the more delectable starters were to follow: Irani prawns, marinated with tamarind, chilli and sugar, cooked on a tandoor and Lahori chicken keema kebabs, chicken mince with spices cooked on skewers over a grill. Both were drop dead delicious!


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Irani prawns were yummy!

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Chicken mince on skewers cooked over a grill, a Lahori special







For main courses, there was Daal Pakwan, an absolutely delicious Sindhi street snack, home-style chana dal served with crisp and flaky ‘pakwans’ more like namkeens or thin mathris made of maida. This was addictive…had to really struggle to wean myself away!

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The Sindhi special Dal Pakwan was yummy!


Another Sindhi special served was the koki or a crisp & hardened paratha made with wheat flour, onion chillies and pomegranate seeds. Mash Kaliya, an Awadhi lamb curry was delicious, especially the fragrant and red gravy, while unusual was the Bhindi Gosht, Baluchistan style lamb curry cooked with bhindi or okra. There was more Baluchi fare: the delightfully tangy Aloo Bukhara Kofta, mawa and paneer dumplings filled with prunes and Balochi Murgh Sujji, dry roast chicken marinated with black pepper, fennel, vinegar and lemon, and teaming up with all this fabulous stuff was the humungous-sized Naan Peshawar…

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The humungous sized Naan Peshawar with Bhindi Gosht (on left) and Aloo Bukhara Kofte (on right)

Every dish had its distinct aftertaste, so it was tough to say which was the best, but I loved the Mash Kaliya, the Awadhi lamb curry the most.

Finishing off on a sweet note was the desserts trio,  Mohanthal (Sindhi), Chenna Jalebi (jalebi made with saffron and condensed milk) and Phirni.




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Phirni, Mohanthal and Chenna Jalebi (from left to right)








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Comments (2)

  1. posted by usha on July 18, 2016

    the peshawar kulcha and aloo kofta is tempting . wonder if they have worked out an alliance partnership with swiggy and the likes. i can order and have it at home.
    but ya ,otherwise can add baluchisthan to my bucket list…may be 🙂
    swati -you are my favorite food writer. have been following your food reviews for the last five years. miss your weekly column in TOI. hope you can update us with reviews on places other than star hotels. looking forward to more reading on your blog ,especially feature s.

    • posted by Swati Sucharita on July 27, 2016

      Thanks, Usha for those words of encouragement! Will try to cover little-known and other such rare places in my blog in the future for sure…


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