Bangalore - Divine kebabs at Dum Pukht Jolly Nabobs
"Jolly Nabobs" sounded like one of those terms coined during the British Raj. "Nabob" referred to a governor in India under the Mogul Empire, but was also used to refer to a person of wealth and prominence. Not surprising that the restaurant chose this name, as a meal for one person can easily cost US$100 per head.
Dum Pukht Jolly Nabobs at Bangalore's elegant ITC Windsor Manor was the 3rd Dum Pukht I'd been to (after the ones in ITC Maurya Delhi and ITC Maratha Mumbai) and the high standards were maintained here.
My dinner this evening:
- Shorba Shahi Pasand: a clear chicken consomme made from slow-boiling chicken drumsticks with cloves, cinnamon and saffron. Incredibly delicate, but with a typical Indian-style kick from the (not quite) unexpected inclusion of pepper;
- Kakori kebab: a delicate, very finely-minced pate-like mutton kebab flavored with cloves and cinnamon, so soft that a mere flick of the wrist can cause the delicate meat to break away from its skewer. Ghulam Qureshi (of Dum Pukht Delhi)'s version came alive here, served with delicate sweet, little Warqi Paratha breads;
- Kairi Moorug: a lip-smacking piquant Hyderabadi boneless chicken curry, given a sourish spike with the inclusion of tiny cubes of green mango; accompanied by
- Naun-e-bah Khummach: tandoor-baked, leavened semolina bread, flavored with poppyseed and aniseed.
- Dessert was the only item which did not quite impress: Begum's pudding, described on the menu as "a delightful baked pudding of evaporated milk or Khoa, sprinkled with ground almonds & saffron, strewn with raisins and nuts, Served with a delicate Brandy sauce". What I got? A stodgy disk with a million calories in sugar, heavy enough to be used as a door-stop. No raisins in sight, nor could I taste any brandy in the cream sauce on the side. Somewhere, somehow, someone must have altered the whole course of this dessert!
The service here? Fantastic - you do feel like a Nawab, or Nabob, whatever :-D
Dum Pukht Jolly Nabobs
ITC Windsor Manor
25 Sankey Road
Tel: +91 22269898.
Or the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore. Or the current Pretender to the Throne. :-)
What were those cone-like thingies on what appears to be a fancy "bread" or "snacks" tray? Pappadoms rolled/baked into cones? Then- you seemed to like the non-green sauce for these cones better although you seem to have demolished both pretty well?
Interesting meal, nice to read it.
No veggies? ;-)
The conical things were toasted papads, studded with cracked black pepper - went very well with the sweet, pickled papaya relish, but not so much the mint dip.
No veggies, huiray - those were *all* that we have at lunch daily with our Bangalore counterparts here. They are all 100% vegetarians ... from birth. By dinner time, I hungry enough to eat a cow or any fauna which happened to wander my way.
Vir Sanghvi, the editor of Hindustani Times and food-writer extraordinaire, had a more colorful story attached to the origins of the kakori kebab (which I read in one of his books a few years ago - Rude Food, I think). There, he told about how the culinary desire of the toothless Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow, who also had a predilection for mutton, led to the creation of the kakori kebab, made from mutton & fat from lamb's kidneys, hand-chopped by hand alternately between 2 chefs until a pate-like consistency was obtained, before the addition of grated greeen papayas to further soften the meat, then perfumed with a 100 spices. It was an enchanting tale, but different from the Nawab of Kakori tale, i.e. where Nawab Syed Mohammad Haider Kazmi, in an effort to salvage Indian pride whence a British officer criticized the "coarseness" of Indian seekh kebabs, ordered his chefs to prepare an ultra-refined version which, as the story goes, wiped the smirk off the British officer's stiff upper lip.
Not sure if Vir Sanghvi mixed up his "toothless" Nawab tale, often used to describe how the "galawati kebab" was created with the "insulted by the Brit" Nawab of Kakori tale. But I liked both - the stories, and the food :-D