Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The flavours of Arrival


Delhi Palace proprietors Gautam and Mallika Khanna oversee a budding feast at the restaurant.

Mark Fraser

WHILE food can be consumed without celebration, it would seem that one cannot celebrate without food.

Even better, a meal connected with the particular occasion makes for stronger bonds between the celebrants.

That’s the idea behind the carefully selected menu at Delhi Palace on Ramsaran Street, Chaguanas, which this week features a series of specials with Indian Arrival Day (May 30) in mind.

If you’ve never sampled authentic Indian cuisine, the owners of Delhi Palace, Gautam and Mallika Khanna, make it easy for you to go bold with a unique blend of authentic Indian and local flavours that’s a breeze for choosy palates or tender tummies.

While the tradition for most households on occasions like Indian Arrival Day is to stay at home and cook—usually food of the local India variety—the Khannas encourage you to venture out and try something new with family and friends.

Delhi Palace can be a vegetarian’s dream and the Indian Arrival Day combos do not fail to deliver.

Try pepper roti done by chefs from India and doubles in the style of that country, where fluffy, swollen barra are served separately from a channa and green salad mix.

The veg-combo features well-loved peas, potatoes, mushrooms and even cauliflower in a variety of sauces that are savoury, spicy and hinting at sweet, served with fragrant basmati rice or silky naans.

“We took the decision to introduce pepper roti to our menu because it is so hugely popular,” said Gautam Khanna last week.

“Our version is that mix of traditional and local styles, done in a clay oven.”

Delhi Palace allows you to customise your pepper roti as well, so take it just a little spicy or roaring hot, as you like it.

If you want to get a bit closer to the meals once enjoyed by the forefathers in India, including what was once considered food for the royals, go for the mouthwatering shahi paneer, a thick, creamy, spicy dish of Indian cottage cheese.

Add to that a serving of butter chicken and a garlic naan for an authentic experience.

“Our spices and methods are the real thing,” said Gautam Khanna.

“If you want the complete royal experience and your taste buds can handle it, swap for the peshwari sweet naan instead. It is traditionally much richer, with almonds and cashews.

Feeling for a more casual approach to dining but still want the authentic experience?

Then the fried or tandoori chicken and potato fries might be the best option, as these combos feature Indian flavours with the comfort of a familiar meal.

“Everything that we offer in recent times has featured a blend of traditional authentic Indian and local ‘Trini’,” said Khanna.

The expansive Arrival Day menu also features Thai and Hakka-style combinations that can run from mild to extremely spicy, depending on the needs of the customer.

Meals can be enjoyed with wine, soft drinks or one of the chefs’ salty or savoury lassis, a healthful blended drink much like the traditional smoothie that features yogurt and fruit.

Of course, no meal is complete without dessert and there is no shortage to choose from at Delhi Palace, where the sweets are as much a visual work of art as a culinary one.

Try coconut barfis, hulfi, gulab jamun, rasmalai, ladoo, burfi and jaleebi, all done in different flavours.

This week, the Delhi Palace offers a gift of any five sweets for $20 and meal combination packages that start at $100.

The menu is still available for a la carte dining, along with the variety of specials that run until Arrival Day this Friday. A branch of the restaurant can also be found at the Divali Nagar in Endeavour, Chaguanas.