Just when the other day, we were talking about the presence of Nalanda, Bodhgaya and the intelligent minds in Bihar; my phone beeped. I see, Vishal from JetSetEat, sent me a message to invite me for the Bihari Food Festival at Ohris Rubaiyat.
At that moment, the first thought on my mind was, like thoughts do attract like thoughts 🙂 Think of a place, and more comes out from the same.
I do have strings attached to this land that is historically rich. Spent quite a few years while I was in school(then Bihar, now Jharkhand), I can easily say, I do have a few people who belong there. Further strong connections, my dad and my paternal uncle and aunts spent their initial childhood years in the state. My dad taught me during my childhood days, what is ‘thekua’ and, what’s “sattu paratha”! My grandmother was known for the amazing “sattu paratha” she could make, skills she acquired when she was residing in Bihar. So, bihari food is a known thing to me.
Now it’s a “Bihari Food Festival“; that means a plethora of delicacies that feature in its cuisine. Declaring, “Bihar is not only about literary and educational heritage”, but there is also pleasure; the pleasure for a happy appetite! The pre-dominant culinary aspect of Bihar has always been, “Sattu” -> Flour of Roasted BengalGram. With that in mind I decided, have to attend the festival and taste all the food , that comes from Bihar! I was extremely inquisitive for the part that what would be the variety of dishes curated as part of this food festival.
Coming to the restaurant “Rubaiyat“, one of the well-known Ohris restaurants in the city Hyderabad, is a fine dining spot that specializes in Mughlai and Continental cuisine. The vibes in the ambience resemble the palace kind luxury, showcasing the grandeur. The architecture brings you the Mughal charm. Almost 6 months ago, Tansen (another Ohris restaurant in Hyderabad) hosted the Bihari Food Festival, that was much loved. This time to specially cater to the other part of the city, the corporate sector, Cyberabad and the other adjacent locations, they are hosting it at Ohris Rubaiyat, under the fine supervision of much acclaimed Chef Amey R Marathe.
Moving on to the festival menu: it has everything starting from Sattu ki Thandai as Welcome drink to Litti Chokha as Starters to Bhunja Meat with Sattu ki Poori as main course and Shareefa ki Rabdi as Dessert. Apart from the said, these show stopper delicacies have been curated along with the other culinary charms that are primarily from across the various regions of Northern India and equally loved by the regional people from Bihar, to satiate everyone’s palette and taste buds. To be specified, the food festival dishes are on A-La-Carte.
Sattu Ki Thandai, is absolutely refreshing after a long day of work at office or during the lunch hours. It’s ideally a cooler drink and considering Hyderabad presently, one can comfortably enjoy the drink with it’s striking add on flavours of coriander and black pepper.
We were then served with an array of appetisers. “Khassi ki Litti” , litti (round dough of sattu) stuffed with minced mutton, had it for the first time. The mutton was cooked really well with the right mix of spices to complement perfectly with the outer sattu mix. We also had the basic litti chokha as well, without any stuffing. I absolutely loved the plain Litti Chokha without any stuffing. Truly Bihari! Sattu was mixed with right spices and onions, well cooked on tandoor and the chokha was right to accompany it. One portion can even do for a complete meal. Dal Pitha is a great illusion for momo/dumplings. Said that, it has boiled urad dal with the tadka of basic spices as stuffings. The chutney along with is a great accomplishment for it. They also have Ghugni Samosa and Nimki. Ghugni Samosa is a platter, with samosa having spicy stuffing. Ghugni was different. With the Bong taste buds and as the name goes, Ghugni was not as it’s supposed to be, but yet it was decent. Nimki (the Papri) which is served along with tomato ketchup, can be skipped for the fact that there are appetisers that are to be must have. Appetisers are not yet done without Machli Pakoda and Murgh Bihari Kebab. Machli Pakoda is the Fish Orly version for the Bengalis. Murgh Bihari kebab is the Sheekh kebab, which was very well cooked with the right spices and flavours. I am generally not a Sheekh Kebab person, but a food lover would definitely love something that is cooked really well. And this one here, won my heart.
Well, that was just the starters, the main course and the desserts are yet there. Well curated menu, I would say. Very thoughtfully created; the dishes have been selected so beautifully, that they can well cater to the taste buds of people from any region along with keeping the quintessential Bihari flavours alive, said again. They have Kairi ki Dal, Papda ki Sabzi, Kadhi Vadi, Dum Aloo along with Chicken haldi Ghati and Bhunja Meat. Let me bring out my top favourites from this; Dum Aloo, Chicken Haldi Ghati, and Bhunja Meat. Papda ki Sabzi was a spicy tangy gravy prepared with Khaman (that’s a Gujrati delicacy) , is a decent option for the vegetarians. Even the Kadhi Vadi was very well cooked with right consistency of kadhi. Chicken Haldi Ghati was absolutely amazing to its taste. A very creamy gravy and right on flavours, a perfect one to have with Ajwaini Methi Paratha, which is also a part of Bihari food festival menu. Dum Aloo is mindblowing option for the vegetarians. Nailed the dish with right flavour . Bhunja meat was a version of bengali kosha mangsho. So all of you , who love the Bong kosha mangsho, you would definitely want to have Bhunja Meat at Rubaiyat, during the festival days. They also have Dal poori and Sattu Ki Poori. Kairi ki Dal, again a decent one in the menu. I loved Sattu Poori with Bhunja Meat and Dal Poori with Kadhi Vadi.
Desserts too were flamboyant because of the right selection of the sweet courses. They have Malpua, Balushai and Shareefa ki Rabdi. Malpua is the Indian version of pancake and is a dessert staple for any festivity or special occassions across Northern India (including eat and west). Balushai is a fried dessert which was decent. And then The Shareefa Ki Rabdi. Did I just added “The”? Oh, yes! the shining star even among the showstoppers. It’s seasonal, a fruit (custard apple) pretty much loved by all has been turned to a not-so-sinful indulgence. Creamy with right consistency of the real fruit! Perfect, just perfect!
Well, to mention as I have been writting about the custard apple dessert, I already planned in my mind, that I am gonna have it tomorrow at the restaurant. The food festival is supposed to be on till 20th November 2017 that is tomorrow, but they also have a plan to extend. A perfect value for money. One can definitely call the restaurant management to check and reserve the table accordingly.
I am always happy to explore such food festivals that let us experience the culinary culture of a place. It has so much to know and learn about the place and the people and their cultural inclinations. Let the regions of India not only restrict here in the nation, let them reach globally. Go global!
“Create your GoodTimes, Live the GoodTimes!”