Firstly, let me state that Punjab Grill in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad is a beautiful property. It’s a packed a bit more than usual on both ends of their seating. But I still have a feeling that they are still exploring the restaurant space to make it so much better. The Punjab Grills across India and abroad had taken a trip to rural Punjab, bringing back with them rustic and lesser known dishes to serve to their patrons.
The trip culminated with a beautiful menu titled “Rangla Punjab” which is currently being hosted at the Hyderabad outlet. For the night we started off with the tangy popular Punjabi drink “Kali Gajar ki Kanji”. The Kanji is served in a clay cup with dark carrots. The first sip is going to give away your expression when hit with the mustard and hing (Asafoetida) but slowly grows on you.
Gradually moving on to the starters were the Tikki Choley. Must say after moving away from Delhi this was the first instance after so long that I relished the kala chole with super soft tikkis below. Garnished on top with julienned radishes this was delicious with the mint and coriander chutney. Most of the dishes at Rangla Punjab is served with radish on the strips bringing back the whole feel of Punjab.
The Mutton Tawa Tikke is tossed mutton cubes in aromatic spices. With a drink beside you, this along with the Chargha Murgh is the perfect accompaniment. If you’re the kind of person who loves fried food, the Chargha Murgh is the answer to every fried chicken craving. The Mutton Champa which arrived next at our table is a countrified mutton keema made into sheets.
The stars among the Rangla Punjab were in the main courses. Keema Karela and Atta Chicken were just fabulous. I have memories of my grandmother making keema bitter gourds on special occasions and the Keema Karela rightfully reminded me of that. Only difference being the meat was served on an open-faced bitter gourd giving a polished feel to a simple dish.
If you were to visit Kotkapur in Punjab, you’d see people carrying back parcels of Atta Chicken back to long distances of Chandigarh and Delhi. The “Kotkapure da Atta Chicken” takes inspiration from there and is the star of the Rangla Punjab menu. Now imagine first a whole chicken marinated for quite a duration in Punjabi spices with almonds and black pepper. The marinated chicken is then tightly wrapped in a muslin cloth and then sealed inside dough to be cooked in a tandoor. The juices of the chicken remain tightly sealed shut until the outer covering is broken. The moment the chef cut open the dough a whiff of the beautiful aroma hit me and the Atta Chicken goes beautifully alongside some butter naans.
The night ended with desserts which you’d find across the streets of Punjab. I liked the fresh fruits with cream for the fact that it wasn’t overtly sweet. The Gud Ka Halwa was bit of a downer though with the dessert holding back on the lovely flavors of the jaggery.
Should you check out the Rangla Punjab Food Festival at Punjab Grill? Most definitely Yes. It showcases true Punjabi food with the flavors it’s meant to be.