|The Starters –
Sabudhana moongphalli thalipeeth;
kuttu aur paneer ki kachori;
shakarkandi tuk chaat;
singhare aloo tikki
|The mains- Kuttu alu parantha, puri, Mathura Aloo, Vrat ka pulao
[Saamai with nuts & spices]
Three gravies- Paneer shahi gulabi; dahiwale singhare ki subzi; annanas ki subzi
|The Desserts – Sitaphal basundi & Mewa ki kheer [with Makhanas]|
During Navaratri period [9 days], most families refrain from having onion and garlic in their food. Infact, for me it is quite the norm as 99% of the time, the food at home is made this way, heck I cook it this way. Very rarely will I add garlic or onions to a dish, and even if I do, there would be a smaller portion without it reserved for gramma [ she stopped eating onions and garlic decades ago]. And so, Sattvic food [ it is the kind that is light, made with simple ingredients and easy on the body] is nothing new. But then when I heard there was a Utsav festival happening at
, and saw the copy of the menu, I was intrigued. Most of the dishes were made with ingredients I had tried outside Chennai.
Off I went with a friend in tow to explore this menu for lunch. Would like to make a mention that Rakesh Raghunathan has curated this menu.. It incorporates ingredients that are not too commonly used in TN. The dishes were also gluten-free, nutritionally balanced and light on the stomach(?)… Most of the dishes were traditional ones from across the country, mainly originating from Maharashtra, UP, Bengal, Jharkhand and Gujarat..
This was the 2nd visit to Hamsa, the 1st time was around when they had just launched. I remember enjoying the food and thinking it is a good option for those looking for veg food and a lovely ambiance. The decor is lovely, tad dark but very plush. The cutlery and serving ware are all quite rich, adding to the feel of the place. Not surprising considering the brand belongs to Sukra Jewellers, who are known to have a keen eye for detail and design. And then the food, well, it is yummilicious alright, courtesy Chef Robi Roy who’s been there since inception.. From the minute you walk into the building, the wall with the huge birdcages behind them, to the dark interiors of the restaurant, you are enthralled and curious… The place does not let you down..
Infact, when I was invited to be a part of the Jury for The Week’s top 10 restaurants in Chennai, Hamsa was on everyone’s list and there were no doubts they deserved a spot there…
At the Utsav festival menu, some of the dishes stood out for me- the Dahiwale Singhare ki sabzi [water chestnut gravy], Annanas ki sabzi [pineapple gravy], Kuttu alu parantha [buckwheat flour flat bread] and Sitaphal Basundhi [ Custard apple basundhi]. While the other dishes were also good, the one dish that was sweet & heavy was the Paneer Shahi Gulabi [ probably cos of the creamy base and rose essence that had been blended in]
But then, I knew my gramma would love this food- it was right up her alley, the different flavours, textures, and the biggest selling point being “no onion no garlic”…. So, if you are curious about what Vrat food is all about, and haven’t been to Hamsa, this is a good time to visit… Utsav by Hamsa is on till 29th October and these Vrat dishes can be ordered along with dishes from the a la carte menu as well..
Meal for two – Rs 1,500 + approx
B. Ramachandra Adithanar Road [ past Gandhinagar club & Mun veedu, straight down the road]
Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit 🙂