Rajgira paniyarams with Sri Lankan coconut chutney. Photograph via NRI
Across the country, while Navratri and Durga puja celebrations are on in full swing, a lot of meat eaters have switched to being vegetarians for this month of festivities and some vegetarians have switched to a more rigorous diet, which favours grains such as rajgira over rice and rock salt over table salt. To make food more appetising all through this season, restaurants such as Hard Rock Cafe and NRI in Mumbai have rolled out new vegetarian dishes and festivals even.
Corn and paneer seekh kebabs from NRI’s vegetarian menu
The restaurant has launched a specially crafted vegetarian menu with dishes such as the Rajgira paniyaram, a traditional savoury snack from Kerala usually made of rice and split black pea batter, but made with amaranth grain for the festive season. The paniyarams will be served with a classic Sri Lankan coconut chutney, also known as sambol. There are dishes inspired by culinary traditions of North India as well such as Khatta Meetha Kaddu, which is grilled kulcha or flat bread stuffed with red pumkin that has been flavoured with nigella seeds. For desserts, the menu takes inspiration from across the globe with dishes such as Apam Balik Mamak, a savoury and sweet pancake, famous in Malaysia, and served with crushed peanuts and tofu.
Where: NRI, 2 North Avenue, Maker Maxity,Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai
When: 12 pm – 12 am
Phone: 022 30005040
Cost: Off the a la carte menu
For those who can’t find a Durga puja pandal close by where you get some classic Bengali dishes or would rather avoid the rush at a pandal, there’s Crowne Plaza’s Taste of Bengal Festival. On the menu are favourites such as Sorshe Maach (usually Hilsa fish cooked in a hot mustard gravy), Chingri Malai curry (prawn curry) and Macher Jhol (a light, fish curry that goes splendidly with hot rice) and of course, traditional Bengali sweets such as sondesh and mishti doi.
Where: Crowne Plaza 24@23, 43, Phase 1,Electronic City, Bangalore
When: Until October 12
Phone: 080 30030303
Cost: Rs 999 (excluding taxes)
The Connaught Place Restaurant Festival is the best time to check out 16 restaurants including Pebble Street, Open House Cafe and House of Commons, all of which have great offers on food and beverages during this fest. Chefs have also curated a special menu at each of the restaurants to showcase some of their best dishes. You’ll need to buy an entry pass, which includes a festival booklet that includes details of all the deals at these restaurants.
Where: In and around Connaught Place
When: Until October 10
Cost: Rs 500 for a single entry pass from bookmyshow.com. The pass does not cover food and drink at any of the restaurants.