Panchavati Gaurav a chain of Gujarathi/Rajasthani Thali restaurants present in Mumbai and other cities like Pune is hosting a Marwari food festival till 22nd October to celebrate the Marwar festival and the Rajasthani Folk festival happening in Jodhpur during this time of the year.
Marwar; once a princely state of India, now Jodhpur, has a tumultuous history. Since the 14th century this land, one of the biggest kingdoms of undivided India saw many rulers reign the landscape and this turn of events led people from Marwar; the Marwaris; to flee and they settled down to almost all parts of the country. They as a community we all know are with sharp business acumen and money comes out of their coffers after great thinking, the Banias, a sect of the Marwaris are ‘destined’ to be bizmen. The flipside to this is their food where money is secondary and taste rules. Marwar located partly in Thar Desert sees extremes of weather and thus their cuisine has dishes which can last them for days without heating and ingredients to use when supplies were scarce. Usage of pickles, preserves, dried vegetables, heavy usage of oil/ghee etc is their style of cooking. Things have changed with refrigeration etc but old tastes die-hard.
Panchavati Gaurav, at Infiniti Andheri was decked up for the occasion with coloured cloth décor and the servers matching it with their characteristic Rajasthani turbans. Khamma Ghani and Ram Ram were greetings for the day. The thalis were set on the table and the servers ran into some kind of race to serve one everything in no time, they were pretty efficient. Jodhpuri chat ( Kachori and Papdi base) and Methi Dhokla were the appetizers, and then a host of veggies including a dry bhindi prep, Chana in curd gravy, a semi dry potato prep and a paneer in tomato gravy followed, if you could ignore the oil in them they tasted fabulous with ghee doused bajra rotlis. The classic Dal bati was subtle in flavours and enriched with ghee. For rice they had steamed rice and Masala bhat, which I thought was pretty Udipiesque but for the besan gattas in them. The Rajasthani kadhi was piquant with the opulence of garlic. I ended my meal with hot Mohanthal, mediocre Shrikhand and superlative Churma laddoos crusted with poppy.
The meal shall cost you Rs 450 a head for an unlimited thali….. Go indulge!