I recently visited the new Indian theme night called ‘Art of Spice’ held at Medley restaurant in Pullman Deira Creek hotel.
The restaurant boasts of a unique North Indian themed buffet night, called ‘Art of Spice’, curated by celebrity chef Sweety Singh. The chef’s culinary wisdom, simplicity and dedication to only using the freshest of ingredients reflected in his food preparation. No wonder, his fan following includes Sachin Tendulkar, whom he had the pleasure of serving during the IPL last year.
With all the variations Indian chefs are now experimenting with, I was curious to experience an interesting take on North Indian cuisine.
To begin with, we were served a selection of appetizers that included the ajwaini fish tikka, paneer tikka, matar makai ki tikki (peas and corn fritters) and the orange flavoured chicken tikka. The fish and paneer tasted very regular, while we were hoping for an interesting twist on these classics. The chicken tikka boasted of an orange marinade, which was unique as compared to the normal preparation of the dish. What we did really liked was the matar makai ki tikki as it had a good balance of flavour and spices.
Among the main course served, the sarson da saag was our favourite as it was authentic, fresh and had a burst of flavours. The rest of the main course included dal makhni, butter chicken and Punjabi chole, which reminded me of a simple yet tasty home cooked meal. We were surprised to learn that the dal was cooked for 12 hours on slow before it made its way to our table.
Surprisingly while the whole menu stuck to the traditional North Indian cuisine, we were taken aback when the food was served with the Arabic bread instead of the amazing Indian breads we were looking to devour. After all, what’s the sarson da saag without the makki di roti (Punjabi bread made of corn flour)!
The best part of our meal was the rice kheer dessert which was a delight and had me asking for more, with a side of an extra hour on the treadmill I’m sure.
After our meal we had the pleasure of meeting chef Sweety Singh who joined us for a brief chit chat. We asked him for a few suggestions on how to simplify cooking a North Indian meal. Being a chef of few words, he answered with three simple tips:
- Keep it simple with the ingredients, minimalism is key!
- Be careful not to overcook ingredients and spices, resulting in them losing their actual flavour.
- Be experimental if you wish, but don’t mess with the foundation ingredients of the dish you’re looking to prepare.
Definitely keeping these in mind the next time I attempt cooking a North Indian meal.