Innovation is the mainstay of any F&B outlet that aims to consistently please palates. And when we talk of Baluchi, we are speaking of one of the most popular pan-Indian speciality restaurants in India. It is, but obvious, that introduction of new flavours will be a given. Turns out that the speciality restaurant at The Lalit, Chandigarh has outdone itself under the watchful eyes of Executive Chef Shibiraj Saha and Chef Rajeev Thakur, in giving its existing menu a facelift. “South Indian, Coastal and Bengali cuisine is very popular in Chandigarh. So we have changed almost half of the menu to incorporate more dishes from these regions,” reveals Chef Saha, when talking about the new-look menu of Baluchi.
The revamp could not have happened at a better time. November onward sees a period of high occupancy at hospitality destinations and The Lalit is no different. Add to that, the impending high-profile wedding of cricketer Yuvraj Singh with Hazel Keech, and the culinary wizards at Baluchi are tossing new spices out of their woks.
Pan India Flavours
Harkaran Singh Sethi, F&B manager at The Lalit Chandigarh says, “The USP of Baluchi is pan-Indian and not just frontier or Mughlai cuisine. It is wonderful to be able to explore the plethora of flavours available in all regions of India. That is what we are attempting to do – to make flavours from even less known regions available.”
The alchemists in the kitchen at Baluchi are not just creating new flavours – preparation and trials for which had been on for nearly four months before each item was tried, tested and tasted – but also presenting traditional flavours in a new avatar. For instance, the absolutely delightful Malabar Shorba is a creamy and yet delightfully light soup of coconut milk with lentils tempered with curry leaves.
Starters such as Kuti Mirch Ka Jheenga, Murg ki Champ, Mutton Galouti, Malai Broccoli promise to be crowd-pullers. What is a revelation is their preparation of artichokes – tempered with basil and a tangy masala and presented as Tandoori Tulsi Masala Artichokes. Do not miss this one!
Do try the Jeera Ananas Aab – a piquant drink of slow-roasted pineapple with cumin and fresh mint – to whet your appetite and well as cleanse your palate. For the main course will leave you spoilt for choice. The offerings promise to take you on a culinary sojourn of the best tastes across the length and breadth of India with the Mutton Awadhi Qorma from the land of the nawabs, Chicken Stew with Appam from across the Deccan Plateau, Patrani Macchi from Mumbai, Dal Baluchi (a signature dish), Kacchi Palak Aur Methi Ki Subzi from Rajasthan, tangy Chokh Wangun (eggplant) from Kashmir and several others. A personal favourite was the Vendaka Masala Pachadi where tender okra was cooked in a coconut-yogurt gravy tempered with South Indian spices.
Pair these with their signature Paan Biryani or the signature breads from Baluchi’s trademark Naanery. But do leave behind some space in the system for the absolutely mouth-watering and apt-for-the-season Khajoor Badam Halwa, flavoured with dates and finally top it off with the signature Paan Kulfi.
Baloch food has a regional variance and Baluchi is living up to the all-embracing traditions of the traditional nomadic tribe from the middle-Eastern region.
Text and images by Aarti Kapur Singh