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Wednesday July 9, 2008

Savour the best of Punjabi cuisine

Paya Serai
Hilton Petaling Jaya
2 Jalan Barat
Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-79559122 ext 4060/4056
Business hours: Lunch (Mon-Fri, 12 noon to 2.30pm); dinner (Mon-Sun, 7.30pm to 10.30pm); weekday high tea (Tues-Fri, 3.30pm to 5.30pm); weekend high tea (12.30pm to 5.30pm).

Paya Serai at Hilton Petaling Jaya is hosting “The Best of Punjabi North Indian Cuisine” food promotion, which will showcase the diverse range of flavours and dishes from the Punjab region of northern India.       

Guest chef Mohd Firoz Khan has flown in from Mumbai, India, to serve up traditional recipes from his home country for the promotion that will be available till July 20.

Dessert section: The food promotion includes sweet and savoury desserts like (from right to left) Churma, Emerity, Cham Cham and Keseri.

“One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes catered for vegetarians and non-vegetarians,” said Firoz.

“The main masala, a term used to describe a mixture of many spices, in a Punjabi dish consists of onion, garlic and ginger.

“Tandoori food is a Punjabi speciality especially for non-vegetarian dishes,” said Firoz, who recommends the Tandoori Kebab and Tandoori Chicken (mixed skewer and chicken grilled with yoghurt and spices).

Flavoured with spices: Chicken Jafrni (Chicken cooked with saffron).

He explained that Indian cuisine, which varies from region to region to reflect the diverse demographics, features one common element – the usage of spices to create unique aromas and enhance taste.

“About 35 types of spices are used in Indian cuisine, and typically 12 to 15 types are used in each dish. These spices include red chilli, coriander, turmeric powder, cumin seed powder, cloves, cardamom, and garam masala.

“There is also a generous use of yoghurt in a number of dishes, which make Punjabi cuisine healthy.”

Diners can begin their meal with appetisers like Kuchambar (Indian mixed vegetable salad), Chutney (mixed Indian pickles) and Raita (Indian-style yoghurt cucumber).

Authentic taste: Guest chef Mohd Firoz Khan from Mumbai.

For main courses, try the Mutton Saagwala (spicy mutton cooked with fresh spices and spinach), Chicken Pashnda (chicken cooked with cream sauce in clay pot), Purwon Lashune (prawn with spices), Chicken Makhani (Indian butter chicken cooked in tandoor), Banzara Fish Curry (fish curry cooked with special spices) and Fish Gowan Curry (fish cooked with lemon juice and Indian spices).

Chef's creation: Pratha with Chopped Mint.

Vegetarians will be spoilt for choice with dishes like Mushroom Masala (mushroom cooked with spices), Bombay Aloo (potato with onion), Bhindy Do Payaza (okra cooked with onion), Palak Mutter (vegetable flavoured with combination of spices), Daal Fary (mixed Indian lentils), Veg Kolapure (spicy mixed vegetables cooked with yoghurt), Aloo Zeera (potatoes with cumin seed), and Shabnam Curry (mushroom and green peas).

These dishes can be eaten either with Pulo Rice or Pratha with Chopped Mint, the latter a creation by Firoz where mint leaves are used to give the pratha a fresh flavour.

For dessert, choose from sweet and savoury items like Laddoo, Plain Milk Barfi, Chocolate Barfi, Sweet Vade, Churma, Emerity, Cham Cham and Keseri.

“The Best of Punjabi North Indian Cuisine” has three menus that are featured on a daily rotation basis.

Lunch is priced at RM69++ (adults) and RM45++ (children below 12 years), while dinner is priced at RM75++ (adults) and RM45++ (children).

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