The table setting was elaborate. You could see that the chef had taken a lot of effort into making it as authentic as possible. So when Chef Rohit Tokhi started explaining how he had traveled across the Marwar region extensively to get the ingredients and the flavours right, you knew you were in for a treat.
The meal started with a chilled glass of aam panna and a raab made with corn meal and yogurt. Served with a side of sangari tikki it was a deceptively simple start. The raab was delicious, almost porridge-like in its consistency, it tasted of sweet corn and had a lovely creamy after taste. Simple delicious and wholesome.
The sangri tikki had a casing of poppyseed which gave this desert berry a very nice crunch.
Curated by Pushpita Singh, the author of Rajasthani Kitchen, the rest of the delicious goodies came in swiftly. First up were the pyaaz ki kachori. Modelled after the rawat ki kachori, these little babies were so delicious that you couldn't stop popping them in your mouth. I ate about 4 of these.
Khargosh ka mukul, or a rabbit stir fry was served with a bit of lemon and almonds. I was about to eat this when my friend who had come with me said oh you're eating Bugs Bunny. That did it, I had to push it around the plate because I could barely eat another morsel.
Murgh ka soola and Maans ro boothan were up next. The Chicken with yogurt and garlic was very tender but the mutton really took me to places. Marinated with yogurt and figs, the meat was so tender and succulent that you wished you couldn't stop eating.
The daal baati choorma was up next. Dilli 32 did two very distinct choormas - a rose-flavoured choorma and a savoury besan choorma as well the regular choorma. It's very hard to go wrong with daal baati choorma and truly this was delicious. Drenched in ghee, the baati was fantastic and crisp and the daal so tasty. I would have eaten another, but I knew the laal maas was on its way.
The rest of the mains included laal maas, khatta chicken, ker sangri and the chicken sohito. I loved the sohito and the khatta chicken and while the laal maas tasted fabulous, the meat was not tender enough for me. The sohito was something I was eating for the first time. Millets and chicken cooked together almost like haleem, this had a very earthy flavour to it. Extremely delicious.
For dessert we got a sampler platter of malai ghewar, mawa kachori and lapsi. I am not a big fan of Indian desserts but the ghewar was not even a patch to what you eat in Jaipur. The mawa kachori too wasn't how it was at Rawa. But the lapsi, now that I loved.
The festival is on till May 10. Go quickly. It's really worth the drive.