My forte is Italian cuisine for cooking but when it comes to hogging it has always been Indian cuisine. Indian cuisine is as vast as anything could be. I am very fond of North Indian cuisine obviously because of delicacy that they serve like kebabs, butter chicken and many more.
Did I just say kebabs? Yes I did, kebabs are some thing who no1 can say no to. Kebabs are so flexible that you can use them as appetizers or main course or bar snacks. Every Indian cuisine restaurant in Mumbai has kebabs on the menu. So I always explore places for trying kebabs, knowing modern trends & in search of authentic preparation. And here I got one more opportunity from FBAI to be a part of Chefs table at Restaurant called Amaya, which is located in Phoenix market city, Kurla. To know more read about my journey of kebabs
Appetizers dominated the show without any doubt. Sips of beverages acted like mouth cleanser while moving from one kebab to another.
1.Hara Bhara Kebab
It’s a classical & most popular vegetarian kebab from North India. It’s a amalgam of spinach, green pea, cottage cheese, potato & chana dal and spices. Spinach and green pea delivers the distinct taste and flavor that’s why the name. Kebabs in India trace origin from Mughal cuisine. The kebabs they served were little crusty from outside and gooey from inside. It was stuffed with cheese and was studded with cashew nut. The flavor of green pea & spinach was less and it was a bit dense.
2. Hare mirch aur dhania ki tikki
Star of the day, which people ordered even after having desserts. And chef Paul Kinny made sure he made it available to us. This tikki was something which I could eat every day. It was deep fried, crusty from outside and mouth melting from inside. It was loaded with delicious mixture made up of cheddar cheese, paneer, chilli which was flavoured with coriander. The look didn’t attract that much, but after first bite I just couldn’t stop eating it. It was served along with lemon wedges and onion rings.
3. Peshawari Kumbh
I am a big fan of mushrooms. This dish made me fell in love with it as soon as it arrived on the table, so beautifully presented. It looked like stack of macaroons sticked to each other using pastry cream. Mushrooms were tender, juicy and nicely marinated with spices and yoghurt. The filling was made up of spiced creamy paneer which was very flavourful. The charred flavor acquired due to clay roasted oven took this dish to completely new level. It was garnished with grated cheese and freshly chopped coriander which gave it the final touch.
3. Tulsieni Paneer Tikka
Tender pieces of paneer marinated with a mixture of basil, coriander, curd and spices & later char grilled in clay roasted oven. It’s a perfect substitute for chicken tikka . It had gentle flavor , but the flavor of tulsi did stand out the same way it should. Paneer was arranged along with capsicum, tomato and onions.The dish was perfectly plated with fineness which displayed the skills of the chef.
4. Noorani seekh kebab
Normally kebabs are associated with meats, but this is a vegetarian delicacy from Lucknow. Seekhs made from a mixture of minced vegetables along with spices & herbs. The seekh had chopped chilies inside it which definitely added spiciness but green chillies do have a peculiar flavor which makes your food even better. The seekh was mouth melting and worth a try for all vegetarians
5. Punjabi Lasooni kebab
As the name suggests it’s a dish which is influenced by delicacy from Punjab. The kebabs had dominating flavor of garlic & were juicy which made the chicken lively. On asking chef, he mentioned that they marinate chicken tikka overnight in garlic infused yoghurt, which helps the chicken to absorb the flavor of garlic till the core. Every bit of tikka had the punch of garlic. It was accompanied along with mint chutney which balanced the flavor. The flavor of the dish served the purpose.
6. Pahadi Murgh Tikka
It was repetition of chicken tikka we had earlier but with a different flavor. This chicken tikka was a little dry for me . But the flavour of herbs did stood out. It was sprinkled with amchur powder, lemon juice and chopped coriander.
7. Gilafi Seekh Kebab
Gilafi Seekh Kebab – As obvious from the name, these kebabs are cooked with a “Gilaf” (cover). Lamb mince is mixed with spices and cheese, finished with a gilaf (cover) of onion and capsicum, then cooked in Clay oven.The kebabs were succulent and mouth melting. I couldn’t resist eating more and more.
8. Lasooi jhinga
Another appetizer which was like a suspense movie, because in every bite I could taste a different flavour. No doubt the dish was ruled over by the flavour of garlic. The combination of spiciness of garlic, sourness of curd and the charred feel of prawns worked out well. If the prawns would have been a little more moist it would have taken it to yet another level. Any person who is mad about seafood must try this delicacy at Amaya.
Main course was served along with freshly made, hot & crisp Roti, butter roti an naan. We were stuffed so much with the appetizers that we couldn’t eat much of main course.
1. Paneer lababdar
Soft Paneer cubes cooked in a spicy tomato and fresh cream gravy . The sautéed onion and various other spices cooked in tangy tomato gravy complimented the taste of paneer and made it one of the best curry for the evening.
2. Paneer ke dulme
Spiced cottage cheese wrapped in spinach leaves , simmered in thick & rich tomato gravy. Something unique and different. The combination worked well
3. Murgh karachiwala
Chicken cooked in Tomato curry which had dominating flavour of garam masala. It was garnished with egg white.
4. Rogan josh
Rogan Josh is a classical meat curry having persian influence. It consist of Lamb cooked in red coloured spicy gravy . It is served along with chapati made out of wheat or bajra. Rogan Josh that they served was packed with full of flavors. It was little less spicy as compared to classical preparation. But the lamb was as tender as it could be – perfectly cooked, juicy and full of flavor. I couldn’t stop licking my fingers till the end. A complete winner on the plate for the day.
5. Kacche murgh ki bhuni Biryani
I personally did not enjoy this dish because it was flat on flavours and taste. For me Biryani is something which should make you sweat and at the same time make you enjoy eating it. It seemed to be like a Pulav with subtle and delicate flavours which I hardy could taste. Miss this when you visit this place.
6. Dal makhani
Its a famous delicacy from North India which is now served in most of the restaurants in Mumbai. The dish was made up of black urad dal, rajma with lots and lots of butter & cream. The dal is cooked for a long time till it gets mashy. Every bite of dal makhani did coat my tongue. It was heavy on the palate but so delicious that I could not stop eating it.
Conquerors for the day along with appetizers and I am sure everyone present there would settle with it.Everyone did order second round of desserts. They served us 2 desserts both different in texture and flavor profile.
1. Baked Gulam Jamun
Gulab jamun is a milk solid based dessert composed of Deep fried khoya dumplings soaked in sugar syrup flavoured with elaichi, saffron & rose water. It was served along with rabri. The sugar level in gulab jamun was perfectly balanced with that of rabri which made it extremely delicious. Disillusionment was that the name of the dish did not serve the idea, Gulab Jamuns were not baked as stated in the menu.
2. Kolkata meetha pan Ice cream
Another dessert which kept me guessing, but i did manage to pull out some secrets from chef Paul Kinny about the innovation. The ice cream was flavoured with kolkata pan and trust me you surely need to visit this place for the dessert. After asking Chef Paul about the secret recipe, he mentioned they use a blend of pan masala, beetle leaves & vanilla ice cream. The blend of all 3 ingredients was bang on.
The service team was on their toes while serving us. Though there was major power shutdown at the mall, the staff made sure that it did not hamper our dinning experience. Serving such a huge table is always a task, but according to me the service team of Amaya managed to pull it out very beautifully.
I will definitely visit this place again to try more of kebabs and desserts. For me the kebabs worked out very well along with desserts that concluded our meal.
Value for money -8/10