A timeless cuisine plating flavors to perfection and when it complements the culture and traditions of the region, brings an aroma of local flavours, it scripts an altogether different culinary memories. And this is something happens at Pratap Mahal IHCL SeleQtions, Ajmer, which is venture of TATA Group based in Pushkar. Nested amidst the pristine Aravali on all sides, it plates the finest of local, Indian and global cuisine. And not only this, it curates some special experiences like wilderness, recreation of lost recipes, special satvik or spiritual thali, special high-tea with the flavours of local street food and much more. Rakesh Kant, Executive Chef, Pratap Mahal, IHCL by SELEQTIONS, Ajmer talks about this in detail with Jasleen Kaur.
• Wilderness Experience – Ours is a cultural hotel. There is a lot of emphasis on culture and tradition of the local region. We have created various unique experiences for our guests and one of them is the experience in the wilderness. You head out to a secluded wilderness camp to experience the lost recipes among the Aravali hills, which are made with limited ingredients. It is a very rustic kind of cuisine, which one will find it in the wilderness experience like a junglee maas, dhaniye jeere ka murg, keema pulao, to name a few. In olden days, people used to go for shikaars (hunting) and some tradition recipes were originated from there like Khad khargosh (rabbit cooked in a pit), very well-known recipe of the bygone era when shikaar was at its prominence. Likewise, the jungle fowl, must soughtafter bird, that used to be made into a Khad Murg, nicely marinated, wrapped in leaves and put into the pit and soil and then fire passes from soil to this, cooked for 2-3 hours. This traditional cooking gave unique taste and flavour. So, the whole idea is to recreate these traditional culinary experiences. Not only food, but ambiance is also taken care off. When we create wilderness experiences, then we don’t carry artificial lights, rather we use lanterns.
• High Tea at Aravali Restaurant to give local street food taste – In evening, we organise special hightea and the speciality of food is Pushkar’s street food complemented by live instrumental regional music. So you will get a chance to savour some famous dishes like Pizza Poha Pakwan, much talked about dish in the Pushkar bazaar. This is something which is available till 10am in the morning and if you come late, you probably have to come next day (in very high demand!). The pakwan is the base of the pizza, while the daal is the purée, poha is the cheese and farsaan, chopped onions, green chilies are the toppings. The whole idea is to give the guests feel of the local cuisine and the street food of Pushkar. Another dish is dal wada, a famous local street food. It tastes spicy and sour with tamarind and green coriander chutneys. Kadi kachori is a not-to-miss, known delicacy of the place. And of course, malpuas is something for which Pushkar is known for.
• Satvik or spiritual thali – Since we are in the spiritual area of Pushkar region a land for the only Brahma ji’s temple in the world, and this has given us the inspiration to create thali, inspired from important temples of northern India. We have curated this thali in which you will get the glimpse of all kind of prasads you get in different temples of North India.
• Special wedding menu – Since our focus is on regional cuisine, we are very strong in Rajasthani food. However, we also have a wonderful chef here who creates specialisation in Thai and oriental food. We have our own in-house halwai from Jodhpur, the city is very well known for its mithais. And of course, as per the theme of the wedding, we curate food menu.