Already well known for its Awadhi and North West Frontier cuisine, Dilli 32 has revisited the Mughal era with its revamped menu.One can explore light and delicately crafted offerings as the chefs at the Leela Ambience Convention Hotel add to the excitement in the open kitchen with Indian tandoors, tawas and haandis."When planning the new menu for Dilli 32, we wanted to keep the focus on what we do best by ensuring that the classics and customer favourites on the menu are not overshadowed by a mix of the new dishes," Chef de Cuisine Ashwani Kumar Singh told IANS."I visited numerous cities in the region of Awadh and it was often during these excursions that I got my inspiration and created new dishes," he said.ccording to Kumar, there would be monotony if the menu is not updated on a regular basis."Nowadays each guest looks forward to something new. That is why in addition to their favourites from the regular menu, we have been experimenting with the new dishes on our menu and have received a very good response from our patrons," he said.Here is what's cooking:I started my meal with a slew of regal sounding starters -- Baluchi murgh boti, mutton shammi kebab, boot ki shammi and doodhiya kebab.Mutton shami kebabs, which make for a great side dish with chicken biryani, were visually quite appetising and great to taste as well.Baluchi boti is prepared with mutton marinated in yogurt, lemon juice and ginger-garlic paste. It was the winner with its light spicy flavours and soft texture.The vegetarian doodhiya kebab was not that great, full of cheese as it was. Boot ki shammi, made with chickpeas, was decent.The chef also offered appetisers from the previous menu -- murgh pasanda, nukti kebab and palak ki asharfian.In the main course, chicken changezi and Gosht kho-e-Awadh have replaced the nehari gosht.The mutton curry was described by the chef as a "jugalbandi" of many flavours. The curry, he said, was made with authentic kanda lasoon (onion garlic) masala. It was sumptuous and fiery, with the meat being tender and succulent.Chicken changezi, which is an extremely popular dish in Delhi and has been served here for generations, is usually not my thing -- but it was this time.The creamy crimson gravy has a very prominent, tangy flavour, due to the cooking down of tomatoes in ghee.It tasted fine with rotis.Next on was dessert with really an intriguing dish -- mirch ka halwa. Also on offer are badam ka halwa, shahi tukra and kulfi.We certainly know the Awadhi cuisine for its absolutely tooth-vibrating kulfi. The one being served at the restaurant is of a different level altogether.With everything else on one side, the kulfi with its pink colour and pan flavour stood apart.A premium selection of beverages is also available at Dilli 32, with special emphasis on traditional Indian beverages which are found in many households, the star being shahi shikanji with its base of lemon banta and salt.The drinks are presented with a touch of modernity like vodka infused shikanji, flavoured iced tea and mojitos made with seasonal fruits.
Where: The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel
Price for two: Rs 2,500 (exclusive of taxes)
Timings: 7.30 p.m to 11.30 p.m.