#KumaoniBhoj #SherwaniHilltopNainital #ReviewsByAditti
What did I know about Kumaon or anything associated with it really...!
let me think!!!
Only the bravery part of its men and that its home to the very famous and one of the most decorated Indian Army regiment, the Kumaon Regiment.
And of course the Book, Man Eaters Of Kumaon, Jim Corbett and Nainital..the names only!
On googling, additional this :
Kumaon, is one of the two regions and administrative divisions of Uttarakhand, a mountainous state of northern India, the other being Garhwal.
And includes the districts of Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Nainital, Pithoragarh, and Udham Singh Nagar.
So on my maiden visit to Nainital, last week, on night one, we, a group of 10/12 friends, are invited to a Kumaoni Bhoj organized by the hotel that we are staying in, Sherwani Hilltop.
THE Sherwani Hilltop
So this Kumauni Bhoj menu card had 17 items... listed...but in my head,
Gehat Ki Thetwani
Aloo ke gutke
Mooli Ki Thechwani
Torai Ka Kapa
Kumauni Khadi Dal
Madua Ki roti
Bhangire Ki Chutney
Kanak Ki Kheer
Ballistic, goes my mind!!!
Where is my 4 Paneer/3 Chicken /2 Mutton dish combo feast???!!!
Thats the only banquets we are raised to believe in but !
I miss Ludhiana
Barring the familiarity of words like Rice/Kheer/Dal/Roti/Raita/Chutney/Aloo/Mooli/Torai and the comfort of words like Chicken and Malai,
rest everything is hain ?
(Now for the uninitiated, is an exclamatory expression when we Punjabis dont understand something in the first go )
Back to the Bhoj !
After adjusting my dress and stretching my wrap to cover my knees, I sit down to a decorated banquet of words and flavours that I havent experienced before.
The traditionally attired service staff stands in attention, with a right balance of friendliness and efficiency, as we all settle down to what I will later conclude as a sublime experience.
The service starts right after a brief introduction to whats in store for us, by the very charming owner Saeed Sherwani.
The unarguably toothsome meal that follows is an array of unusual flavours.
Party in my mouth, yayyy!!!
So allow me to take your taste buds on a tour of the extraordinary.
1. Gehat Ki Thetwani : Pulses like Gehet (Kulath / horse gram) fashioned into Thetwani, a simple brown coloured soup.
2. Bhutwa : a meat starter
3. Badeel: the deep fried starter, a Dal centric snack, quite akin to the Kalmi bade.
4. Bhanga Chicken : whitish in Colour, cooked with Bhaang seeds.
5. Shikaar : Mutton curry
6. Aloo ke gutke: a simple earthy regional culinary gem which is fried potatoes seasoned with fried red chillies, coriander leaves, and other spices.
7. Malai Gadua : Kaddu cooked with malai
8. Mooli Ki Thechwani : made from pounded and crushed pahari mooli and cooked into a simple hearty curry.
9. Torai Ka Kapa: the strong flavour of coriander seeds is comforting here.
10. Kumaoni Khadi Dal : Dal,Rajma, Kala Chana boiled together into submission, but just enough where they stood there ground and peaked out of the bowl alright! Super delicious and the simplest Dal form I have ever had.
11. Rice : Broken local rice, eaten steamed, this was also what the kheer was made with
12. Madua Ki roti : dark, unleavened flat bread made with finger-millet flour, black in Colour, topped with ghee and gur. Unique in every which way!
13. Bhangire Ki Chutney : Made from bhang seeds, cumin, garlic +++, this simple aromatic chutney goes with anything and everything it seems.
14. Mooli Dahiwali: Cut mooli seasoned with curd and Jeera, lovely alright.
15. Kumauni Raita :curd, turmeric, grated cucumber, green chillies and mustard seeds, this raita is no side dish for me. It was such a hero for me!
16. Kanak Ki Kheer : Rich in nutrients and taste, the delicious sweet dish was as good as its anywhere in the North!
17. Singal : Singals are fried semolina spirals (thick jalebi lookalike), it is a soft spongy piece of goodness made with semolina, banana, curd, milk, sugar, and cardamom.
So the omitted number 2/5/7/16/18 in the count above represent the things that I took double helpings of!
Pahadi may be an umbrella term that covers the entire Himalayan belt, but each of its regions stands out for its unique food culture, the simplicity and earthy robust flavours being the one common trait.
Much of the Kumaoni cuisine is elemental and undiplomatically blunt, as is seen in the local love for bhang seeds, which punctuate this flavor rich food with their bracing acidity....
or the use of indigenous spices like Jakhiya (slightly pungent) which is often used in temperings and Gandhernj which is used in place of asafoetida etc.
What I noticed and enjoyed particularly was the
quality of this cuisine.
As diners become more discerning, its time this food gets rid of the element of the Underdog and has its moment in the spotlight
I for one, am sold out on this!
Conclusion: A sublime experience
We had a great offsite of bajaj capital's finance team. Food,drinks, DJ, live music show, exclusive folk dance show, conferance hall arrangements for training, all were flawless And superbly arranged along with clean and hygienic stay arrangements.
All of My colleagues appreciated and had great time.
Despite warnings that Nainital is a bad time to visit during Monsoons, my stay in Shervani was nothing short of amazing. The resort was tucked away neatly at a hilltop, the view from which was fresh and breathtaking. The colonial charm of this place reminded me of my own hometown in the hills. The staff put us to ease immediately with their warm smiles and sunny disposition. I had spoken to Ahsan (he is the proprietor of the resort) a couple of times over the phone already, a thorough gentleman to say the least. Therefore, it came as no surprise that his staff had impeccable manners too. Everything was clean, uptodate and top notch. I don't think I have ever spent more time inside any hotel/resort/homestay than I did here. And given a chance, I'd do it again. While you are there, make sure you click a lot of pictures for the gram. They're so gonna be worth it.
This property is one of a kind when it comes to service , room conditions, amenities, location , cleanliness and definitely FOOD.
All these categories excelled our expectations.Mr. Pushkar was phenomenal .The entire team made it a point to churn out the best for us 3 ladies to pack away home a memorable trip .
Thank you so much .