Jaipur is a smorgasbord of culture, colour, and chaos. A city that sits on a threshold of a vibrant, historic past and an emerging future. Jaipur is where I decided to take a whirlwind 48 hour getaway and immerse myself head first into the land of palaces, shop for local artisanal crafts, and gorge on some delicious traditional fare. And most importantly decided to spend some quality time with myself.
My previous Rajasthan holiday took place roughly fifteen years ago, though some memories still remained etched in my mind. A wobbly camel ride in the heat. Spotting peacocks on the drive upto Jaigarh Fort. Biting into a crunchy, flaky kachori and then wiping my hands on my mother’s dupatta later. Looking up at the regal, ancient forts in amazement, wondering how they managed to build such structures back then. Fifteen years down the line, I experienced a strong sense of déjà vu throughout the trip. Some things never really change, do they?
For some reason a lot of us, including me, tend to look at Indian cuisine as the last resort when considering options for a fine dine meal. Pan Asian – yes! Italian – yes! But some how traditional Mughlai and Awadhi cuisine is never really considered ‘fine dine’ material. But in the last few years a pleasant change of sorts is visible. Regional Indian cuisine has started receiving the due it deserves. Indian cuisine has become ‘cool’ again with the integration of modern cooking techniques with age-old recipes as well as futuristic plating.
And then there are restaurants like Kangan at the Westin Mumbai Garden City, Goregaon that stay true to the desi roots by bringing us dishes that are rich and exquisite – a meal fit for royalty! All of this at a stunning venue – a restaurant perched atop the 18th floor with a beautiful view of the city by night. And a meal put together by a maestro with tons of experience and expertise in the area of Mughlai and Awadhi cuisine – Chef Angad Rai. If these aren’t the ingredients for a perfect meal, then I don’t know what is!