Pay no attention to the whispering campaigns & the lesser-known cuisine in this part, doesn’t give the clear pic. of the Awadh cuisine. The Bawarchis of the Nawab’s Royal Kitchen took real effort in formulating the menus and recipes. We must understand the nomenclature of the Awadhi chefs, who used to serve the Nawabs of Lucknow.
As we go in detail History gives a glimpse of this cuisine and culture, where the Persian Influence is vividly shown.
Awadhi cuisine, although similar to Mughlai cuisine, differentiates on the methodology of cooking. Its uniqueness comes from the slow preparation and layering of flavor in dishes. Where Mughal dishes are rich in fats due to excessive use of milk, cream, and spices, Awadhi food is more subtle with just handful of spices.
A meticulously laid-out ceremonial spread of food. The Nawabs of Awadh were renowned for their extravagance and their patronage of the best craftsmen. Of all the arts that flourished then, cooking was considered one of the finest, and its practitioners were among the most sought after. Famous for its nafaasat (refinement) and nazaakat (delicateness), Awadhi cuisine blends spices over a slow fire to achieve seasonal harmony with nature.
Each chef had his own secret recipe which he used to impress the Nawab and gain favors. They neither shared the recipe with anyone nor pass it down to their descendants. Hence, many Recipes died with them.
Due to their intricacies and the whim of the Nawab, many chefs or Bawarchis were given honors and titles as reward. and they were regarded to be the Prime cooks .
Mme. Sangeetha Banerjee and Bhatnagarji have done researches on Awadhi Cuisine and have written books on this cuisine and which is regarded very authentic. they have managed to pick authentic recipes. I express a million compliments to both.
We plan to begin with the Kebabs and assortment of Indian Breads.
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Chef Nandakumar Menon or ‘Chef Nandu as he is known evolved into the Super Chef series. He was at the CASINO HOTEL in Kochi and later at the remarkable COCONUT LAGOON in Kumarakom. Both iconic Hotels and restaurants of repute for the quality and consistency of food offered at their restaurants. Coconut Lagoon where Chef Nandu headed the kitchen moulded him to cater to international clientele from all over the world coming in to experience the magic of the backwaters of Kerala and Kerala itself as a unique destination.
From his early Catering Technology days at Adayar, Chennai and training at the famed TAJ MAHAL INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, Mumbai, Chef Nandu was back again at the Welcome Group’s ADAYAR PARK INN, Chennai.
Later he headed the setting up of the various F&B outlets of the ABAD PLAZA group, Kochi as its Corporate Chef.
And then with the Quilon Beach hotels, Chef Nandu created a redefined art of culinary expertise. His clientele were Doctors, Cashew businessmen and of course celebrities from the tinsel world, the cloyed connoisseurs had a different feel with his nouvelle cuisine.
He still loves to cook and share his valuable experience of the world of food with The Daily Brunch and its readers in our series on SUPER CHEFS.