Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Tamarind of Mayfair is to launch a series of regional menus to take its guests on a gastronomic adventure through the provinces of India. The journey will depart this June, with a new menu representing an area, city or style of cooking launching on the first of each month until the end of the year. The set menu will be priced at £65 per head, with the option to select wine pairing additionally.
The first stop will be the taste of Punjab (which has a rich tradition of Tandoor cooking) menu, available from 1 June. Tamarind will be offering diners traditional Punjabi dishes such as Lamb shami kabab (originating in the royal kitchens of the Moghul Empire, it is tradition to serve this dish to visiting guests), Makai saag (spinach with corn kernels), and Macchi Tikki (fish tikka, a dish favoured in Amritsari).
Travelling on throughout the summer, special menus from Rajasthan, Kashmir and Delhi will be offered in July, August and September respectively. These will include local specialities such as Laal mass (a hot rich mutton curry from Rajasthan), Khatte Baingan (a side dish of golden fried aubergines laced with thick, spicy and tangy gravy, traditionally served at Kashmir feasts and ceremonies) and Butter chicken – a dish originally created in the 1950s at Moti Mahal Restaurant, a Delhi institution.
For November, Tamarind will venture north to offer an Awadhi menu: the Northern Indian cuisine is traditionally influenced by the Middle-East, and is the cuisine which sister restaurant, Zaika of Kensington, specialises in. A typical Awadhi recipe is Nihari, a beef or lamb with bone marrow stew traditionally cooked for six to eight hours.
Hyderabad is the penultimate area of discovery, with local specialities such as Biryani and Maghaz masala – Maghaz meaning ‘brain’ and masala meaning ‘spice’, this is a famous lamb dish from Hyderabad. The journey of flavour reaches its final destination with a menu from Mumbai, India’s bustling metropolis famed for its street food culture. This menu will feature Bhel puri, the most commonly sold chaat (snack) on the streets of Mumbai.
“Every bhel walla (snack shop) will have its own matchless blend and a considerable 7pm fan following,” explains Peter Joseph, head chef of Tamarind. “While the ingredients – puffed rice, papadi (small crisp deep fried flour puris), sev, onions, potatoes, raw mango and sweet and sour chutney – remain the same, it is the proportions in which they are thrown together on the street side that makes the difference.”
Tamarind of Mayfair has devised the Indian Journey series to reflect and embrace the vast wealth of flavours, ingredients and techniques employed in cuisines across India.