Sans onion and garlic, the Banaras bhog, specially prepared for Navratri, is worth a shot
That time of the year has arrived when Delhiites endeavour to become pure -- we don't know how much in their thoughts and intentions but their plates certainly reflect a love for purity. So the chickens and muttons are banished. So are the poor onions and garlic. Meat shops are closed and kiranas refuse to sell you eggs. That's when I know Navratri is here.
And since the entire city goes vegetarian with a vengeance (PETA would be quite happy), poor carnivores like me are left with no choice but to reach out and try some 'sattvik khana'. So it was with utmost trepidation that I headed to ITC Maurya to try out Benarasi bhog -- their special offering for Navratri.
The dishes are a part of their buffet menu that has a host of other items as well. There are chaats and aampannas, chaach and the usual beverages for your parched throats. The menu is simple and fuss-free, and the kind of food you would generally find in Benaras. The food has been cooked using homemade masalas and cooked in mustard oil and desi ghee to bring out all the flavours.
I tried some Subz ki tehri (with all veggies cooked along with the rice in a sealed vessel with whole spices) along with some timid Vrath ke aloo and Palak anjeer aur chironzi ke koftey (filling), Paneer badoomi (yummy and cooked in almond gravy) and Bhindi ki curry which was nicely cooked. The food is non-spicy, keeping the devotees in mind. So ditch the kitchen at home and head here for rest of Navratri.