Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Event: Rajdoot's 50th Birthday in Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

Can you believe that Rajdoot is 50? It's extraordinary to think that celebrities including The Beatles and Princess Margaret have dined at one of Birmingham's oldest Indian restaurants.

Today, Rajdoot sits on the corner of George Street, proudly facing outwards towards the city centre. Serving traditional North Indian cuisine, Rajdoot is family run and always has been since opening in 1967.

Last week, I was invited to celebrate this special occasion with loyal customers and friends of Rajdoot.

Greeted with prosecco and smoked masala nuts, we mingled at the bar whilst listening to the sounds of the sitar and tabla. Creating a heady atmosphere, we were seated at our tables ready for the seven course banquet.

We dined on Papri Chaat, crisp fried dough wafers topped with chickpeas, potatoes, yoghurt and tamarind chutney.

Next up was Dal Puri, fried puffed bread which is pierced and filled with green lentils, potato, tamarind and mint chutney.

Onto some seafood, we dined on Tandoori Prawn Lollipop, marinated in ground spice and and a tomato chutney glaze. This was cooked in a tandoori oven and had a great crisp texture to the exterior. The same could be said of the Paneer and Pepper Kebab that came next, homemade paneer coated in ground spices drizzled in a balsamic vinegar glaze.

Our first main was Rajdoot Butter Chicken. Rather than being served in pieces in a butter chicken sauce, our chicken came out as a quarter chicken, on the bone, marinated in butter, yoghurt and fresh tomato gravy, finished off with Rajdoot's own home roasted spices and garnished with fresh cream. There was no doubting the portion size of this and it was substantial in itself.

However, there was still a traditional Rajdoot 1966 Thali to be served. A mixed spread of Lamb Rogan Josh, Daal Makhani, Stuffed Baby Aubergine and pilau rice with peas, the hgihlight for me was the stuffed baby aubergine. The Lamb Rogan Josh was packed with the kind of flavour that only comes from a substantial amount of time spent in marinating and slow cooking.

Finally, we finished off with a sweet treat, a trio of desserts including Gajrella, Gulab Jamam and Kulfi.

As well as some emotional speeches and a few words from our European MEP, Neena Gill, there was also a raffle with money raised going to Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Thank you for a great evening Rajdoot!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Food Review: Brunch Menu Launch at Mughli, Selfridges Birmingham

Happy New Year! Welcome to my first post of 2017. First up is a peek at the brand new Brunch menu launching at Mughli Market in Selfridges, Birmingham.

What does an Indian style brunch entail, you may ask? At Mughli market, the new weekend brunch menu includes classics such as French Toast and Omelettes with an Indian twist, alongside more traditional Indian dishes such as Keema Pau and Mango Lassi.

Serving up mughlai cuisine from the northern regions of India and Pakistan, the brunch menu covers the expected (tea, coffee and capuccino), the luxurious (mimosa) and even the unexpected (thums up indian cola).

Food wise, there's plenty to choose from. Feeling virtuous? There's lashing of thick, creamy yoghurt served with fresh fruit fingers and a passionfruit coulis on the menu. Delicious and healthy, this is a great choice if you're starting off the year on a healthy high.

Hungry for something with a kick? Try the Keema Pau, a hot hit of lamb keema served with or without a fried egg on a fresh bun. Filled to the brim, this is a great options for the hungry diner, and the egg is a great, cooling addition.

The French Toast is served sprinkled with icing sugar alongside a delicious serving of apricot jam, whilst the Chilli Cheese Toast is spicy but sweet thanks to the hidden layer of chilli jam hidden beneath the melted cheese.

Another option for anyone with an appetite is the Keralan Roll. Chunks of light and crispy fried chicken drizzled with raita on a toasted bun, served with or without a fried egg, make this an acceptable fried chicken brunch choice.

Whilst you're there, there's no excuse not to treat yourself to a Mimosa or Mango Lassi to complete the experience.

If you're heading into the city with friends, I'd suggest ordering a few dishes and sharing to make it a real experience.

Brunch in Birmingham with a twist? Mughli has it covered.