The spotlight is on the inherent uniqueness and time-honoured cooking techniques of dungaar, the art of smoking and slow-cooking; aromatics of “baghar”, spices tempered in hot oil; and sigdi, cooking over an open fire; and the practice of pounding masalas with a sil-batta, pestle, and mortar.
Loya means to gather for a feast, and a feast it is. Elements from the snow-capped peaks of Kashmir, to secret ingredients from Himachali cuisine, to the robust flavours of the terrains of Punjab, are curated into a menu that revives lost culinary traditions. Four years research has culminated into a menu featuring cherished and long-preserved authentic recipes made with heirloom ingredients.
The vast menu offers appetizers or ‘Pella Swaad’ featuring Timbri Jhinga (prawns cooked in shrub seed marinade with pahadi bhang jeera chutney), Chapli Parantha a minced mutton kebab with flaked parantha and cucumber slaw, and Ghost Chilli Murk Tikka with Bhut Jolokiaa smoked carrot and coconut puree amongst others like Dumba Kahai, and Masaledar Pork Ribs.
Chef Rajesh Wadhwa and chef Gagan Sikka serve up delicacies for Mains or ‘Saanjha Swaad’ as they prefer to call it, with the restaurant’s Loya Mutton , a slow cooked mutton in yogurt gravy infused with mustard oil, the Raan-E-Jirga with ole chokha, dal dip and an Attari Murg which is a creamy tomato chicken curry with fenugreek and giner.
There are also plenty of options for vegetarians who can start with Kachori Chaat, crisp kachoris with dried vatana, anardana and chutney, Paneer Teen Mirch with crushed kali mirch and fresh achari red and green chillies, Bharwan Kulche with a fresh dash of haldi-mooli kus. For mains pair the Gucchi Kala Moti Palao with Dal Khakiya featuring pahadi jhakiya seed a Multani Gobhi served with coriancder imulsion.
If the food isn’t enough to get you there the decor and atmosphere certainly will. Clay pots, iron kadhais and other cooking utensils are visible through the open kitchen. The bar is welcoming and tempts you with an array premium spirits infused with essential Pahadi ingredients to create delicious cocktails. The theme of the five rivers running through Punjab, Sind and Himachal create the canvas the Paanch elements that feature in the cocktail menu.
Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, of IHCL, said, “IHCL, with its rich culinary history for over a century, has always been renowned for pioneering global and regional cuisines and concepts. With the addition of Loya, IHCL strengthens its food and beverage portfolio of over 400 restaurants and bars. As the first Loya launches in the food capital of the country, the brand will soon travel to Mumbai, Bengaluru, and other cities in India and overseas.”
Loya offers the warmth and comfort of the past intersecting with the energy of today.
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