Punekars, we’re always looking for new and innovative food in the city and, lo and behold, here’s something that takes dish innovation to a whole new level.
I heard a new buzz about a Fusion Food Festival from June 16 until June 30 at Café 1730. I simply had to try out some of the dishes they’re planning to introduce especially for this festival!
The lovely and amazingly talented Executive Chef, Melba Sebastian, masterminded the Fusion Food Fest menu. She’s been with the restaurant for a good 2½ years. Originating from South Goa (psst, now you know why this place serves the most authentic Goan food), Melba is an alumnus of Le Cordon Bleu, Bangkok, having specialized in French Cuisine as well as Pastries.
She spent a good two hours preparing dishes for me to try, while patiently explaining the idea behind each fusion concoction and its inspiration. Here goes, people:
Dal Khichadi & Chutney Arancini
Just like what Italians do with Arancini using Risotto, but with a superb desi twist- deep fried balls stuffed with Khichadi and some masala peanut chutney, served with lip-smacking Mango chutney. DELISH!
Crispy Makai & Cheese Skewers
These are basically corn and cheese cutlets but on skewer sticks, served with tangy aachar chutney. I’ve always said, “Cheese is the glue that’s holding my life together”. These skewers just proved it.
Misal with Nanza
#PuneFoodies, you’re going to LOVE this one. Imagine your favourite Misal Pav, but with such an unusual twist that you simply cannot help but try it.
This one’s a soft patty made with your regular Misal ingredients, resting on the softest of Nanza (made in-house), served with mango and onion-tomato chutneys. Us Punekars need to adopt this invention for good. Please.
Aloo Khasta Kachori
Tiny bits of mushroom evenly mixed with extra cheesy cream, encased full Punjabi Kachori style and deep-fried to gorgeous perfection. My biggest question was answered when Melba said the potato is mixed in the covering.
Now on to the most important aspect of this dish- people, it is served with the most delightful Red Chilli Thecha I have ever tasted. The delight comes from a teeny-tiny bit of mayo mixed into the Thecha to take away that spicy sting.
Mixed Seafood Moilee Spaghetti
A specialty to the beloved Kerala cuisine, Seafood Moilee is a curry made with King Fish, Basa Fish and Prawns. What’s so fusion about it, you ask? This one’s served on a bed of perfectly cooked Spaghetti, garnished with curry leaves and red-hot chillis. Dear Lord of Flavourful Foods, something’s been done right by your beliefs, right here.
Mango & Rabri Tart
I personally find Rabri extremely heavy to digest. So when Melba said she’s actually lightened it by adding some whipped cream to it, I almost hugged her. Spiral some freshly bought, beautifully ripened mangoes into the mixture, and you’re in dessert heaven. Whatte blend!
Dear Pune, do remember, this fusion food fest is only going to grace our bellies from June 16 up until June 30. Must. Not. Miss. And when you do try it, let me know by using the hashtag #MissPunekar in your posts and pictures and I’ll make sure to share it on #ThePunekar 🙂