BENGALURU: Good food, music and dance – what more can one ask for especially on a Monday night, after a long work day? Ready to eat with both hands, we head to Kesariya in JP Nagar, a good 45-minute drive from CBD. The thali arrives without any delay and we’re asked whether we’d like to watch Ghoomar artistes who dance to the soulful tunes of Manganiyars of Rajasthan before or after the meal. We follow the pehle bhojan pher bhajan policy and we go ahead with the meal that showcases the flavours of the desert region, including the quintessential Dal Bhati Churma and offbeat delicacies like Gatta Makai Pulao, all of which are served on a silver platter.
A chilled Sandal-infused water drink (Chandan Sharbat) wins us over. We choose to go in for the ‘main course’ directly, giving the salads (Kachumbar) and papad served with green chutney, Kachari chutney and achar a skip. The classic Dal Bhati Choorma arrives, which, with the right tones of ghee and choorma, hit the right spot. Being chaat lovers, we devour the Chatpati Tiki Chole Chaat that is served next.
The katoris that line our oval plate are filled with Bajra ki kheedchdi, Hariyali Dal, Boondi kadhi, Bhindi Masala go well with the phulka and puri, which are better options over the Pyaz ki Kachori, Maki Palak Ki Tikki, Paneer Pakoda. While there are several sweets to indulge in, we pick the Moong Dal Halwa over the Mini Jamun Rabdi, and we know we’ve made the right choice. We might just go back for that!
Post dinner, we watch a Ghoomar performance in a space next to the restaurant. The musicians and dancers bring the magic of the desert state’s folk art alive. Ghoomar, a traditional folk dance form from the state of Rajasthan is performed by women in colourful ghagras, cholis and dupattas. Derived from the Hindi word ghoomna, Ghoomar dancers swirl together in a graceful tempo matching the tunes of the singers.
The whirling effect from the Ghagra and the synchronized movements of the dancers is a delight to watch. The Deen Mohammad troupe from Rajasthan is one among the well-known Manganiyar troupes from the desert land. While the Manganiyars take the stage with white dhotis and colourful turbans, the ghoomar dancers with their heavily embroidered ghagra will twirl and sway to the full throated voices of manganiyars.