FThe smell of piping hot samosas or the smokiness of mouth-watering kebabs - these are the aromas that waft through the air when you visit the neighbourhood of Old Delhi. The historically significant by-lanes of Old Delhi are known to house several culinary secrets.
Edesia, a multi-cuisine restaurant at Crowne Plaza, Okhla, has recreated the ultimate Purani Dilli culinary experience at the 12th edition of its signature food festival 'Dilli 6'.
On the occasion of Women’s Day which is celebrated on March 8, the festival seeks to honour the lives of popular female figures from the royal Mughal era. "This year ‘Dilli-6’ is women-centric because Women’s Day is coming up. When you come here for 'Dilli-6', you will find all the elements of Chandni Chowk and Purani Dilli. Whatever you find there, you’ll easily find it here as well," shared Shuvendu Banerjee, General Manager, Crowne Plaza, Okhla.
An ode to women
Themed Noor-e-Khawateen (radiance of womankind), this year's festival is centred on powerful women of the Mughal Era - Begum Nur Jahan, Princess Jahanara, and Razia Sultana. As we stepped into the grandly decorated venue on Friday, we experienced a certain sense of nostalgia. A strong vibe of Old Delhi has been recreated with a touch of history through several ornaments and motifs.
The venue has been decorated though keeping in mind these feminist figures so as to offer the guests a chance to step back in time and indulge in a royal dining experience. One will also find boards filled with stories of these daring women who challenged the norm back in their time.
The Jahanara lounge offers an option to dine in an intimate setting, while the Mughal Sena Shivir and Nur Jahan’s Instagram wall serve as a paradise for all social media aficionados. Guests will also get a chance to interact with an in-house Panditji [astrologer].
A lavish menu
The food festival offers a confluence of gastronomic delights that will help you unravel the culinary glory of Old Delhi. We were pleased at the chaat counter where every dish reminded us of the authentic Purani Dilli flavours. Non-vegetarians have a range of delicacies to feast on such as Kebab, Mutton Korma, Nihari. There’s also a space at the venue, which pays homage to the famous 'Paranthe Wali Gali'.
The Daleem Biryani is a special attraction here. "Daleem is a Mughlai dish. It is made and takes over four-five hours for preparation. People prefer it during winters since it is a very heavy dish," explains Salman Qureshi from Mughlai Invitation Restaurant, Jama Masjid, who has been serving at this Festival. We met Koushik Madduru (21) at the venue who praised the Biryani he tried here, "I've never eaten something like this before. I really liked it."
We strongly recommend the desserts. From contemporary varieties such as Tiramisu and Blueberry cake to classic sweets such as Karachi Halwa, Habshi Halwa, Phirni, Jalebis, this range will keep you craving for more.
Corrina Simpson (47), a guest at the hotel from Fiji, who we met at the festival, shared, "We thoroughly enjoyed the meal. The vibe is great. The desserts are the best; I have never seen such a variety." We concluded this royal experience by indulging in the quintessential Dilli-6 paan.