In a round white bone china bowl, rich layers of tender lamb lay incased in a crispy potato mould. Vijay Wanchoo, senior executive VP and GM at The Imperial New Delhi, would do anything to be able to sink his teeth deep into the classic English dish right in that moment. It takes all his restraint to sit patiently and allow his guests for the afternoon to get their share of the delicious meat pie first. The tables are all set to roll out an interesting new promotion at 1911, which celebrates 104 years of Delhi durbar in its promotion called Darbar ki Dawaat. It lays gourmet offerings from the coronation year-1911, of which Shepards Pie is just one of the many offerings.
Recipes of Scotch Egg Broth, Mulligatawny, Mix Lettuce with Cherry Tomatoes, Olives with Lemon, Vol au Vents with Creamy Lentil Stew, Vegetable Polonaise, Pannequets, Plum and Cherry Roasted Free Range Chicken, Bubble and Squeak, Creamy Spinich, Fruit Trifle, Crepe Suzette and more have been dug out from the recipe books of the royal kitchens of 18th and 19th centuries. “Besides these books, the history of many of these lost delicacies are collected from veteran chefs and personal interaction with stalwarts of the industry. Every dish is a meal in itself because even in old times, it used to consist of generous amount of meat and vegetables. In fact, vegetables began to be used only during the late 30s. Before that, it was all meat,” says Wanchoo.
A good part of the credit also goes to Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula, executive sous chef at the hotel. He was instrumental in getting the right spices, ingredients, serving styles of the splendid feast together. One dish that he particularly likes is the trifle that existed around 1650s. Made of alcohol, bread, cream and sugar, it was later modified with fruits and held a significant position in ceremonies, the chef shares with us, adding it was usually kept on the table as a celebratory dish in 1900s and was also the favourite dish of King Edward VII of the UK.
This could be your royal chance to relish feasts from an inspired food menu that brings back a whiff of the coronation era to modern days, but not for too long. The promotion lasts till December 17. The dishes will be on rotation and will be offered during lunch only.