January 1, 2018

Dear Patron:

Greetings. Ajanta would like to wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year. We hope all is well with you and your loved ones.

December was very busy at Ajanta, especially the last two weeks of the month. If some of you experienced slower service than usual, please accept our apologies. Things should go back to normal with the start of the New Year.

We held two New Year’s dinners with wine pairing; New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day; December 31st, and January 1st. We did extremely well on both nights and received many compliments. We would like to thank everyone who made this event a success. We look forward to doing many such events in the near future.

All the new dishes introduced last month were very well received. Galina Shakooti was an instant hit. Andhra Shrimp Curry and Bheh Kofta received compliments as well. As usual, these dishes will be on the menu for additional month(s) for your enjoyment.

Following are the new dishes being introduced for the month of January 2018:

Appetizer:

Crab Croquettes: A slightly different version of our very popular crab cakes, these croquettes are made with a mixture of boiled mashed potatoes, fresh Dungeness crab meat, breadcrumbs, chopped dill and spices, including dried pomegranate seeds, chile flakes, and black cumin. Coated with breadcrumbs, the fried croquettes are served with a yogurt-mint-cilantro sauce.

Entrées:

Marzwangan Korma: This is an exceptional and unique lamb dish from Kashmir, in Northern India, where it is served on special occasions like weddings and graduations.  The dish is made by simmering cubed leg of lamb in a special red colored sauce that does not taste anything like curry. In Kashmir, the sauce is made with a special type of pepper known as "Deghi Mirch" which makes the sauce very hot. Deghi chilies are not available in this country, but we have been able to create a sauce similar to the original using pureed bell peppers, paprika, and red chile peppers. The sauce is flavored with ginger, turmeric, fennel powder, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Cubed boneless leg of lamb is cooked in this sauce until tender and the dish is finished by adding tamarind and cream. Try out this dish on your next visit to Ajanta to find out what makes it so special.

Chicken Biriyani: Most of you know that we feature only one biriyani at a time on our menu, while other Indian restaurants may have three or four biriyanis on their menus. The reason for this is simple: we make our biriyanis using a long, elaborate process.  We hope the extra effort is justified by better tasting biriyanis. Our chicken biriyani is based on a recipe from Hyderabad, located in South India. Boned and skinned organic chicken pieces are partially cooked in a thick curry sauce. Separately, rice is partially cooked using half the amount of water needed for full cooking. The partially cooked rice and chicken are then placed in layers in a steam-tight container and cooked further by baking in an oven. In this cooking technique, the steam generated by the heat is locked into the container and does the cooking, giving the biriyani its unique texture. The dish is served topped with caramelized onions, nuts and raisins. Each morsel brings you a mélange of flavors and textures, making this dish very memorable.

Dal Kabila: This month’s new vegetarian entrée is a lentil dish from the northwest frontier region of India. Among all the lentil dishes served at Ajanta, this is our favorite.  The lentil used in this dish is Urid, which has a creamy, buttery texture. The Urid daal is cooked in a tomato based sauce flavored with fenugreek herb, ginger, lemon juice, cilantro and garam masala (a mixture of toasted ground cardamom, clove and cinnamon). These seasonings give the sauce a sharp, savory flavor that lingers on your palate for some time to come. In India, this dish would be eaten spicy, so order it as hot as your palate will permit. 

The following dishes will be discontinued to make room for the new dishes:

  1. Shrimp Balls
  2. Pudina Gosht
  3. Nawabi Tarkari Biriyani
  4. Baby Squash Medley

It is always a pleasure to see you at Ajanta.

Sincerely,

Lachu Moorjani
Executive Chef                                

Pratik Thapa
General Manager