December 1, 2018
We hope all is well with you and your loved ones, and that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Business at Ajanta was quite good in November. We look forward to a busy December. As usual, we will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25, but will stay open on New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2019.
As you are shopping for Christmas gifts for your family and friends, remember that Ajanta gift certificates, the Ajanta cookbook, and Shanti’s Spice Box make wonderful gifts. All of these items can be purchased over the phone or in person during our normal business hours (11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm, closed on Wednesdays). The cookbook and spice box are also available on Amazon.com. Also, if you become very busy during the holiday season, please remember that Ajanta food can be ordered for home delivery through www.trycaviar.com, or www.ubereats.com.
All the new dishes introduced last month were very well received. Methi Machi became an instant hit followed by Lobhia Aur Khumbi and Nilgiri Gosht Korma. As usual, we will leave them on the menu at least through the next month for your enjoyment.
Following are the new dishes being introduced for the month of December 2018:
Shrimp Balls: Lachu's favorite! These shrimp balls are made with shrimp, chickpea flour, rice flour, and spices. The balls are fried and served with a dipping sauce. The spices added to the batter include white poppy seeds, ajwain, coriander seeds, cilantro, chile flakes, and turmeric. Each bite of the shrimp balls brings a complex and delicious blend of flavors to your mouth that will leave you wanting more. This dish is from Bengal and is served with our popular yogurt-mint-cilantro sauce.
Udaipuri Murg Masala: This dish bears the name of Udaipur, a major city in Rajasthan, known for its lakes and palaces. The dish shows the Moghlai influence on the local Rajasthani cooking. Its sauce is made rich by adding dairy and nuts. Boneless chicken is sautéed and then simmered in a sauce made with onions, garlic, yogurt, crumbled boiled eggs, cashew paste, green chiles, lemon juice and spices. The spices include coriander, cumin, black pepper, paprika, and garam masala. This is a rich dish with bold flavors, for which Rajasthan is well-known.
Lamb Biriyani: This classic Moghlai dish, served on special occasions in India, is an elaborate dish requiring several steps. Boneless cubed lamb is partially cooked in a thick curry sauce made with onions, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and black pepper. Basmati rice is partially cooked with cinnamon and bay leaves. The rice and lamb are then placed in layers in a steam-tight container and baked for 45 minutes. The container keeps the steam inside, and the steam cooks the contents of the container. This kind of steam cooking, called “dumpukht” in India, results in a texture of rice that is unique to biriyani. The biriyani is served topped with caramelized onions, nuts, and raisins, providing a mélange of flavors and textures in each bite.
Achari Baingan: The season for locally grown globe eggplants has ended. Therefore, we have to discontinue our most popular eggplant dish, Baadal Jaam. This replacement dish made with Chinese eggplants has always been equally popular. The word ‘achari’ refers to the Indian ‘pickling spices’ used in this dish: fenugreek, cumin, nigella, fennel, coriander, chile flakes, and turmeric. Slices of long Chinese eggplant are sautéed and then cooked in a sauce made with pureed tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and the spices mentioned earlier. The dish is finished off by adding some lime juice. This great eggplant dish with a very pleasant, tart sauce is from the state of Rajasthan and is also recommended to be eaten as your palate will permit.
Tofu Saag: Introducing for the first time. We have had a lot of requests from our patrons to include tofu on our menu. Tofu is cooked with pureed organic spinach with spices: cumin, ginger, garlic, and fenugreek. This vegan and healthy choice of a dish will surely please your appetite.
The following dishes will be discontinued to make room for the new dishes:
1. Murg Mumtaz Mahal
2. Nawabi Tarkari Biriyani
3. Baadal Jaam
4. Daal Bahar
It is always a pleasure to see you at Ajanta.