Food & Agri

Royal Delhi Durbar meal recreates Coronation era delicacies

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2015,11:20 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | To commemorate the 104th year of the Imperial Delhi Durbar, when the British capital officially moved from Calcutta to Delhi, classic cuisines of the colonial era has been recreated in a food fiesta here.

Delhi Darbar ki Daawat puts together a selection of the lavish food of the coronation banquet laid out for the royal ceremony of the year 1911 when King Georg V and the Queen Mary travelled to New Delhi to be crowned as the Emperor and Empress.

The venue of the feast is the restaurant named 1911 of the majestic hotel Imperial here. Executive chief sous of the hotel Prem Kumar Pogakula along with Vijay Wanchoo, senior executive VP and GM Vijay Wanchoo did some serious digging into the menus of yore to recreate a part of the dishes that the royals feasted on.

This December we celebrate the era frozen in time with inspired cuisine of the coronation, says Wanchoo pointing out that drawings capturing the original Delhi Durbar in the restaurant is the high point for food enthusiasts.

Chef Pogakula dug into the past chapters to come up with the menu which features among other delicacies the Trifle that existed in the old British era around 1650s and was intrinsic part of an English menu which had earlier only alcohol, bread, cream and sugar.

Later it was modified with fruits and usually kept on the table it held a significant position in ceremonies and denoted celebration like cakes.

We did a lot of research to get the menu because for most of the dishes that time there was no written recipes available we had to piece together what we heard.

The expertise of the royal kitchens, the spices, ingredients, serving style of the grand feast of the coronation and many more minute details had to researched, says Pogakula.

Featured in the menu is the Shepherd’s pie or the cottage pie, one of the most famous Irish specialties of the late 19th century and a staple at every feast.

Pogakula has forked out a Rhubarb pie also called Turkish rhubarb, which is derived from the plant rhubarb and has many medicinal qualities.It was the most famous pie in the royal kitchens in the 20th century.

Among the deserts is Crepe Suzette, a flambeed dessert that prevailed in 1900s and was said to be the favourite dish of King Edward VII. Scotch eggs served stuffed with meat served with barley and lamb broth, mulligatawny an original Sri Lankan recipe with lentils, curry powder, black pepper and coconut are among the other dishes in the spread.

The food event is on till December 17 at the hotel, which, says Wanchoo, played host to some celebrated encounters between the British and the Indian aristocracy and gentry.