Gastronomes never shy away from experimenting with their food palate and thus it's imperative that you step out and try authentic Colombian food, prepared by Colombian chefs and don't miss the corn envuelto, a much loved snack back in Colombia.
Help yourself to some lamb carimañola, river sole fish grilled in banana leaves with avocado salad and more at the The Colombian Food Festival, a week-long affair with Colombian delicacies at The Taj Mahal Hotel's Machan till June 2.
Here at a tasting session, Master Chef Alejandro Gutierrez and Juan Manuel Ortiz, who had just flown in straight from Colombia, served a few dishes that they believe are among the best, being served at the food fest.
Served as a snack or a starter, lamb carimañola -- lamb croquettes, with suero costeno (cream cheese ) and panela chili -- was a pleasant surprise. Some Bengalis would even associate it a little with the good old Mangsher chop, which contains finely minced mutton.
The carimañola tasted best with the panela chili, which is a bit tangy, to break away from the slight fried taste of the dish.
The corn envuelto was loved by all, as it was a paste of corn kernels, served on a corn leaf with paipa cheese crumble and pickled cubios.
However, if you do not like corn, it's best to stay away from it as the overwhelming taste of corn which leaves a sweet note on your tongue may not be of your liking. If you want to take the risk, end the dish with the pickled cubios, which works like a palate cleanser.
What won my heart was the river sole fish grilled in a banana leaf with avocado salad, fariña and rice encocado on the side.
Perfectly cooked, very filling and the slight taste of the grilled spices tasted even better when had with the rice mixed with spices and coconut milk.
Th food fest by the hotel is in association with the Embassy of Colombia.
"Colombia is yet to be discovered in India. This gastronomy aspect is one of the ways to discover it; an element and a component of a very diverse and rich culture like Indian culture itself is," Colombian Ambassador Clemencia Forero Ucrós told IANS.
The team of the Colombian chefs, Gutierrez and Ortiz, will be creating the magic with the hotel's team of culinary experts led by Executive Chef Arun Sundararaj.
Some of the other scrumptious delicacies that will be there in the buffet lunch include patacones with hogao and chorizo, prawn ceviche, cuajada fresh cheese and some indulgent desserts such as mango, café and chocolate (spiced mango sorbet served with syrup, coffee and chocolate shavings).
This is a must try as it consists of pure Colombian coffee with a hint of peanuts, perfectly balanced with crumbs of chocolate.
The festival will end on June 2.
* Where: Machan, The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, Number One, Mansingh Road
* Timings: 12.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. (lunch), 7.30 p.m. to 11 p.m. (dinner)
* Price: Monday to Friday Rs 2,100 plus taxes; Saturday and Sunday Rs 2,600 plus taxes;
Chef's special dinner menu: Rs 2,400 plus taxes
(Kishori Sud was at Machan at its invitation. She can be contacted at email@example.com)