As I had been to other Rajasthani restaurants, I did not expect to be blown over by the rich textures or the beauty around me. But I was, and could see that a lot of care and thought, had gone behind everything here. Right from the floor to the ceiling…No seriously! I am not joking. The ceiling is covered with beautiful paintings reflecting the richness of Rajasthani art and the flooring again reflects the traditional feel of the space.
The lady who is the quiet force behind this venture is Ms. Vishakha Goenka. She was earlier with St. John’s Medical College Hospital as a nutritionist and has now taken over the reins of ‘Kesariya’ from her brother, Mr. Siddharth Goenka who conceptualized this space. Her experience as a nutritionist, adds a healthy dimension to these traditional dishes from the Shekhawathi region in Rajasthan. For example, in the ‘Dal Baati Churma’, my favourite in Rajasthani cuisine, the ‘Baati’ is sometimes baked depending on its variation. The fresh ingredients, the recipes passed on from centuries, find their rightful place here, on the lovely silverware amidst pillars( restored from havelis), jharokas and miniature paintings sourced from Rajasthan.
Right from the brass handwash offered at our seats, the attentive service, the wonderful ambience with melodious Rajasthani folk songs, the silverware in which we are served to the course by course scrumptious meal….ummm..I felt like a queen.
The pure vegetarian restaurant includes special recipes which reflect the subtle nuances in the Shekhawati cuisine. Sangar or ‘sangri ki sazi with kair‘, is one such speciality of the region. As I was curious to see the raw form, they got me the dry sangar. These special ingredients are sourced from Rajasthan. You can read more about this special ingredient and its significance in Rajasthan here.
When we taste a new cuisine, it is not just a meal, but we also get to experience the culture of the place, its vibes and all that is special to the community. The restored pillars, archways, all of these spell a special connection to Rajasthan and the havelis in Shekhawat. You may well forget that you are in Bangalore and not Rajasthan.
The hospitality is again a differentiating factor. I loved the experience and felt very welcome. In spite of running a full house, not even for a moment did I feel neglected. As some of the items on the menu were new to me, the staff was happy was explain the significance. The ‘Imlana’ is a tangy refreshing drink made of tamarind pulp and helps digestion. ‘Raabdi’ is again a drink made from bajra, which can be had either hot or cold. Vishakha tells me that ‘Raabdi’ forms part of the staple diet in Rajasthan, owing to the heat. The extensive use of lentils again helps cool down the body. ‘Mongodi ki kadhi’ was again something new and I just loved it. This is gram flour cooked in curd. Totally yum…
With ‘Phulka’, ‘Mooli ka Paratha’ and ‘Sada poori’ I had a wide variety of curries to choose from. ‘Chana Jasalmeir’, ‘Sangar ki sanzi’, ‘Gobi matar’ and ‘Dhuli hari moongdal’. This was followed by Rice, ‘Ram Kheechdi’ and ‘Chole ka pulav’. My hubby always tells me that I am wasted on a buffet spread. So true! I truly felt it in ‘Kesariya’. Everything before me was so tasty, I would have loved a second helping. Alas! I can have only that much……too bad.
And how can I not tell you about the DESSERTS!!?? I had Malai Sandwich, Petha halwa(made of bottle gourd), mini Jamoon Rabdi and Pista Badam Kulfi. And the chef Mr. Manohar ( the Maharaj), tells me they have a live dessert counter on Saturdays and Sundays. And that includes paneer, apple and pineapple jalebi, Ghevar with rabri and Tawa taka tak. Ummm…my mouth is watering. I guess I will have to visit on a weekend to taste all of these. I have such a sweet tooth!! I guess that makes me a sweet person(haha).
As I wind up, raving about the mini jamoon rabdi, Vishakha has some packed for me…wow. How sweet is that! Vishakha signs off saying that ‘Kesariya’ is their intention to preserve and showcase their culture from the Shekhawati region. And it is definitely beautifully showcased. If you have not visited yet, do check it out.
Use #NammaMetro, It is 5 minutes away from the J P Nagar metro station on Outer ring road.
Lots of Twinkles to you. Have a great weekend.
PS- Please note that this is not a sponsored post. The views are all my own and genuine. Also I have got two super nutritious recipes from the Maharaj, Mr. Manohar. I will post it in a day or so, after I try it myself. So keep checking.