By Jasleen Marwah
I am a big fan of Indian Mithais, give me a Ras malai over a cheesecake anyday. Needless to say, I was already excited about The Great Indian Halwai Festival being curated by Chef Raghuvendra Singh, the Halwai Specialist at Courtyard by Marriott.
In this time and age when everybody is looking towards the west and aping and re-creating desserts from across the globe, it was so refreshing to meet this humble and polite man who is trying to showcase Indian sweets and keep alive the Halwai culture. A man who started his journey from Kanpur and then moved to a big Halwai shop in Mumbai and finally at Marriott where he found a platform to showcase his talent.
It was perfect weather on a Sunday noon to watch him re-create and then taste the three spectacular dishes, the delectable Jalebi from Rajasthan, The Imarti from Bengal and the famous and as the Chef confessed his and his family’s favorite, Ras Mallai. Kesar lent the perfect colour and fragrance to the jalebis and Imarti. All three of them were nothing like I had tasted before! Just the perfect sweetness.
Chef Raghuvendra is a man of few words but his actions speak louder than words. He had an apt answer to every question, every query asked…. Shared his recipes with pleasure… spoke with great love and respect for Marriott, spoke of his mission of making sure the Indian halwai culture reaches a global platform.
Babita Kanwar, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott, rightly called such ‘behind the scene’ talent as the ‘Unsung Heroes’ of The Marriott and described their aim at bringing forth such talent not only as a sign of encouragement and recognition but also to introduce them to their audience.
We were then escorted to brunch at MoMo Café with their lavish spread featuring live Chaat, Pasta and Pizza counter, enticing salads, an Indian buffet and not to be missed dessert counter featuring Indian and desserts from around the world. Special mention to the amazing chaat, the perfect roast chicken, heavenly bread section and the must have Linzer Tart (austrian torte) and our very own gulab jamuns!!
So make your weekend sweeter and head for their exclusive Sunday Halwai Brunch featuring live counters of Jalebis, Halwa, Samosas, a savory station, a rajashthani, gujarati and kheer counter and the mithai station. Perfect for a wintery Sunday afternoon!