Kunwar Hemendra Singh Chundawat | Photo Credit: Prabalika M Bora
As you dine with royalty, you get to hear stories from former royal chefs, their daily purchasing activities and how to best enjoy a meal; The experience gets even better when the food is cooked or served by a member of the royal family. When Kunwar Hemendra Singh Chundawat of Bhaisrodgarh, located between the Chambal and Bamni rivers in Rajasthan, invited me to lunch at Aish Park, I had to ask him about the famous. red mass from the area. He is in Hyderabad as part of Rajwadi Taste of The Park, an initiative to highlight various royal chefs of India in Aceh.
Was Hemendra’s family annoyed by his interest in the kitchen? , “I made my first cup of tea when I was eight and I made my first mutton curry when I was 11. Of course, I was initially discouraged by my parents’ assistants who said, “This Not the work of a prince. , Because I was a prince. My repeated requests to ‘teach me this’ and ‘tell me that’ were not ignored. I think at first I was fascinated by the preparation of spices, sorting and washing of vegetables etc. I would insist on trying to do all of that. As I grew up, I’d follow my mother around in the kitchen and watch her splash (tempering), frying and real cooking.
He learned to make tea at his cousin’s farmhouse during summer vacations: “I prepared tea for my cousin’s employees at the farmhouse and they gave me ‘pass’ status.”
Hemendra is proud of the food from his region, but he can tweak recipes when needed, not just to follow trends. “Some foods don’t require fresh presentation or treatment. However, I’m not a stickler for stamped ingredients. As a traveling chef for food fests, it’s not always possible to carry ingredients, especially if Be it a long journey. If I like some ingredients/spices from a region, I’ll experiment to see if it goes well with my particular cuisine.
Rajwadi Thali by Hemendra Singh | photo credit: special arrangement
their signature dishes are Hara Maas, Dal Birwal, Chakki Ke Sule and famous Himmat Singh Ran, “The cuisine of Mewar is usually simple, rustic yet flavourful and relies mainly on seasonal fresh vegetables, fruits and meat. It differs from the rest of Rajasthan in its food habits. Dal Bidwal It is from my cousin’s house in Madhya Pradesh, which I learned to make much later. ,
Dal Bidwal fine paste of Toor lentil (Arhar), tempered with spices and ghee and served with a variety of bread Bafla, Thochede And bejar. Bafala (like dal-baati ki baati) and thochde are made from wheat and ghee and bejars are made from a mixture of wheat, High tide And barley, They all contain some amount of ghee and are hard as opposed to soft Phulka Or Paratha, Since these rotis are baked, they are hard.
Hemendra is shocked when the food arrives on the table: there is no dish red month, He says. , Red was a term used to identify a type of meat gravy. it is white (white) as it is prepared from curd, nuts etc. or Red Due to the use of (red) whole red chilies. I have logic for my argument. Mathania Mirchi, the so-called secret ingredient used to make red mass, is not easily available in large quantities. I know because a very popular, reliable seed dealer in Rajasthan told me that the Matania chilli variety is barely available in the market. Also, Vasco da Gama came to India with this pepper in the late 1400s, so before that, our ancestors were probably eating Pepper Mass,
Although Hemendra says that experimenting with food is a good thing, he is not in favor of misusing the food culture. “I do not believe in talking about authentic recipes or highlighting dishes like Lal Maas, Champaran Mutton for example. Because no two people can make these dishes and taste the same.”
Given that I was dining with ‘royalty’, when I was served a piece of marrow bone, I asked him if it was bad table manners to break bones. He assures me, “I can’t break bones with my teeth and I like to lick my fingers after a meal. Knowing how to enjoy your food isn’t bad table manners.”
Rajwadi Taste Utsav at The Park is open for lunch and dinner till May 21,