These are the three basic emotions someone usually experiences while enjoying a unanimously popular thali that comes from the kitchens of traditional pan-Indian cuisine. Whether it is the exotically spiced Punjabi dishes, the uniquely prepared South Indian delicacies, the richly garnished Kashmiri meals, or the oceanic Bengali preparations, the number of cuisines in India is as diverse as its cultures and languages. But finding them all under one roof in their most original taste is perhaps a rarity and a specialty, something which Baluchi at The LaLiT Chandigarh succeeds in.
It is, then, by any stretch of imagination, not an exaggeration to say that the Baluchi is one of the best restaurants in Chandigarh. Celebrated by the city’s gastronomes for its authentic pan-Indian cuisine, Baluchi has a meticulously curated menu that will take you on a tour across the nation’s cultures without having to get you up from your seat. But the mood is set even before you get your hands on the menu.
An Appetising setting
As expected of The LaLiT Chandigarh, one of the most stunning five-star hotels near Chandigarh airport, the interiors of Baluchi restaurant lay out an alluring invitation for you. The wooden furniture is upholstered in muted shades and the lighting creates an ambience of luxury that such a fine-dine restaurant deserves. As you take your designated seat, it is hard to miss the infectious smiles and the warm attitude of the staff that is there to make it a truly extraordinary experience for you.
A Drink for the Gods
The tantalisingly titled Khidmat-e-Naush offers a stunning assortment of refreshing drinks that make the start of your culinary journey very promising. The Jeera Ananas Aab, a piquant drink of tandoori-roasted pineapple, cumin and fresh mint is often cited as the favourite, and it is not hard to reason why. For a more traditional Punjabi drink, nothing beats the freshly prepared Kullad Di Lassi. If it’s something hot that you want, then pick the Paya Shorba – a lamb extract soup, flavoured with coriander, clove, and cardamom, spiced with yellow chillies and laced with saffron.
The Spell of the Kebabs
Following up your starters with the choicest kebabs is a temptation you should give in to. The Kashmiri Dum Dum Gucchi, or morels filled with yoghurt and goat cheese, are a heaven for vegetarians, while the Tandoori Lobster, and the signature Rann-e-Dum Baluchi are specialties for the meat lovers.
A uniquely fabulous experimental set-up at the Baluchi, the Naanery is a bread bar that serves four different types of naans cooked in the bosom of iron tandoors. Parathas, kulchas, rotis…the menu has everything you would desire out of a naan. Pair them with wine, and you have yourself a truly remarkable palate to relish.
The Main Course Magique
The main course is well worth the wait with its amalgam of curries, royal meals, rice platters, and delectable fish, chicken and lamb feasts. Tamil Nadu’s Vendaka Masala Pachadi, the Kashmiri Chokh Wangun and the Rajasthani Gutta Curry are some of the regional favourites for vegetarians, while the signature Moge Wala Kukkad, and the regional Kokkam Fish Curry and Daab Chingri prawn curry bring to table the best non-vegetarian delicacies cooked with special spices and herbs.
A sweet farewell
What starts well must end well, which is why one must indulge in the chef’s selection of exquisite desserts. A serving of Khajoor Aur Badam Ka Halwa and Kesari Rasmalai is the most satisfying finale to a royal repast at The LaLiT Chandigarh’s Baluchi.