Rajdhani as a restaurant needs little introduction. Its thali format has been widely successful and it has a presence in 27 cities across India. Hyderabad has a couple of outlets – one at Banjara Hills and the other at Forum Mall, Kukatpally.
Last week, I was invited to the Banjara outlet to taste their special Aamlicious – Mango Festival menu. Rajdhani is famous for its super-fast service, warm hospitality, and a slightly annoying yet endearing tendency of the servers to over feed you. This experience was also not very different. Within minutes of the service commencing, I had on my plate over a dozen items.
We started off two coolers – Aam Panna and Mango Lassi, both of which were decent. The aforementioned options are not a part of the thali and are available for Rs. 50 and Rs. 70 respectively. Chhaas, the usual trusty accompaniment, was also available. As starters we had a sour Dhokla, Kairi Pakoda, and Papdi Chaat. While I loved the crunchy pakodas, the tangy Dhoklas failed to excite me.
Next up were Daal Baati Churmas, which were served with a wide smile and dollops of Ghee. This dish has three components – the Panch Kutti Daal, the Baati (baked flaky round breads), and Churma (Baatis which have been deep fried, crushed, and sweetened). I’ve tried this dish at many places, and the one served by Rajdhani remains my favourite. This dish might not be good for your heart, but you will definitely fall in love with all your heart.
In the mains we had two kinds of Rotis, Poori, Khichdi, and Rice. I tasted a little bit of the two Daals and the other sabjis available on the thali with the Rotis. The Mango Kadhi was a revelation. The slight sweetness of the mango elevated this popular dish. I skipped the Khichdi and Rice because I wanted to save my appetite for the star dish of the Aamlicious menu – the Aamras. Aamras and Pooris are a match made in heaven, and I quickly finished off two bowls of the Aamras.
By now I was stuffed, but there was one more brilliant surprise waiting at the end – Mango Jalebi. This dessert looked nothing like a typical Jalebi, since it’s prepared by dipping small pieces of Mango into the Jalebi batter and deep frying the result which looks a little bit like Pakodas. As you bite into the Jalebi, the initial crunch is followed by the juicy and tender mangoes.
The Aamlicious food festival will continue till June 15. Lunch is priced at Rs. 325, while dinner costs Rs. 425. Tuesday lunches are available at a special price of Rs. 225, but Aamras is limited to a single serving in the discounted menu.