Culinary Landmark

The second in our Food Special series, we delve into the delicious world of Mughlai cuisine and Mumtaz Mahal that has become Oman’s culinary landmark

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Mumtaz Mahal was a Mughal Empress and the chief consort of Emperor Shah Jahan. The Emperor built the world-renowned Taj Mahal as a memorial for his beloved wife.

Derived from this beautiful name is Mumtaz Mahal Restaurant that has been standing tall in all its glory as Oman’s culinary landmark.

Located on a hill, overlooking Qurum Park, the restaurant is widely known for its amazing Indian food and an equally stunning view of the Qurum Beach. As the evening settles, the view gets even better with the incandescent glow of the night lights that outline the nocturnal charm of Muscat.

The interiors reflect classical motifs of the Mughal era, and the general ambience is one of a calm and elegant Mughal Palace. The cuisine is inspired by the richness of Mughlai food and each dish has been recreated with the same culinary splendour for the connoisseurs of authentic Mughlai cuisine in Oman.

But that is not all, under Henry David – Acting General Manager and Executive Chef Pardeep Singh’s watch, menu also offers the best culinary delights from across India ranging from authentic Kashmiri food to Bombay’s street delights.

We spoke to Henry David about Mumtaz Mahal and its landmark status as a kitchen that serves feasts fit for royalty.

General Manager – Henry David. He has worked in the F&B industry for 25 years, out of which 20 plus have been with Mumtaz Mahal Restaurant. He started his career at Taj Coromandel, Chennai’s best known landmark, and over the years worked his way up after hands on experience at every level. During his tenure as Sr. Restaurant Manager at Mumtaz Mahal, he has successfully directed his fellow colleagues in building pride and taking ownership of their responsibilities, resulting in a truly great dining experience for their guests time and again.

What is your approach to Indian cuisine? How is it different from other restaurants in town?

“Mumtaz Mahal is proud to be bringing the rich Mughlai cuisine to Muscat. This exquisite mix of spices, dried fruit and nuts is what gives every dish an authentic taste. Our marinades and masalas are our own in house creation and freshly ground to bring forth an intense burst of flavour. The best quality meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables are carefully selected to offer our guests a unique culinary experience. Our menu highlights the classic dishes that everybody knows and loves, but also delights customers with new dishes, not found at other Indian restaurants.”

Do you think the ambience you offer has made a difference in attracting clientele looking for a unique Indian experience? Can you take us through the unique features your settings offer?

“The star shaped building is perched on top of a hill overlooking Qurum Park, with an amazing view of the mangroves, the sea & Qurum beach, and its colourful lights standout like a beacon at night. The 120-seat restaurant is spacious, with heavy Indian wooden décor & Indian paintings giving it a classy ambience with a contemporary look.”

What are the different types of food promotions/festivals you have planned for this year and what is the creative thought process behind it?

“We are offering a Friday Family Brunch Buffet, Surprise Night on Tuesdays, which is a four course menu with selected beverages included, Kashmiri Food Promotions, Seafood Promotions, Himalayan Delights & Special Dinner paired with beverages. The main idea is to entice our guests with different cuisines from various parts of India apart from our already mouth-watering regular menu offering.”

What are your signature dishes and the concept behind them?                                         

“Our Signature dishes from curries are Chicken Tikka Makhani, Kashmiri Lamb Roganjosh, Black Dal Makhani & from our clay oven (Tandoor) are Fish Tikka Mumtaz, Raan ‘e’ Mumtaz & Gun Powder Tandoori Prawns. The concept is to offer the very popular Indian curry dishes and our special tandoori dishes that cater to all types of nationalities and taste buds. This way our guests can rate our quality, aroma & taste of Mumtaz Mahal food, which is different from all other Indian restaurants in town.”

Signature recipe from Executive Chef Pardeep Singh

Executive Chef Pardeep Singh. He is a creative, enthusiastic and hardworking chef with a passion for food. He has been in the industry for 21 years with enriching in Miami, New York, Caribbean and Dubai. This gave him exposure in a variety of restaurants and thus acquired culinary training and experience in multiple cuisines. He found his dream assignment at Mumtaz Mahal where he enjoys putting his own stamp on traditional dishes, creating new combinations and experimenting with new flavors while being careful not to compromise on the freshness and originality of the food he prepares.

Chicken Tikka Makhani (serves 2)

Ingredients

For the tandoori chicken marinade

200gms boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

50gms plain yoghurt

1tbsp lemon juice

2tsp cumin powder

1tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

10gms garam masala

1 sp salt

5gms garlic paste

5gms ginger paste

For the gravy

150gms Tomatoes

50gms cashewnut

1tsp cumin powder

1tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

1tsp kasturi methi (fenugreek)

1tsp garam masala

1 1/2tsp salt

100gms heavy whipping cream

20gms clarified butter

10gms unsalted butter

1tsp honey

10gms Fresh Coriander

Method: Combine the chicken with the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl and marinade for 1-2 hours in the fridge and cook to perfection in the tandoor. Boil the tomatoes along with cashewnut and make a silky paste.  Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the tomato and cashewnut paste and cook it for 20 minutes. Add cooked chicken in it and cook for 5 minutes. Add garam masala, salt, cumin powder and Kashmiri chilli powder, cook it for 2 minutes. Finish it with honey, cream and clarified butter.  Serve with rice and Indian bread and garnish with fresh coriander.