Cuisine of the Navaithas at Deccan Pavilion, ITC Kakatiya

In the recent times there has been a lot of work going on in the restaurant industry in researching and presenting niche or forgotten cuisines of India. In our Hyderabad, we have had events showcasing Moplah, East Bengal, Mangalorean and Anglo Indian cuisines to name a few.

 I must admit that I had never heard much about Navaithas and their cuisine before.  Having spent a considerable time in Bangalore, I love the delicious non-veg food available in the bylanes of Shivajinagar and Fraser Town.  At a preview of the promotion of Navaitha cuisine at Deccan Pavilion, I was told by Chef Jamal that some of the items available at these places have evolved from the food of Navaithas, the Urdu speaking community from South Arcot in Tamil Nadu. The Navaitha cuisine has evolved from the food of the  Arab traders who were their ancestors with incorporation influences of the Nawabi and South Indian flavours as the time went by.

Navaitha ITC Kakatiya
The Navaitha Non-Vegetarian Starters
 Any food promotion at Deccan Pavilion is hosted as part of their normal buffet. The specialty items in this case replaced the Indian dishes on the buffet, whereas the usual continental and oriental sections of the buffet stay put. This is to ensure convenience to their in-house guests who may not be experimental in their food habits.

Navaitha Deccan Pavilion
The Navaitha Vegetarian Platter
I wanted to try out only the Navaitha delicacies, so I ignored the rest of the buffet. We started with a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian platter of starters.  The non-veg platter had Chicken 88, boneless strips of chicken in lime and curd marinade. The Tawa Gosht was soft and succulent. I was told that the meat from the mutton raan is cooked twice, first in its fat and then with the masala in the tandoor. This was easily one of the best dishes for the night. Boneless Tala Machhi was the other item, which had a mild taste.

In the vegetarian platter, I liked the Gooler Tikki prepared from mashed potato and raw bananas. The tawa prepared paneer starter was par for the course.

Paya Khamiri
Paya Khamiri
Paya Khamiri came in next – a rich lamb trotter broth which was creamy. I think I will ruffle quite a few feathers but this tasted better that the best of paya dishes I tried out in Hyderabad. The broth was very very tasty and virtually unputdownable.

Sookha Murgh
Sookha Murgh

Among the main courses Palak Gosht was decent – again here the mutton was so well cooked that it slid off the bones, and the green gravy was rich and tasty. The creamy Sookha Murgh was the best pick here- the thick masala was delicious with the Rotis served with it.  Sabsagey Meen the third dish was a tangy tomato based curry presenting a totally different taste.

Sabsagey Meen
Sabsagey Meen
There were vegetarian main courses too – but frankly I did not try out much there except a spoonful of the Soya Lauki.

Gosht Tamater Ke Pulav
Gosht Tamatar Ke Pulav

Gosht Tamatar Ki Pulav was again a hit – basmati rice with a rich masala, and the spice level much lesser than the Hyderabadi rice and meat dishes. Another difference is the presence of tomato – which as per the Chef Lakshit slows down the preparation time, and adds a different tangy taste to the biryani.

The desserts had Seviyan prepared from sweet vermicelli, which looked attractive. However as I am a fan of milder versions of sweets Chawal Ka Kheer, a milk and rice based preparation appealed to me the most.


What I liked about the food promotion is that it had some very different tasting dishes. I hope to see some of the hidden gems like Paya Khamiri on the regular menu of the restaurant. It is important for us to bring into the limelight many cuisines from our regions which are not so well known.
The promotion is part of the dinner buffet at Deccan Pavilion. It is priced at around Rs 1600 inclusive of taxes.

Deccan Pavilion
ITC Kakatiya
Telephone: 23400132

Also see: The Cuisine of the Nawabs of Arcot

Disclaimer: The review is based on an invite by the restaurant. However the opinions expressed in the post are honest and unbiased.

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