Himalayan delicacies in nature's lap

There are many reasons for one to visit Sikkim. And if you are foodie like me, I am pretty sure it will be 'love at first visit' as well. Having chosen to visit Club Mahindra's resort at Baiguney, as some one on the look out for exotic food, the wide array of authentic Sikkim and Nepalese menu on the table floored me.

For starters, you can try 'Sekhua' a traditional Nepalese smoke cooked chicken. To me this chicken was the Nepali equivalent of north India's tandoor chicken. This chicken is marinated with ginger garlic paste with curd added as a binder. Traditionally it is smoke cooked using wood unlike charcoal grill. At Baiguney, for reasons of convenience the chicken was cooked using gas and not charcoal. 

Chicken 'Sekhua' with authentic Darjeeling momos
I also had a taste of authentic Darjeeling momos, a dish that is now available at many fast food restaurants across India, particularly Delhi. I was informed by Chef Gagan that momos mass manufactured usually use dalda (vegetable oil) or ghee to soften them flour. But the ones that are still cooked authentically don't do so, yet they taste soft.

I had the good fortune of tasting a full course Nepali feast food. Some of the ingredients used in the local cuisines are found only in the Himalayas and no where else. The sumptuous meal consisted of the following variety:
1) 'Ningro Churpi': Fern soup with local cheese (churpi)
2) Kokru ko masu: Chicken curry
3) Nepali dum aloo (made of local potatoes)
4) 'Chamre' rice: A traditional variety of rice cooked and mixed with corn
5) Jogi sabzi: Mixed vegetable curry
6) Paheli: Local dal
7) Garli & green chilli chutney
8) 'Seal roti': A local sweet/ savory
9) Himalayan kheer: A kheer made using a local variety of rice. 

Nepali feast food, a special menu of  traditional Nepalese food 

'Seal' roti (top) with 'sadhe koke phal' (fruit salad)
For a food lover there are few pleasure in world that can beat a evening tea with a chef who loves to feed you. In Chef Gagandeep Sabarwal I not just found a great chef but an awesome human as well. A food lover he is, we hardly had our first conversation going beyond food apart from the usual weather and my town vs your town stuff.

According to Chef Gagan, Baiguney offers a multi cuisine spread as well as Buffet & A-la carte. But there were some pleasant twists as well. For Senior Citizens they have 'Soul to Soul' Dining. Here a chef special menu as per choice is made to order. To top the complimentary cake is a private butler at your service. Not to miss the younger crowd, there is a 'Heart to Heart' dinner. If you are a young couple, your room is decorated and the complimentary cake is sent to it. The private butler comes to you as well. 

Serving with a smile, the hospitality of the restaurant at Baiguney overwhelmed me
Many of the ingredients that go into the recipes of the menu here are found only in the eastern Himalayas. Above is a fern that is used to make 'Ningro churpi' 

Chef Gagan (left) whose team cooks for you as if you are a prince.



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