Delicious Kebabs + Chutneys + Unusual South Indian Dishes @ Tamarind, Kolkata ☺

Event: #Hokkebab Festival 2018

Venue: Tamarind, Kolkata

Duration: 10 – 19 Aug 2018, 12 noon – 11 pm

Tamarind is one of the selected few South Indian outlets in the city, that serves dishes and delicacies beyond the usual Idli-Dosa-Vada combo and offers it’s diners, a mammoth range of South Indian non-vegetarian dishes.

Though, this 50+ seater outlet happens to be around 17 years old, for the very fact that it’s menu is concentrated with a high dosage of non-veg items, the vegetarian foodie in me could never dare to venture herein and try their unusual vegetarian regional dishes, though I had always wanted to and had been persistently asked by a couple of friends.

So, when I received the invite to attend their ongoing #hokkebab festival’s tasting session, first and foremost I asked them to confirm, whether or not they use separate utensils and cooking station to cook their vegetarian wares.

Not only did they reply in affirmative, but upon arrival, their Executive Chef was courteous enough to give me a tour of their kitchen, wherein I saw a full fledged separate cooking counter for vegetarian cooking and clicked a pic of the same for my blog and it’s readers.

Separate cooking counter for vegetarian cooking

You need to understand that being a vegetarian food blogger, I have certain responsibilities towards my readers and followers, and I need to act in accordance.

Coming back to the #hokkebab festival, it comprised of a total of 7 vegetarian and 10 non-vegetarian delicious Kebabs and 4 distinct Chutneys.

Assorted Vegetarian Kebabs

During the tasting session, I was welcomed with a wonderful earthen glass of Chaas. Infused with minced ginger, coriander leaves and balanced seasonings, the Chaas was a sure shot thirst quencher and tasted quite good. This lovely desi beverage was a complimentary serving for all.

By protocol, all the vegetarian kebab dishes constitute of 6 portions, but for the tasting session, 2 kebab dishes were merged together on a single plate. Thus, only 3 portions of each kebab dish was served, barring for the mushroom based kebabs.

Tandoori Paneer Shashlik and Hara Masala Paneer Tikka
Corn & Peas Shaami Kebab and Tandoori Stuffed Paneer Tikka
Nawabi Dhingri Kebab
Soya Keema Kebab and Chana & Cheese Kebab

Out of the 7 vegetarian kebabs, 3 kebabs were paneer aka cottage cheese based – Hara Masala Paneer Tikka, Tandoori Paneer Shashlik and Tandoori Stuffed Paneer Tikka, while 4 kebabs were vegetable based – Corn & Peas Shaami Kebab, Soya Keema Kebab, Chana & Cheese Kebab and Nawabi Dhingri Kebab.

All the paneer based kebabs were designed around thick succulent cubes of paneer, while all the vegetable based kebabs were created by mincing and/or blending vegetables and shaping them into thick tikkis.

Only the Nawabi Dhingri Kebab constituted of whole mushrooms, stuffed with a yummy cheese concoction. It was quite tasty and one can easily pop-in 2-3 of them at one go!

I also loved the Tandoori Stuffed Paneer Tikka and Chana & Cheese Kebab. Both the kebabs were quite wholesome, well made and had good stuffing of cheese. They tasted excellent.

The 4 accomoanying Chutneys were – Mustard Chutney, Coriander Chutney, Tamarind Chutney and Tomato-Garlic Chutney. All of them went well with the assorted Kebabs.

The 4 Accompanying Chutneys

Personally, I loved Mustard Chutney due to it’s Bengal style infusion of honey and Tomato-Garlic Chutney due to it’s non tanginess and perfect blend.

Being quite bored of pairing the kebabs with the rice based dishes, herein I opted for Appam With Stew and Hyderabadi Paratha.

To my pleasant surprise, Appam With Stew that arrived was far healthier and better than the ones I had tasted in a couple of other local eateries. Appam aka the big bowl shaped rice pancake was big, soft, fluffy and absolutely not burnt at the bottom. The Stew was filled with fresh and juicy veggies and devoid of any smell of coconut powder. The dish tasted quite good.


Sliced and served as 4 quadrants, the Hyderabadi Paratha turned out to be a crisp Paratha stuffed with minced almonds, saffron, magaz seeds etc. It was a slightly sweet royal bread which went well with the chutneys as well as kebabs.

Hyderabadi Paratha

To conclude the meal, Double Ka Meetha, a Hyderabadi style bread pudding was served as the dessert. Served in a steel bowl, two small squares of fried and sweetened slices of bread came topped with some runny Rabri and garnished with sliced pistachios, saffron strands and a solitary rose petal. The dessert looked appealing and tasted awesome. Infused with enough rosewater, it was kind of melt-in-the-mouth and one could not simply stop at 2-3 spoonfuls.

Double Ka Meetha

The restaurant was hygienic and the staff was well trained and courteous. Children were present in good ratio amongst the present diners.

All in all, it was a pleasant tasting session that comprised of wholesome kebabs and some unusual South Indian dishes. What a pairing, I must say!

Price of each Kebab: Rs. 275/-

With Shilpi Jaiswal – Sr. Mgmt Supervisor at Hill+Knowlton Strategies India and Chandran Kannan – Exec Chef (Operation) at Tamarind

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