Riyasat: Serving royalty on the platter

Riyasat: Serving royalty on the platter

After joining Civil Services, we went on a month-long all India trip ( 'Bharat Darshan') covering many states to have a glimpse of the richness of culture and traditions of our country. During this trip, we also got to try many authentic dishes from various royal houses. Many were gracious to host us at their palaces with their secret recipes but no one ever shared the secret ingredients.

If you crave food inspired from royalty in the city of joy, look no further. Located in the South City Mall, Prince Anwar Shah Road, Kolkata, 'Riyasat' specializes in royalty inspired Indian dining.


Gilawat, Rogani Roti (Rs 595), Shabdegh Dal Makhani (Rs 345), Rajwada Lal Mass Mathaniya (Rs 695), Kachchi Haldi Phool (Rs 375), Murg Malai Majithia (Rs 485), Riyasati Ghost Dum Biryani (Rs 625), Makhani Laccha Paratha (Rs 105), Baked Yoghurt (Rs 345)


The food boxes were packed with stickers on cling film wrapped boxes each specifying whether it is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. The packing was superior giving it a feel of executive class flight food packing. Impressive!


I ordered two starters: one from Lucknow, the other from Punjab royal houses.

Inspired from the Nawabi cuisine of Lucknow, the Gilawat, Rogani Roti consisted of grilled spicy finely ground lamb patty on a sweet saffron almond bread. The kebab just melted in the mouth and the almond bread was a beautiful companion to the smooth Gilawat.

A starter speciality from Majithia in Amritsar, Punjab, the Murg Malai Majithia was cream cheese and spices marinated, tandoor roasted boneless chicken which went perfectly well with the fresh coriander chutney. The grilling was perfect - neither raw nor overcooked.

For the main course, I ordered one vegetarian item, one dal and one non-vegetarian dish.

From the Kachchh region of Gujarat, I had the crunchy Kachchi Haldi Phool in which the cauliflower had been cooked with sliced young turmeric, spring onions and pickled ginger and had been finished with sundried pomegranate to give it a zing. Very flavourful!

The Shabdegh Dal Makhani was slow-cooked in spices with dollops of cream and butter and was just out of the world. I learnt that the dal is marinated in spices overnight before being cooked. I can bet the dal leaves many upscale restaurants serving the same at thrice the price much behind.

The restaurant boasts of having taken the recipe of Rajwada Lal Mass Mathaniya from His Highness Shreeji, the King of Mewar itself. It consisted of braised lamb shanks and had a distinct flavour of Mathaniya chillies, yoghurt and cloves. Mathaniya chillies are not spicy but lend a distinct bright red colour, which is why the mutton cooked with it is called Lal Mass.

For the sides, I tried one paratha and biryani.

I enjoyed the gravy main course preparations with the butter soaked Makhani Laccha Paratha which had been generously garnished with crushed dried fenugreek leaves.

The Riyasati Ghost Dum Biryani was a pot steamed flavourful basmati rice preparation layered with succulent garam masala infused lamb pieces, rose petals, saffron, cardamom and mace served with Burhani raita. Burhani raita consisted of finely chopped onion and cucumber in hung curd and the tartness of the raita which was more like sour cream cut through the heaviness of the Biryani.

I tried just one desert - Baked Yogurt.

A take on the classic bhapa doi, the baked yoghurt consisted of sweet yoghurt baked on a thin biscuit base served on a bed of blueberry compote and garnished with sliced almonds, pistachios, mango cubes and nankhatai biscuit crust. The presentation was heavenly, but I did not like the combination of mango and blueberry together. It was too sweet and could have been more refined.


The dishes had a unique history to them. Each dish was authentic and had a geographical historical stamp on the flavour profile. The starters and Dal were beautiful.


Well, the team of Anjan Chatterjee has really worked hard on coming up with this marvel - Riyasat. Unlike many mall-based restaurants that are unable to maintain the oomph factor, Riyasat ticks all the boxes. The food is royal, delicious and made the authentic way. For the love of royalty and the food associated with them, you must try it!

(The columnist is a food connoisseur who loves experimenting with culinary delights and a career bureaucrat in the IRS Income Tax)

Next Story
Share it