Explore North-Western Frontier Flavours On Your Table
Image Credit: Tikka, some Murgh and Special Bread

The moment we think Northwest Frontier region, flashes of a bygone era come to our mind and not just on many people but we also had to part way with many flavours. The Northwest Frontier region of the British Indian Empire was the most difficult area to conquer in their South Asian domains – both from a strategic and military standpoint. The frontier tribesmen called this region home and this is an ancient culture which combines their spirit of enterprise with a penchant for spectacular hospitality.

But here in the vicinity of Delhi- NCR happens to a beautiful getaway - Heritage Village Resort and Spa, Manesar which is home to Gurgaon’s first, speciality North Western Frontier restaurant, the first of its kind in the millennium city – Mardan. And I happen to get. For the uninitiated the name of the restaurant is derived from two different places and arranged together to name this royal place. The term ‘Mardan’ comes from a small town on the Northwest Frontier border of Pakistan. Not just that if you have read Mardan in M.M. Kaye’s Far Pavilions the name will surely ring a bell. Not many may know that ‘Manesar’ is a place located in the valley of Peshwar which is also the second-largest city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. 

With all the traditional culinary style in place , the menu here has been inspired from flavours, spices and cooking style of the North-West Frontier cuisine from the neighboring regions of Tajikistan and Uzb. Talking of the menu the table saw Paneer Aur Sabz Tikka and Aloo Nazakat from the veg section while the non-veg plate saw dishes like, Sheekh kebabs, Sikandri Raan ( a dish where the raan is entire mutton leg is marinate with  Indian spices and is then slow cooked), Murgh Khurchan: (Chicken pieces cooked with capsicum, onion, tomatoes, and lots of Indian spices), Murgh Afghani Tangri and more. Cooked to perfection each dish fork tender and succulent.  The marination of the kebabs surely took then a notch higher. The texture, palate and the play of spices clearly showed the expertise of the chef. And that’s not all I was totally blown away by the variety of breads like Bakar Khani ( a thick flatbread with lots of spices) , Taftan (this Persian and Central Asian speciality sees the use the milk, yogurt, and eggs) and Sheermal ( the sweet bread that’s loaded with lots and lots of dry fruits). And as the table would be incomplete without some rice, enters Chef Kudeep with some chicken biryani and vegetable pulao.

All of these were followed by the desserts Kulfi Faluda, and Emarti with Rabri. The non- sweet lover like could also not keep my hands away from them. The rich milk texture and flavour beautifully complemented sweet faluda. Mardan surely is standing true to it’s spirit of the cuisine.