Vegan Food Festival at Pushkar

When you think of Broad St in Birmingham, you don't think of a good curry. At least I don't! I think of the renowned street that is full of bars, clubs and chicken shops that Birmingham is infamously known for. However, the restaurant that is changing this perception is Pushkar. Especially with their Vegan Food Festival menu, that is running until 28th February. 

I took my foodie partner in crime with me, my mother, on a Monday night to Pushkar to try out their Vegan Festival Menu. We thought it would be quiet and subdued but it was quite the opposite. It was busy but not loud, I hate loud restaurants. I know, what a grandma!

Anyway, onto the food!

First up, it was the Chukander Ki Galouti (shown in the image above), which is described as beetroot cake with beetroot chutney and salad. I would describe it as a beetroot tikki, that was crispy on the outside and soft and moorish on the inside. It was also a good sized portion and, with the chutney, it was just beautiful. I highly recommend this option.

Next of the two starters was the Mix Vegetable Grill. This was incredible. It had the spices of a chicken tikka but, instead, it had succulent pieces of sweet potato, Jerusalem artichokes, purple potato, broccoli, peppers, and tomato. It was truly delicious, especially with the beetroot chutney. Such a simple idea that was executed so well. I cannot wait to try this out at home.

We were overjoyed with how good and innovative the starters were, so we were excited to see what the mains would entail. The mains were really hard to choose from, so we shared three of them. First of the mains was the Stuffed Shimla Mirch. This was described as a green pepper stuffed with tofu, corn, sweet potato, garden peas, cashew nuts and raisins. This dish was so beautifully decadent and well crafted. The sauce and the stuffed mirch accompanied each other so well, that I made it my mission to finish this. The sauce was creamy and nutty and the stuffed pepper was a little more bitter but with the stuffing and sauce, it was amazing. I would to try this again and I hope they put it on the normal menu because it's now my favourite.

The second of the mains we tried was the Tofu Khurchan, which was described as garlic, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and grated fresh coconut. It reminded me of Pakistani cooking, as it was spicy but meaty, as the tofu was the perfect size and not spongy at all. A very traditional curry taste and the alteration to tofu worked really well. This as leftovers with rice the next day was amazing, it tasted even better.

One of the accompaniments with our mains was the Koda di Roti. It tasted very similar to the cornbread rotis I have had with a particular type of saag but this roti is shown as being a super food on the menu. It tasted like a wholewheat roti but a little like a paratha too. Really tasty (are you sensing a theme here?).

The last of the mains was the special artichoke dish that was called Steamed Artichoke with curry sauce. My mum took a liking to the dish but I tried some and liked how it had a creaminess to it. As well as how it had a different element hit your tastebuds everytime. The artichoke in the middle was for decoration, at least that's what we thought, but there were numerous pieces of artichoke in the sauce. This is the dish that has my mother wanted to go back for.

Another of the accompaniments with the mains was the Corn Rice, which is described as basmati rice infused with saffron and corn. We couldn't taste any saffron but the corn worked really well within the rice. It was tasty and the perfect amount for the two of us to share, we even had some left over. Again, innovative and unique.

Eventhough we were stuffed from the meal, we knew we had to try out a dessert and we both went for the Carrot Coconut Pudding. I reminded me of gujar ka halwa but with coconut, which worked well.  I liked it with the blackberries too. Would I have this again though? Probably not. Not that it was bad or that I didn't like it. Just that it was too sweet. I'd rather have something a little more nutty.

Overall, the meal was amazing. It was great to see vegan Indian food being done in such an innovative way. To try things that I know I haven't had at home is great and we are thinking of going back for Mother's Day. I'm just hoping that the Stuffed Shimla Mirch and both of our starters will be on the permanent menu. I've tried the restaurant before with a group of friends and had options made vegan for me off the main menu with no worries. I thoroughly enjoyed the food last time and the service, I hardly see a difference between the two visits, they were both ace.

Would I go back? Yes

Why? The amazing vegan dishes and feeling of luxury.

How was the service? Very friendly but not all were knowledgeable about the vegan dishes on the menu

How did they cope with the vegan dietary requirement? Very well and with finesse.

What are the prices like? This meal was complimentary in exchange for a review but it would normally be around £70 for the 2 starters, 3 mains, accompaniments and desserts. The food is worth the price but I would only go back for special occasions.

Have you been? What did you think?

**Many thanks to Pushkar for the opportunity to try out their Vegan Food Festival menu and for their great service**

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