"The delectable desserts include Palaplham Halwa -, Semiya Paysam and Banana Appam."
By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Chennai, April 11 - Restaurants in star hotels here have chalked out elaborate dining plans to welcome different New Years ranging from Thai or Songkran to Bengali, Tamil and Malayalam between April 11-20.

At Chap Chay Asian stir-fry restaurant, the Thai New Year food festival is for 10 days beginning from the first day of Songkran - April 11 - and continues till April 20. The festival focuses on the ethnicity of the dishes, executive sous chef Peter Tseng told IANS.

He said the chefs at Chap Chay would whip out dishes like seekhrong Moo Nam Makham -roast pork baby back ribs topped with tamarind and chilli; Pla Ob Lard Kheemao - baked seabass marinated in Thai spice blend in banana leaves and Koong Sod Phad Khing - Scampi stir fried with black fungus mushrooms, ginger and fresh red chillies.

For vegans, the delicacies includes Khanom Phad Ga - stir fried radish cake with beansprouts and chilli and Fakthong Ob Saus Salane - baked yellow pumpkin topped with chilli and mint sauce.

Tseng said for those who don't fancy and a-la-carte menu, a four course tasting set menu is available at Rs.1,250 plus.

Lotus, the Thai specialty restaurant at The Park Hotel here, has also planned a Songkran festival.

According to the hotel spokesperson, the Thai New Year is traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders including family members, friends, neighbours and monks.

Throwing of water at each other is one of the major elements of the celebrations.

Some of the specialties that the chefs at the Lotus would offer April 11-20 are: Steamed kaffir lime scented crab cakes wrapped in banana leaves, Drunken style asparagus with shimeji mushrooms and baby corn, Mango and rice pudding in banana leaf cups and Jackfruit and black pepper gelato and caramelized cashewnuts.

The hotel will also offer a special spread of Bengali dishes at its round-the-clock restaurant 601. Some of the items include: Kolkata-style Chicken Biryani, Bhetki Maacher Fry, Ghee Bhaat, Misthi Doi and Langcha.

At the Taj Coramandel's Southern Spice restaurant, the food spread on Tamil New Year April 14 comprises of Vaazhai Thandu Chaaru -, Kaaraikudi Kozhi Jeeragam -, Thanjavur Kari Varuval -, Naatukkai Yeral Kozhambu -, Kaaikari Mandi -, among others.

All this can be accompanied by Parota -, Masala Uttappam -, Thakkali Pudhina Saadam - and Steamed Ponni Rice.

The traditional deserts include Semiya Javarisi Payasam - and Godhumai Halwa -.

The next day, April 15, lovers of Kerala food can enjoy the special Vishu menu that includes several vegetarian and non-vegetarian items like Pineapple Rasam -, Chemeen Kakkathil -, Neimeen Vattichadhu -, Naadan Kozhi Curry -, Avial -, Olan - and others.

All this goes well with Idiyappam -, Parota, Appam, Steamed Ponni Rice and Red Rice.

The meal ends with traditional desserts - Paal Ada Payasam - and Chakka Pradhaman -.

The Raintree restaurant at Vivanta by Taj-Connemara will offer traditional food items on a banana leaf that can be savoured with steamed rice, Applam/Vadam/Vathal and Thayir Sadam.

The delectable desserts include Palaplham Halwa -, Semiya Paysam and Banana Appam.

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