ITC Narmada offering lesser known culinary specialties from the hinterlands of Gujarat
- Chefs at ITC Narmada travelled to across the length and breadth of Gujarat, exploring the culinary culture and food history of this diverse land
Ahmedabad, Sept 20: Committed to curating unique culinary experiences by bringing forth authentic gastronomic preparations that embody the unique local culture, ITC Narmada is all set to bring you flavours from the hinterlands of Gujarat by hosting ‘The Origin Story Food Festival’ from 22nd September to 24th September 2023 at dinner.
The festival which will be held at the Adalaj Pavilion, the multicuisine restaurant of ITC Narmada, will be the perfect convergence of the epicurean discoveries that the chefs of ITC Narmada found during their unique food trail series, The Origin Story.
As part of the food trail series, the team of Chefs namely Chef Gaurav Lavania, Chef Abhishek Mody, Chef Tejas Patel, at ITC Narmada travelled across the diverse region of Gujarat from Saurashtra to Kutch to South Gujarat, exploring the food history and culinary culture rooted in Gujarat and trickling down over generations. The three-episode series not just explored the culinary prowess and warm hospitality of the fun-loving people of Gujarat, but also brought along little stories of how this diverse semi-arid state shaped its culinary traditions, the culinary techniques that were deployed to use a blend of flavourful native ingredients to whip up delectable offerings.
The Origin Story Food Festival will feature a series of distinctive specialties from across Gujarat including Kaang no Khichdo – a porridge made of foxtail millets and lentil, Rajwadi Cha – a specially flavoured tea, the spicy bitesize wonders called Lasaniya Batata Bhajiya; Surati Locho, Chaapdi Undhiyu, Umbadiyu – which comprise the seasonal varieties from South Gujarat; some humble everyday staples such as Khichi Rotli, Bhagat Muthiya nu Shaak, Gajar Lasan nu Athanu, Kalthi ane Palak nu shaak, Vad na Paan nu Khaman and Bajra no Rotlo; the sweet-savoury, crunchy Kachori, Ghughra, the nutritious Ghutto, Nagar wali Adad ni Dal – a specialty of the Nagar Brahmin community of Junagadh , the delectable and sweet Leela Nariyal no Halwo; and some lesser known local varieties including Dudhiyo Bajro, Makai Thulu, Naagli Rotli, Tal Sing na Batata, Dal Paniya and Vaal nu Baafnu, among others.
“At ITC Narmada, we strongly believe in setting new benchmarks in luxury hospitality. In our pursuit to curate bespoke experiences for our patrons, we also subtly showcase the local culture. Food is indeed a strong representation of a culture and a region’s geography and therefore, at ITC Narmada, we strive to add a touch of unique local flavours to our culinary offerings. The Origin Story Food Festival is one such attempt to bring lesser known gourmet offerings from the hinterlands of Gujarat and explore the delectable flavours this region has to offer,” explained Mr Keenan McKenzie, General Manager, ITC Narmada.
“Our idea is to replicate the authentic, popular as well as the less known recipes of these regions in ITC’s kitchens, keeping our ethos of Sustainability and Responsible Luxury Intact. ‘The Origin Story’ will also be an ode to the honourable government’s initiative of Year of Millet and the rich culinary tradition and culture of Gujarat. The food festival not just explores the local palette but also involves sourcing of ingredients locally. For instance, special lentils used in certain preparations served at the food festival are sourced from Dang. Similarly, our teams procured local variety of chillies from Surat, root vegetables, garlic and a green chutney were sourced from Saurashtra region, the local variety of tomatoes from Ahmedabad, fresh coconut from Mangrol, Bajra and other millets from the local farms in and around Ahmedabad,” Mr McKenzie further went on to say.
To ensure that the patrons at the food festival have a perfectly authentic epicurean experience, ITC Narmada has also roped in locals including restaurant owners, farmers, local cooks, to curate the menu.
As it is proudly known, Gujarat is not a state limited to business and commerce alone. In fact, it is a region that boasts centuries-old art and architecture, royal families that once ruled over the princely states and eventually shaped the culture and rich and diverse culinary traditions of this region. The beauty of the Gujarati cuisine lies in the dichotomy of the region, with the largest coastal area of India and the barren lands towards the other. The climate, topography and the nature of work in different regions, are clearly reflected in change in staple diets in each region and its influence on cultural and festive tradition.
The Origin Story is indeed a humble attempt of ITC Narmada to capture the unique blend of grandeur and simplicity in the culinary culture of Gujarat and present its patrons with one-of-a-kind, carefully curated culinary experience.
The Origin Story Food Festival – Specialities from across Gujarat
1.Tameta na Bharela Bhajiya
2. Lasaniya Bateka
3. Tikkha Ghughara ni Chaat
4. Surti Locho
5. Rasawala Khaman
6. Chaapdi Undhiyu
7. Bhagat Muthiya nu Shaak
8. Ringan ni Kadhi
9. Nagar Wali Adad ni Dal
11. Lilva Bhaat
12. Nagili Rotli
13. Bajra Rotlo
15. Lila Nariyal no Halwo
16. Dudhiyo Bajro
17. Badaam Pista Ghari