Delhi gets a taste of Uttarakhand at Hilton Garden Inn, Gurgaon

Written by Arati Thapa 17 Apr 2019
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When food bloggers take to curating food events, which I guess is the natural corollary to do then it's evident  that the passion is stronger and persistent, as that's when they begin to look for more to add to their resume as the food writer. When I was invited to attend the preview of Exotic Uttarakhand Food Festival at Hilton Garden Inn, Gurgaon, by food bloggers Maneesh Srivastava of @theurbanescapade and Vicky Vickrham of @thecuratedbuzz_foodmanics I knew the blogger friends would have put their hearts to it as neither belonged to Uttarakhand, which meant they would have had to pump in twice or thrice the effort. They had managed to whip up a typical Pahadi food along with Executive Chef Manoj Rawat who actually is from Uttarakhand and came up with the idea soon after attending a wedding feast at a remote village in Garhwal region. The wedding food was simple, flavourful,  super nutritious and full of love. 

The trio had driven to the state, stopped at local places, ate at local houses and eateries to come up with a menu that tasted authentic. To promote a cuisine that is known for its simplicity, to Delhi whose palate is all about heavy spices, butter chicken, chicken tikka masala or cream laden dal makhani, is rather a task.

So I, familiar to mountain food, strutted to the hotel on a fine afternoon and sat on a table that was alive with herbs and spices typically found in the mountains. As Chef Rawat introduced the dried Rhododendrons , widely grown nettle leaves, the gehad daal- all of which are known for their healing properties, I waited patiently for the food to come.

The food was all of what I expected and more. It began with the typical Guraans flower juice. There were three different kinds of daal, two different kinds of rice, also included were the fusion food like the Jhakhya chicken tikka, Bhaang ka paneer, Bhutwa Mandwa Pav which tasted extremely delicious, a tender pumpkin dish cooked in milk and a rice cooked in dahi that was a mix of kadi chawal and khichdi dahi both of which were absolute scene stealers. Yes there is no mention about the non vegetarian food here because I tasted vegetarian and skipped the non vegetarian dishes.

The 10-day Uttarakhand food festivalExotic Uttarakhand’ is being organized for the first time at aiming to attracts not only the Uttarakhand natives residing in the city but also people from different cultural backgrounds. The food festival starts on 20th April 2019 till 30th April, will have around 20 delectable traditional Garhwali and Kumaon dishes in the menu to satiate the taste buds of food enthusiasts.

The Festival starts from 20th April 2019 till 30th April 2019, 7pm onwards.

The Bhutwa Mandwa pav with paneer was simply love

The delicious chutneys were different from the usual mint and dahi fare

The sisna or the nettle grass cooked with spinach is a powerhouse of healing properties

The cocktail that had tamarind, jaggry and vodka

That's the dried nettle leave, the Rhododendrum flower and sweet stick jaws found only in the hills

Vicky Vickrham, Chef Manoj Rawat and Maneesh Srivastava



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