The unique­ness and au­then­tic­ity of taste is more im­por­tant than quirky pre­sen­ta­tion, be­lieves food his­to­rian Push­pesh Pant

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - LIFESTYLE - Ab­hi­nav Verma ab­hi­nav.verma@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The scorch­ing heat has given way to the mon­soon show­ers. Did you know that as the sea­sons change, so does our palate? “While sum­mer saps your en­ergy, mon­soon re­ju­ve­nates it. Your ap­petite goes up. You yearn for for­got­ten del­i­ca­cies. Pi­quant and pun­gent, fried and spicy, any­thing that tick­les the palate is wel­come,” says Push­pesh Pant, food critic and food his­to­rian.

The Padma Shri awardee has col­lab­o­rated with Davin­der Ku­mar, ex­ec­u­tive chef, Le Meri­dien, New Delhi and after se­ri­ous brain­storm­ing, cu­rated an ap­petis­ing menu for mon­soon fes­ti­val, that be­gins to­day at Eau De Mon­soon restau­rant in the ho­tel. “The menu show­cases coastal In­dian cuisines, with em­pha­sis on Goan, Mal­abari and Ben­gali. The idea is to pro­mote fresh and healthy sea­sonal ingredients. Most restau­rants don’t serve food as per the sea­sons, which can be un­healthy and lead to stom­ach in­fec­tions,” says Pant. You can en­joy Kankrhar Jhal (a clas­sic crab curry) from Ben­gal; Kayaaat­tira Chikary (mut­ton cooked with raw banana slices) from Mal­abar; Beringe­las Fri­tas (sliced, crisply fried aubergines) and Chicken Xa­cuti (an In­doPor­tuguese spe­cialty) from Goa and more at this fest.


Pant be­lieves that with many In­dian restau­rants rid­ing on molec­u­lar gas­tron­omy, tra­di­tional In­dian cui­sine has taken a back seat. “Dra­matic pre­sen­ta­tion doesn’t mean the qual­ity of food is good. What mat­ters is the au­then­tic­ity and unique­ness of taste. Con­sumers seem en­am­oured with Miche­lin restau­rants. But what does the Miche­lin star award jury know about In­dian food? It’s a trav­eller’s guide; we are too hung up on it. I would take some­thing that Man­ish Mehro­tra does at In­dian Ac­cent or Davin­der Ku­mar’s tra­di­tional In­dian food more se­ri­ously,” he says.

Con­sumers seem en­am­oured with Miche­lin starred restau­rants. But what does the Miche­lin star award jury know about In­dian food? PUSH­PESH PANT, FOOD HIS­TO­RIAN Tra­di­tional coastal cuisines of In­dia team well with the mon­soon sea­son DAVIN­DER KU­MAR, EX­EC­U­TIVE CHEF, LE MERI­DIEN, NEW DELHI

Kayaat­tira Chikary (a mut­ton cooked with raw banana), Pi­cante De Jaca Verda (jack­fruit curry) and Chem­men Manga Charu (prawns curry with mango slices)

Mutta Chut­ney Kabab, an egg ke­bab del­i­cacy

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