The Gujarati Food Festival, Tuskers, Sofitel, Mumbai
It always gives me so much joy when brands go out of the way to curate festivals and dining experiences revolving around regional cuisines in India, bringing an experience on a dining table that not many would have had a chance otherwise, thereby giving their guests a sneak peak into the rich culture and heritage of the said region and there by, also busting a lot of myths and highlighting facts in the process.
What also makes gets me more excited is when a Gujarati Food Festival is hosted. All my love for Lebanese and Punjabi food put apart and then there is this part of me that only loves and craves for Gujarati food, the cuisine I grew up eating, the food that we are known for, the food that cuisine that also became a family identity for us, the cuisine that is the reason for so many awards in my maternal grand mother and mother’s name and when Sofitel Mumbai BKC announced their Gujarati Food Festival at Tuskers, I knew I had to visit this, come what may!
Gujarat is a state with varied flavours and recipes for similar dishes, different areas using locally grown ingredients which are dependent on weather conditions and water availability in the region. The difference can be very easily spotted between recipes from South Gujarat and North Gujarat, the former using a primary spice base of freshly grown and ground green chillies and fresh garlic while up north, they use a lot of dried red chilli powder! The cuisine from the state of Gujarat has so much to offer in terms of variety of flavours and experiences that it can get overwhelming for a lot of people!
Back to my experience at the Gujarati Food Festival at Tuskers, this time, Maharaj Jankidas who helms Tuskers was joined by Chef MukeshKumar and Chef Diwakar from Novotel Ahmedabad for this festival with a common aim of bringing authentic Gujarati delicacies to Mumbaikars.
With Bandhnis and elephants and katputlis, Tuskers set the mood right in terms of the ambiance and Anthony went all out with his fabulous hospitality!
While Neha was on her way and I was super hungry, I started off with a portion of Sabudana Wadas. Accompanied by some pudina chutney and tamarind-date chutney, unlike the others, this one was more flatter, less oily but equally delicious!
The Gujarati Food Festival menu at The Tuskers ahs both options, a la arte and a set meal!
We opted for a set meal and requested them to serve it to us in a thaali form!
The thaali arrived in all its grandeur, with a large variety of food!
The Farsan element of the meal had Sev Rolls, Methi na Gota, Lilva Kachori and Handvo. The sev rolls were hand down my favourite, mashed boiled potatoes lightly spiced, rolled in vermicelli and deep fried! Is there anything about this that you may not like or enjoy?
The Methi na Gota were a little dense for my liking but the handvo was perfect!
The mains had Vaal Nu Shaak that tasted just like the one that my mum makes; Lasania Bataka which were the highlight of my meal (ended up eating some of this plain after my meal); the Surti Undhyu which was a little moist for my liking; Bhinda Capsicum which was a new for me even though am a Gujarati and I thoroughly enjoyed this combination. The set meal actually had Sev Tameta nu Shaak and since I personaly don’t like this much, I had requested them to replace it with Lasania Bataka and am so glad I did that!
The Sabjis were accompanied by Biscuit Bhakri, so good that you could taste the ghee through it, Bajra no Rotlo that tasted like what my nani makes at home and hot Fulka Rotlis. I mentioned to Anthony that I like my rotlis kadak and doused in ghee and did he deliver? Hell yeah, every time I finished a rotli, another piping hot rotli was waiting for me!
The Khaati Meethi Dal was overpowered by the strong flavour of cloves and the same was the case with the Kadhi.
There was also Bhaat and Kathiawaadi Khichdi and ghee and jiggery and athaanu to accompany our meal!
The desserts followed and even though we were too full to eat them, we did relish a bite! There were Ghugras and Mohanthaal, traditional Gujarati sweeta usually made for festivals!
Almost 3 and a half hours of good food, brilliant hospitality and fun conversations later, our meal ended on a happy note and we left smiling!
Some meals, do make happy memories and this one was indeed one of those!