The culinary diversity that India offers is mind boggling. From North to South and East to West if one embarks on a journey, he is sure to come back with a lot to share and of course many kilos heavier! In the month of January 2017, a team from JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar embarked on such a journey to explore the rare and lesser-spoken about Garhwali cuisine. During the trip, the team visited locations such as Bhatoli, Bel Gaon, Kempty and Laval Gaon, where the team interacted with local communities to understand the depths of their culinary tradition.
Commenting on the expedition, Chef Vishal Atreya – Executive Chef, JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar, said, “India is a land of rich discoveries – be it customs or be it food. In a time like todays, traditional cooking styles and authentic cuisines seem to be dwindling. We journeyed on a road trip through the by-lanes, nooks and corners of Uttarakhand to learn more about one such cuisine, Garhwali food. The expedition facilitated the creation of a menu inspired from Garhwal. The menu will hope to acquaint our guests with traditional, home-style yet palatable and fresh preparations of native India.”
The Chefs of Gharwal promotion will feature an array of dishes such as Urad Dal Pakodia, Jakhiya Machchi, Mutton Tari, Koda Khichdi, Jhangora Khichdi, Kafuli amongst a lot more. To add on, there would also be authentic Gharwali desserts like Jhangore ki kheer, Til ka Laddoo, Swala Bhangjiri and Badi.
The Chefs laid down a buffet at JW Café, JW Marriott Sahar called “Flavors of Garhwal” from 1st March till 12th March featuring this unique but lesser known cuisine. IFF was invited to be a part of this experience and thus we landed there for dinner. The dinner buffet was as usual a HUGE affair. But we decided to stick to ONLY “Flavors of Garhwal” and not to mix any other flavor. And aren’t we glad. This definitely needed all our attention. Chef Rajesh introduced us to the different types of Rotis / Rice preparations and Curries. The Pahari Rajma Tensu, completely pasted Rajma made into a gravy, I had for the first time. Along with it we had Gahat ( Kulath) ke Parathe and Mandua (Ragi) ki roti. Apart from that, there were Hara Pyaz ki Kapli , Jahkiya Pulao, Bhangjeer ki Khchdi, Aloo Techwani, Murgh Kashmiri made with green herbs from Garhwal and Meethi Puri. I loved the meethi puris with the Kashmiri murgh. It’s only later I realized those puris were for dessert actually. But I loved the pairing nevertheless.
Sitting in JW Café Marriott Sahar and getting transported to Garhwal with the rustic spread laid out by Chef Atreya and his team was surely an evening to remember.