The Himalayan food trail
The Himalayan food trail

 Fresh meats, seafood, millets, horse gram, hemp seeds, simple preparations, ample taste – the Himalayan belt boasts of some amazing cuisines using the best of nature’s produce. Recreating them at the Indian restaurant, Bidri at Hyderabad Marriott must have been a task. Yet, Chef Pawan Manhas, who is from Himachal Pradesh managed to bring a few indigenous vegetables and ingredients with him, and a few he sourced locally and managed to recreate the authentic flavours of Jammu, Himachal and Uttarakhand.

The hemp seeds chutney and the tomato chilli chutney roasted overnight and the pomegranate chutney served along with the starters marked an apt beginning to what was going to be a culinary ride through the hilly and picturesque Himalayas. The outdoor chulha (wood-fired stove) served the purpose of retaining traditional cooking methods, especially for roasts and grills – Kachaloo ki tikki – a sweet potato tikki, Kabargad – mutton ribs cooked in milk and spices from Kashmir…and there was trout – the fish that swims against the tide that was pan fried with black salt and dhania seeds flavouring it served with nimbu chutney (the lime pickle) on the side.

The main course too (served as thali) showcased the unique ingredients of the region – Alu jakhiya (Mustard seeds and potato preparation from Uttarakhand), slow-cooked Gehar Ka Daal (Horse gram preparation) from Kumaon, Bhatt ki churdkani (made of black soybeans that grow in abundance in the land), Chaa Gosht – quintessentially Himalayan chicken preparation using rice and gram flour and yoghurt, Alubokhara  qorma – mutton cooked with peach and the Kashmiri fish curry Muji Gaad.

Kashmiri Shufta that is a mix of dry fruits soaked in sugar syrup, the popular khoya-based delight Bal Mithai from Almora and the extremely local Jhangora ki kheer made from a local variety of millet. The Himalayan thalis will be available at the restaurant until October 15 for dinners.  


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