Rare culinary jewels from Bangalore’s legendary past “The cuisine of the Navaithas” by ITC Gardenia

Bangalore’s food has a truly noteworthy culinary heritage, which includes the rich and lavish food from historical periods of Cholas and Chalukyas, rulers and emperors from Vijayanagara, Mughals and finally Wodeyars during the 17th century, who have greatly influenced the food in Bangalore. The city was then captured by British Empire in 1791 that led to the introduction of western eating habits.

Historically a multicultural city, Bangalore has experienced a theatrical social and cultural change with the advent of the liberalization and expansion of the information technology and BPO companies in India. But, this also led to change in our lifestyles, making people look out for easy alternatives, be it something that we use daily or something as important as food. And slowly the rich delicacies from the past were confined to only a few restaurants and homes.

Breaking these silos, ITC Gardenia – Cubbon Pavilion, the award winning restaurant in ITC Gardenia’s culinary crown, has come up with “The Cuisine of the Navaithas” as a part of its ‘Kitchens of  India’ theme, following its philosophy of unearthing forgotten treasures. Bringing to us, a chance to experience the rare culinary jewels from Bangalore’s legendary past.

“The Cuisine of Navaithas” is an enticing mix of Mughal and Nawab traditions, and has an uber selection of dishes from the past with fullest expression of their myriad spices and fabled ingredients in this magnificent dinner buffet.

Navaitha Cuisine is a culinary experience in its own right… From the infamous BANGALORE BIRYANI with Jeera Rice, to tantalising SEEKH ROLLS and SEEKH KEBABS, and the unforgettable GRILLED RAAN and  GRILLED CHICKEN. Other dishes like KAMIRI and MURG KORMAS coupled with IDIAPPAMS are what lend credibility to this cuisine. Specialities like FRIED MUTTON BRAINS, PATHAR GOSHT, PAYA, TALA GOSHT and many more, that ensure a truly indulgent experience.

While speaking to the ITC team, I was really amazed to know the amount of hard work the entire team puts in to bring together an experience like this for its guests, from chef’s, cooks, food and beverage heads, to the public relations officers who brain-storm ideas, themes and then get into detailing, tasting sessions, selections and much more.

The cuisine of Muslims in Bangalore's is unique and distinct from the local cuisine and the fact that local Muslims speak a dialect of Urdu instead of the local language got us thinking that of history behind it. Curiosity got better of us and we started tasting and exploring the cuisine of the Navaithas. A lot of Chefs/ cooks working with us at ITC have had some exposure to the cuisine… it was a matter of culling it out. Tasting... testing and retasting would have taken us around two months. Said Chef K.M. Srinevasu, ITC Gardenia - A Luxury Collection Hotel.

It has interestingly been said by some one that "Food is as much about History as it is about Geography" and the Cuisine of Navaithas bears this out well. Both history and geography have shaped this cuisine as has the adaptability of the people who carried this with them, absorbing bits and pieces along the way and making them their own.

For “The cuisine of the Navaithas”, the team realised that the cuisine is a confluence of Hyderabadi Nawabi and Mughal styles. Excelling in grills with their judicious use of spices. Gingee where they settled around the fort, was a melting pot, it had British, french and Maratha heritage along with local rulers at various points in its history... each leaving behind its own indelible impressions on the inhabitants.

The dishes from “The cuisine of the Navaithas” were kept as authentic and original as possible and no customizations were made to the original recipe. The next time you decide to set out to grab some food, remember that you might just be biting into a little piece of history.

My Favorites: (Paya Khamiri, Lehsun ka pulao, Soya Lauki, Methi boondi ki kheer, Brain Tawa Masala, Khubani ka meetha)

For my Chennai and Hyderabad readers, you can visit this festival in your city at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai and ITC Kakatiya, Hyderabad.

Also, there's lot more happening at ITC during August, check it out below:

Till then, keep sharing, keep exploring and keep eating 'for the love of food'.


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