Dakshin, ITC Windsor celebrates 'The Spice Island Flavours' highlighting the specialities of South India

ITC Hotels have magnificently brought India’s fine tradition of hospitality with globally benchmarked services together. Unmatched hospitality, great food and a truly unique experience is what you can look up for during your next visit to any ITC.

Similar was my experience at ‘The Spice Island Flavours’, ITC Windsor is celebrating this special South Indian Food Festival under the aegis of ‘Kitchens of India’ till 31st August. With 'Kitchens of India' ITC Hotels across India has been showcasing unique & undiscovered cuisines and cooking styles from India, lost traditions, recipes that only a bunch of people know about and the specialities that it hold. From ‘The Cuisine of the Navaithas’ to ‘POUSH – The Essence of Kashmiri Pandit Cuisine’ and now to ‘The Spice Island Flavours’ ITC Hotels has brought together a mix of elegance, flavour and royal touch for its guests.

ITC Windsor has long acquired a reputation of playing host to the aristocracy of the world, influenced with Victorian architecture offers a true royal experience.

Dakshin, ITC Windsor which is an award winning restaurant is immensely popular amongst visitors to the city, the connoisseurs, the celebrities… from Corporate Honchos, Distinguished Heads of State,  world  famous  authors  and musicians, have savoured the delights of South Indian cuisine in all its ancient and yet vibrant glory. I loved the live music being played at Dakshin, adding a different taste to the ambiance.

The special menu for ‘The Spice Island Flavours’, highlighting the specialities of Dakshin is curated by Priya Bala, renowned ‎food and lifestyle writer. It was very interesting to know how her stay in Sri Lanka influenced the cooking style, choice of ingredients and the uniqueness they inherited when coming back to Tamilnadu. There’s so much more to South Indian food than just rasam and sambar! phew!

For instance, Muneer which is a very distinct drink made using tender coconut water, jaggery, khus syrup and honey, North Indians also consumer the refreshing khus in the form of coolers, ice-creams and kulfis, but this mix was something which I tried for the first time and it was out of the box. Khaima Somasi which is a very popular dish among the South Indian Muslims and is among one of my favs, Samosas stuffed with seasoned minced lamb and served with tomato chutney.

Vendakka Sambal again something new to my tongues, the description in the menu reads ‘crisp  fried okra silvers with tomatoes and onions’. I was under an impression that it is a curry based dish made from lady finger but to my surprise, these were thin cut slices of okra coated with rice flour, deep fried and then sautéed with tomato and onion.

Devilled Chicken reading the name of this dish, I was assuming that it would have got this name because of the high spice levels in the dish, only to my surprise I found that the dish was named so because of the British influence on South Indian cuisine. Taste wise it was very similar to chilli chicken.

Annasi Perattal Pineapple curry scented with cinnamon and fennel; this dish on the first tasted like barbequed pineapple, but as the flavours dissolve in your mouth you would feel a bit tangy, bit sweet but amazing mix of flavours. (Prepared with diced pineapples, reduced in coconut milk, seasoned with cinnamon and fennel powder)

Erachi Curry was another dish on the table, which was a tender lamb stew with mid spice levels, Kaju Curry although there are numerous ways in which Kaju Curry is made across India, as a spicy curry rich in butter and a thick gravy, this madhyam was cooked with cashew nuts along with green peas and coconut gravy.

Lamprais was a really interesting dish again and I haven’t had something like this earlier. Rice cooked with curried chicken, seeni sambol, vegetables wrapped inside a banana leaf and baked to perfection, the moment you open the leaf, it explodes with aromas of the rice, the gravies within giving a unique gastronomic experience.

Kiri Pani thick homemade yoghurt served with palm jaggery treacle.

Worth Trying: Most of them, all the dishes are truly unique and you won’t find these dishes even in authentic South Indian restaurants. (Muneer, Annasi Perattal, Lamprais are some you can’t miss)

Dakshin have curated some of the finest traditional recipes that remain hidden with just a bunch of people. This unique food festival in Bangalore is the best chance to experience the influence of the Emerald Isle on Tamil cuisine.

The repertoire is large, the flavours unexplored, the preparations unusual…
just the perfect combination for an unforgettable experience…

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


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