Food festival recreates flavours of Old Delhi

New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) From 'daulat ki chaat' and 'mohabbat ka sherbat' to 'changezi chicken' and 'matar ka kulcha', the quintessential flavours of Old Delhi have been recreated at a food festival in Okhla here.

The 10th edition of 'Dilli 6' food festival, underway at Edesia in Crowne Plaza Okhla, is an ode to the walled city, in replicating not just its gastronomical flavours, but also the 'chaos' of Chandni Chowk.

There is no pattern whatsoever in the way the different food items are placed. Like in Chandni Chowk, one needs to push through crowds before finally reaching their favourite shop, at 'Dilli 6' too one needs manoeuvre multiple stalls before getting their food of choice.

Visitors are welcomed by several sweet shops, followed by a stall serving the much relished deep-fried breads from Chandni Chowk's iconic 'paranthe wali gali'. The paranthas are available in a range of stuffing, including 'mirchi', 'nimbu', 'papad', 'mewa' and more.

'We have attempted to bring back the magical recipes from the households and streets of Old Delhi for our patrons. We have attempted to recreate those flavours, and aromas to take forward the legacy,' Sumit Sinha, director of food and beverage at Crowne Plaza, said.

He said the ingredients for dishes like 'Akbari Murgh Masala', 'Jahangiri Muttom Korma', and 'Haleem' have been sourced from Old Delhi, and added that as part of the event, they had also brought vendors from Chandni Chowk to whip up some traditional delicacies.

To add an element of nostalgia, organisers have put a gramophone on display, and parked a Lambretta right outside the venue. There is also a parrot astrologer, ready to predict fortunes. Besides the main menu, there is an additional menu dedicated to the 'Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal', a 14th century hunting lodge, believed to be one of the most haunted places in the city.

The spookily labelled dishes of this menu include 'Amawasya Ki Raat Walee Daal', 'Paneer Khooni Masala', 'Veerana Cutlet', 'Chatpati Chudail', 'Dayan ka Tadka' and 'Tantrik Bhasma Laddoo'.

For those who are a fan of other spirits, worry not as there is also the trademark 'Jhilmil Bar' dedicated to the yesteryear villains of Bollywood -- 'Old Fashioned Gabbar', 'Kaancha Cheena', 'Mogambo Margarita', 'Sidecar Shakaal', 'Langda Tyagi', 'Kali Charan', 'Pink Lady Mona Darling', and 'Crime Master Negroni'.

The show stealer, however, is a re-created 'Chor Bazaar' dining experience.

The overwhelmingly lit-up space features a mix-n-match set up created by putting together cutleries, furniture, curtains, candle sticks, table napkins, fans, and lights from different suites, restaurants, kitchens, store rooms, laundry room of the hotel itself.

To take the entertainment quotient up a notch, the festival is also hosting a 'Mohabbat Ka Sherbat' drinking challenge.

'The challenge is that the visitor has to finish a tower full of sherbet in three minutes. Reward: complimentary dining experience at Edesia for the next one year,' rganisers said.

The feast goes off the table on Saturday. PTI MG TRS TRS TRS