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The taste of India

At the "Aromas of India" food festival, on weekends at Hotel CAG Pride, you get to sample regional delicacies.



Asking for more. Pics. Siva Saravanan.

WHAT IS great about homemade food? Apart from the taste, which is very much homely, it seldom results in stomach upsets. Hotel food is trendy, but the very mention of homemade delicacies like the humble paniyaram or puttu is enough to make one long to sample these all-time favourites.

What if someone served you not just traditional food from your region, but from across the country at a single venue? At "Aromas of India", the food festival organised by Hotel CAG Pride to mark the 57th year of Independence Day, Coimbatoreans will get to taste not just authentic Indian food, but some "homemade" delicacies as well.

That the menu was "completely traditional" would be an understatement. Once you are seated, the jhalmuriwala makes his appearance, offering you a welcome drink. For starters, you have a range of items to choose from, including Kolkata pani puri. Our Kanchipuram idli, kozhukattai and ennai kathirikkai kozhambu, mackerel pollichathu, the Andhra pesaratu and Mumbai's vada pav are among the items that you get in the buffet.


The Kanchipuram idli is a little bigger than what you normally make at home. With a sprinkling of ghee, gingelly oil, pepper and cashewnut, this idli tastes more like an adai.

"We are serving the local dishes of other States at the festival. The main aim is to promote traditional food items from various States," says Prakash Royan, General Manager of the hotel. The mackerel pozhichathu, a special dish from Kerala, is fish soaked in masala, placed on a plantain leaf and baked. For those used to tasting fish fry and curry, this one was a little different. The flavour of the leaf had soaked into the fish, lending it a distinctive flavour. "Some of these items are household names. But, you hardly get to taste them in a buffet," Mr. Royan states.


The menu also keeps changing every day to offer more variety. Ada pradhaman and chakka pradhaman, the payasam varieties from Kerala are a sweet way to start the meal. "These payasams are served during Onam and on special occasions in Kerala," he says.

The hotel lobby also sported a colourful look. The buffet has been organised at the venue where conferences and meetings usually take place. Zakir Hussain's tabla, Pandit Ravi Shankar's sitar and A R Rahman's music provide the ideal setting for the meal. Portraits of some of the country's landmarks added to the ambience. The betel leaves and arecanut placed on a tamboolam near the entrance was perfect way to end the meal.

The festival, which got off on I-Day, is open on Saturdays and Sundays till September 7.

M. A

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