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For the Gujarati food lovers


A Gujarati food festival at `Utsav' restaurant till October 6 provides a good opportunity to have the native cuisine of this State.

MEAL FOR FOUR: The family enjoys the dinner.

GUJARAT MAY seem out of bounds for the commoner today on account of the situation but that does not mean that one cannot get a taste of Gujarat through its cuisine.

People of this State are predominantly vegetarian so the fare is vegetarian too. It has a mind-boggling range of dishes some of which are soaring up on the food charts.

For the Hyderabadis, Gujju items have meant mainly the farsans (array of snacks like dhoklas, khandvis and kachoris) as there are not many eating joints catering this kind of food.

Generally Gujju food is considered too sweet for the spicy Hyderabadi palate so often people stay away from it.

But Gujarati food served in Hyderabad is not as it is often perceived. At least the sweet part is toned down considerably.

To taste Gujarati food head to `Utsav' Restaurant (next to Tivoli Theatre) for the restaurant is having a Gujarati food festival till October 6.

The festival has formatted a menu available as a la carte and not as a traditional thali.

One can begin with a masala chaas (lassi which has a dash of rock salt). The best part of the meal is the farsan platter.

GOODIES GALORE: The spread is tempting.

About six snacks make up this platter - the ordinary dhokla, sandwich dhokla (sandwiched with mint chutney), khandvi, kachori, patra or patrel (a delicacy made of colocasia leaves) and fafda (`akin' to ganthia). With mint chutney as an accompaniment, these are good to relish.

For the main course there is oondhiya (a traditional dish of mixed vegetables and muthia - a semi-dry preparation), batata nu shaak (a potato and tomato curry which is sweet and tangy), sev tamata (sev is added to a tomato gravy when the dish arrives at the table), Gujarati dal and bhindi na kadhi.

The Gujarati dal is sans peanuts (which is generally used), while the kadhi is worth sampling. These dishes can be had with good, wafer-thin theplas (made of methi and doodhi) - should not be missed on any account.

The rice lovers can feast on vagherelo bhaat (a mildly spiced rice) with raita.

All this is served by waiters dressed in Gujarati attire (with even chunky bead necklaces).

There are just two desserts to choose from - moong dal sheera and basundi. While the former is richly loaded with nuts (almonds and pistachios) which enhance its delicious quality, the latter is more or less the same fare one is used to eating.

This food fest should certainly tempt you to sample a rich cuisine.

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