Food fest A cool food fest with hot chilli to pep up the season

That it is hot, is a common knowledge but that there are various kinds of chillies is a lesser known fact. About their health benefits? “Even chefs are not aware much,” says Chef Sajesh Nair.

To show a totally different avatar of the misunderstood spice — mirchi, chef Sajesh and Balki Hardip decided to host a chilli fest, to showcase the other possible treats with chillies.

The fest is on for two weeks at Spice Junxion, Taj Deccan where diners can drink, eat and finish it on a ‘chilli’ note. If you think it means spicy, then it is a misconception. For this fest the chefs are using a lot of local products and a few from Kerala and North Kashmir. “I wouldn’t be able to point out one benefit of chilli in particular. Like the different varieties, its benefits also vary,” says Sajesh.

Chef Balki Hardip who is taking care of the dishes says he also personally attends to the guests to know the spice quotient. The ‘hotness’ in the food varies from person to person and region to region and accordingly I customise the order.”

The items on the menu are selected with care and the number of items is kept decently reasonable. Most of the items are Indian with a few combo-fusion platters.

To begin with, the chef offered, for a sample, a chilled rasam topped with a slit green chilli. It was named ‘Guntur mirchi aur alubukhara rasam’. The tangy drink was perfect with just a hint of the green chilli.

Then came another drink which was totally different from the first one — coconut water spiced with coriander and a pinch of minced green chillies. This one keeps you guessing about the ingredients.

Then came sample bites and eats. Starting with a tangdi kebab , the plate was filled with food like mirchi bajji which came topped with minced onions and garnished with pomegranate seeds. This might bag the mirchi bajji a few more loyal fans.

Then came a bite-sized roti be boti , onion and mirchi potli (a fried dumpling), rajma shikampuri kebab and Dilli mirchi ke chatpate aloo .

While all the above mentioned were the starters, the main course had naans and rotis with red and green chillies.

The bread basket came with hari mrichi ka laccha paratha, lal mirch aur mooli ka paratha and this was served with the traditional dal, ‘onion-tamata curry,’ chicken curry.

The rice pulao had red gram and the taste was peculiar yet nice.

Finally comes the dessert. It certainly is sweet, but much to our surprise this too comes with mirchi!

PRABALIKA M.BORAH

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