Food

A classic twist

Enjoy traditional fare from Mysuru, Melkote, Kanchipuram and other southern towns at the food festival at iD

There are quick and new recipes that the Internet throws up, or those that glitzy television shows introduce viewers to. And then there are the age-old ones which are handed down generations, or find themselves painstakingly written out in tattered, yellowing sheets of old note books, but are no longer in the recesses of the memory of the present generation.

It’s the latter that the team at iD presents in collaboration with Rakesh Raghunathan of Puliyogare Travels. Titled Good Old Classics, the food festival features around 20 dishes, including Kanchipuram idli, vangi baath, kadambasaadam, pudina rasam, maavikai chitranam, ksheera... This curated menu with staples from yore has recipes from Mysuru, Melkote, North Arcot, Kanchipuram, and other places in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

“These are traditional classics that our grandmothers and great-grandmothers made. A lot of them have not been documented. The idea is to create awareness about these foods,” says Raghunathan. He has documented these dishes for the last three years, as he travelled extensively across South India. A lot of these techniques and ingredients have been long forgotten. “There are complexities. For example, the Kanchipuram idli batter has to be fermented for five to six hours. Earlier, they used to be wrapped in mandaarai leaves and put in bamboo baskets. Now, we put it in tumblers,” he adds.

Bhavesh Shah, head of experience, SPI Cinemas, says, “We were wondering what to do next with iD, when we realised as a culture itself India has lost so many recipes. So we thought of bringing them, as well as these forms of cooking, back.” After three to four trials and a bit of refining and tweaking the recipes, iD is now ready with the month-long food festival that starts today at all its outlets. There is the option of a la carte and thaali. The thaali, laden with 10 different dishes, is tempting. The kadambasaadam and hayagriva maddi are absolute favourites.

We are all familiar with food trends. One year it was the fancy cupcakes, then came the delightful cronuts, and more recently rainbow sushi rolls... Apparently, retro revival is in now. World over too, classic foods are making a comeback. “With this, we bring tasty, healthy food from the earlier generations for the present one. Our team at iD has been innovating and will showcase interesting dishes put together by them in the following months,” adds Shah. After all, who doesn’t like a bit of nostalgia?

(iD is open from noon to 11 pm)

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 5:27:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/a-classic-twist/article18787863.ece

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