The Cuisine of Vijayanagara at Cubbon Pavilion, ITC Gardenia

The Cuisine of Vijayanagara at Cubbon Pavilion, ITC Gardenia

One thing that has remained constant in Bangalore is the city’s unflinching love for good food. Its rich culinary heritage may be blamed for the city’s endless passion for sumptuous and lavish cuisines. History wistfully stands as a reminder of exquisitely created dishes that marked the reign of the Cholas, the Chalukyas, and the Wodeyars. Every dynasty influenced the food in their own distinctive ways, handing down secret recipes from one generation to another, creating a curiosity for foods, flavours and aromas that continue to interest foodies of the city till this day.

Guided by the maxim of benevolently accepting every culture, Bangalore’s social and cultural landscape went through a transformational overhaul as IT companies and BPOs firmly set their feet in the city. It led to a notable change in the lifestyles of its people as we began looking for easier alternatives for almost everything – the things we used every day to the food we ate. And so the traditional cuisine of the South that required arduous cooking and a true passion for good food, retracted gently into the shadows of a handful of restaurants and households.

In an attempt to bring them back into the spotlight, Cubbon Pavilion, the award winning restaurant at ITC Gardenia presents “Vijayanagara Feast” under the aegis of “Kitchens of India – Unique Tastes”. It is a revival of the magnificence of the royal cuisines of a country that associates itself very closely with its foods. This festival is a celebration of the grand spreads on the royal dinner tables of the Vijayanagara Empire. It is a beautiful reminder of our rich and glorious past – a journey in history through food.

113a

113b

 

From the most powerful kingdom in its time and a culinary celebration in its own right, “The Cuisine of Vijayanagara” as re-imagined by Cubbon Pavilion is a tempting collaboration of South Indian traditions which make way for an excellent selection of historically renowned dishes. The prudent use of a spectrum of spices and some fabled ingredients makes this regal dinner buffet alluring for the eyes and enticing for the stomach. Royal signature dishes which have found their way to the feast include Mamsa Sukka Chops, Nati Koli Saaru, Kadabu and Gullorige.

113c

 

Having sampled the variety of delicacies on offer I have no doubt that this stately spread is the result of the meticulous work done by an entire team of chefs, cooks, Public Relations officers as well as food and beverage heads who rack their brains for the most creative ideas, and innovative themes which result in tasting sessions, selections and a whole lot more.

268b

Chef Yogen with Chef Mahadev

268c

Chef Mahadev with PR Manager Simonti Majumdar and Raghav Wanchoo

268d

Chef Mahadev with Raghav Wanchoo

 

There’s a lot that has been said about food but I love the way its vast reach is described in an anonymous quote that goes, “Food is as much about History as it is about Geography.” The Cuisine of Vijayanagara is a brilliant example of how history and geography shaped food choices; the creations and the use of ingredients and herbs in a cuisine. It also marks the flexibility with which the cuisine adapted recreations of its recipe with small additions and subtractions made by rulers, royal cooks and chefs who wanted to score a perfect ten for their dishes. Today, it may not be present in the same form or taste as it began with, but the flavours have lingered from one generation to another, small changes adapting the recipe to the new palette but continuing to bear the authenticity of its regal past.

 

My Favourites: Kaima Unde Bartad, Tondakai Pallya Urida Mamsa and Gullorige.

 

Balakkai Vada

{Fried dumplings of raw banana}

268e Balakkai Vada 1

268e Balakkai Vada 2

 

Koli Menasakai

{Dry chicken preparation with red chilies and spices}

268f Koli Menasakai 1

268f Koli Menasakai 2

 

Kaima Unde Bartad

{Dumplings of lamb and coriander}

268g Kaima Unde Bartad 1

268g Kaima Unde Bartad 2

 

Ennai Badanakai

{Brinjal cooked in a roast peanut, tomato and tamarid gravy}

268h Ennai Badanakai 1

268h Ennai Badanakai 2

 

Tondakai Pallya

{Dry preparation of Ivy gourd with fresh coconut and red chilly}

268i Tondakai Pallya

 

Bele Menthe

{Yellow lentil with fenugreek leaves}

268j Bele Menthe 1

268j Bele Menthe 2

 

Kothimiri Koli Saaru

{Chicken in a coriander and coconut gravy}

268k Kothimiri Koli Saaru 1

268k Kothimiri Koli Saaru 2

 

Meen Huli

{Fresh sear fish cubes cooked with tamarind and tomatoes}

268l Meen Huli 1

268l Meen Huli 2

 

Mavinakai Annam

{Raw mango rice}

268m Mavinakai Annam

 

Koli Pulao

{Chicken cooked with rice and spices}

268n Koli Pulao

 

End note: “The Cuisine of Vijayanagara” celebrates the culinary past of the kingdom in its true essence with the least of changes incorporated only to enhance the flavours keeping every recipe as original as possible. So make your reservations at the ITC Gardenia and experience a culinary feast fit for the royals!

 

Getting there: Cubbon Pavilion, ITC Gardenia, # 1, Residency Road, Bengaluru 560025

Dinner only. For reservations, please call +91 80 4345 5000 or contact Raghav +919650536643

 

Photography: Arun Rajendran

 

*Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the hotel, and is a narrative of the author’s experience at the event. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

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