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A Voyage to Vijayanagara @Cubbon Pavilion, ITC Gardenia

Every year, ITC group of hotels as part of their endeavour to bring back the Jewels from the Past in association with Kitchens of India showcase a menu reminiscent of the tradition and heritage gone by. This year, the royal cuisine of one of the most affluent kingdoms of Southern India-Vijayanagara which was showcased as part of their ceremonial Buffet Dinner spread at Cubbon Pavilion, ITC Gardenia.

I was welcomed by the ever smiling and cheerful Simonti. As we walked past the hallway, I could smell the aroma of the fresh seasoning and condiments which are vital ingredients of this flamboyant cuisine.

We started with the Ennai Badanakai and the Karamani Pallya which were bursting with flavours and aroma. I paired a Fratelli Chardonnay which went well with the semi spicy notes. We also had servings of fresh Coriander, Mustard and Groundnut Pastes to go with the fried dishes.

The Mains were served in signature ITC style in a chic wooden plate with portions of Koli Pulao and Akki Roti to pair with the meat. The Bele Menthe or the traditional Dal went right with the Jolada Roti, a flatbread made from Rice flour. I relished the Seegadi Kal Menasu (Prawns),Kothimiri Koli Saaru (Chicken Gravy),Mamsa Kal Menasu (Mutton) with the Akki Roti and had multiple portions of the same. My personal favourite was the Mamsa Kal Menasu with its subtle states of Cardamom, a taste reminiscent of North Karnataka.

For desserts it was the Akki Payasa (Rice and milk flavoured with cardamom) and the Gullorige (Sweet semolina flat bread stuffed with roast chana flour, coconut & cardamom) which kept me occupied. This was not the first time I had Gullorige, but definitely the best I tasted so far.

This one of a kind culinary extraordinaire was held between 24th May through June 4th and was available for Dinner as part of their Buffet spread. We look forward to more such forgotten cuisines as part of this unique attempt to revive the heritage of our culturally diverse country.

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