Gourmand’s paradise


Take out your calendars and mark December 2 in red or any fluorescent pen. Why? That’s the day for one of the Capital’s most awaited events of the year — The Himalayan Times International Food Fest.

This year it will be held at the Birendra International Convention Centre (BICC), which is centrally located (which means it is not far from anywhere). With cuisines from over 15 countries being showcased for you at the fest, it is truly going to be a gourmand’s paradise.

Tickets are available at THT front desk and are priced at Rs 100 and Rs 50 for children below 4-feet in height each.

See you at BICC on Saturday. Gates open at 10:00 am.

Kebab with a difference:

We are the only ones in the Capital serving doner kebabs,” says Devendra Jung Thapa, management consultant with the Doner Kebab that will be holding the Lebanese stall at THT food fest.

Doner kebab is usually marinated and roasted lamb served with salad and sauce rolled in a pita bread.

But you may ask what’s so special about doner kebab?

“Doner kebab is not like the usual kebabs that you get all over the town. The meat is marinated in orange juice, zeera, curd among other condiments, and cooked in a special oven meant for doner kebabs,” says Thapa. “The meat is stacked on a vertical rotating skewer and roasted at a constant temperature. This ensures that the meat is not burnt.”

This also ensures that the meat is juicy instead of dry.

Once the oil and the juice start dripping from the roasting meat, Thapa says the meat for the kebab is ready to be rolled into specially made rotis for the kebab. “The rotis for the roll are chapatti-style, but it is made of maida (refined flour) and is sweetly seasoned.”

The roti is smeared with a special sauce that has garlic as base before packing the just-ready meat into it.

Two types of doner kebabs will be served at THT food fest — chicken and mutton, which will be priced at Rs 150 and Rs 200 respectively a piece.

“Doner kebabs are food on the go. People can easily stroll around while munching on the kebabs. And it is fulfiling as it is a meal in itself,” says Thapa.

Mughal flavours:

Think of Mughal cuisine and what pops up in your mind is huge tables groaning under an astonishing array of mouth-watering dishes emanating exquisite aromas and fragrance. And what once used to be a legacy of the Mughal emperors is now a part of our own Capital. And this could be a tempting opportunity to sample a variety singular of Mughal Kitchen and relish its sumptuousness.

Says Pramod Jaiswal, owner of Mughal Kitchen that will be hosting the Afghan stall at THT food fest this year, “This is our second time participating in THT food fest. It was our aim to make the Muglai cuisine known in the capital, during our first participation. This time we are prepared to pull as many people as they binge into the sumptuous Muglai dishes.”

Afghan fare

• Biryani (Chicken or mutton): Rs 100

• Chicken chaap with roomali roti: Rs 100

• Veg biryani with Roomali roti: Rs 100

• Matar paneer: Rs100

Newari table:

Bhooja Ghar is spreading out a typical Newari cuisine along with everyone’s favourite momos at THT food fest.

Participating in THT food fest for the first time, proprietor of Bhooja Ghar Prem Maharjan expresses a lot of expectation and enthusiasm. “We’ve heard that around 18-19,000 visit this fair. It will a good opportunity for us to lay out our Newari dishes and it will also be a good exposure for our restaurant.”

For the fest, Maharjan has prepared a Samé baji set that has chiura (beaten rice), buff choela, bori, black soya beans, aaloo sandheko, ginger and garlic julians, half-a-piece of boiled egg.

Why samé baji? And Maharjan answers, “It is our number one set. It is already popular and the fest will only help it make more popular than it already is.”

Apart from this set, guests can also taste momos (fried or steamed) and bara, not to forget the famous Newari alcoholic drink aela. We all know that no Newari meal is complete

without this. So, here’s to aela and all the delicacies that are being laid out for all of us at BICC on December 2.

Newari fare

• Samé baji set: Rs 50

• Egg bara: Rs 20

• Plain bara: Rs 15

• Chicken momo: Rs 60

• Buff momo: Rs 40

• Aela: Rs 20 per glass

B’deshi cuisine:

Though, Bangladeshi cuisine is similar to the cuisines found in most of the places in the Indian subcontinent, it is the ample variety of sea and river fish that makes it distinct from others.

Fish features as a major staple in the Bangladeshi cuisine. Dishes like pulao and a variety of fish, mutton kebab, vegetable rolls, and vegetable chop are the legacies that have remained an integral part of the Bangladeshi cuisine since centuries.

Not to mention vegetable curries that has an equal significance in the Bangladeshi gastronomic fare. But the uses of spices like garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili, which add to make it spicier, cannot be overlooked.

The Bangladeshi embassy will put up its own stall with a variety of Bangladeshi dishes which will include Pulao with mutton curry, Pulao with chicken korma, Pulao with fish do piaja, Pulao with egg curry, Pulao with mixed vegetables, mutton kebab, vegetable roll, vegetable chop, with gulab jamun and jalebi to satisfy those with a sweet tooth.