My Grand Mom was a fantastic cook. I have fond memories of her. She passed away when I was 10. I distinctively remember a dish that she would cook – simple curry of baby potato. With a tooth pick, she would prick the potatoes and marinate them in spices for few hours and cook on low heat. Unfortunately I never had that dish after my grand mom expired and my dad being a diabetic, avoided potato.
I couldn’t find the recipe anywhere and all I have is a taste that I won’t forget and will not be able to revive and relish! This is exactly what most of today’s generation share and talk about. There are innumerable recipes and dishes that are long lost as we didn’t pass onto generations and we can’t cook as we do not have them documented! We all have fond memories of a favorite family meal from our childhood. I wish I could bring back special memories and cherished dishes that I enjoyed with my family. I wish I could discover dishes that I remember from the past and other legendary dishes that we loved! My blog started on the same thought as I wanted to pen down my experience and share it with everyone! I wanted to celebrate through my blog, the glamour and elegance of food and the culinary journey that evokes elegant dining!
Last week my good friend Osama Jalali( he doesn’t need any introduction) invited me to ThreeSixtyOne at Oberoi’s to be part of Rivaayat-e-Rampur – it was like reviving my childhood memories.
Huge thanks to Oberoi group for taking this initiative! Rivaayat is an initiative started by Oberoi to revive and record recipes and cuisines that we are losing with passing generations and fading away.It is certainly very innovative and constructive and we will cherish these for time immemorial! I was fortunate enough to be part of this initiative and experience the delightful Rampur cuisine.
Before I share the details about Oberio’s initiative, I would like to share some brilliant write up on Rampuri Cuisine which you can read here, written by Madhulika Dash. Rampur has very vast history and that itself need a post. I will share my research on Rampur Cuisine in next post.
Idea of re-storing/re-creating the heritage recipes, first came in MR. Kapil Chopra’s mind and the he discussed this idea with the leadership team of the group. It wasn’t that easy and there wasn’t any roadmap at that time. But they put in a lot of effort not only to collect information but they also chose couple of people who are expert in their specific cuisine and were traditional experts.
Kapil, along with Rohit Gambhir, the executive chef of Oberoi’s delhi re-created classroom inside one of the banquet hall of Oberoi’s Gurgaon and then the next four days it was kitchen for the chef of the entire Oberoi across india and worked together under strict and specific instructions. They handpicked four traditional experts to train their chefs for the next four days. They chose Nazish Jalali and Osama Jalali( well-known food critic and expert in shahjahanabad and Rampur cuisine), Sweety Singh( master of Punjabi food), Nawab Izzat Hussian from Lucknow, Mumtaz Khan and her mother from Hyderabad. Each of them taught chefs ten dishes and it wasn’t an easy task. There were eight cameras and each and every ingredient which they used was measured and recorded at each and every step.
After they finished the marathon workshop, each chef had to work hard to replicate the same dish and follow the recipe, and it was monitored by the experts.
After this marathon exercise they started the first of the series at Trident, Gurgaon and it was Rivaayat-E-Awadh under the guidance from Nawab Izzat Hussain and that was an instant hit. And after that Rivaayat – e- Rampur happened which, under the guidance of Osama Jalali. His mother-Nazish Jalali accepted the fact that it wasn’t easy for her to share the recipe initially but it was Osama who convinced her as he firmly believed in what is father had preached – “ilm baantne se badhta hai”
I didn’t know that Rampuri cuisine is different from mughai and awadh cuisines, though they clearly reflect the influence of muslim cooking. As shared in my blogs earlier, I have grown up relishing dishes cooked by my muslim’s friend mother. Karele ki chidiya which we know as karela kalongi and laute paloute which for us was basan ki sabji are cooked in two different styles. Khichda – I didn’t experience it earlier and I can never forget, the consistency, texture and everything was just perfect. I might give a miss to haleem after having Khichda! I can write a story on Taar qorma!J. Aloo gosht and then aloo zarda( never thought of it) was something which completely transcends you to a different era.
Thank you Osama and to your mother, Mallika Gouda and Executive Chef Ravitej Nath for having me over and I believe this will create a new chapter in Indian culinary history.
Disclaimer – This review was done on an invitation from the establishment. Views expressed in the review is entirely ours and without any bias. Pictures of the dishes are not the standard portions, they are sample portions.