Food of the provinces

Food historian Osama Jalali (Image: eatwithindia)

Food lovers in the Capital have a new reason to rejoice. The North West Frontier Province Food Festival commenced last night, at Hotel Le Méridien Gurgaon. Intricatelyprepared treats such as Lahori Murgh Chargha and Chapli kebab will be seen here. Personalities in the culinary world such as Chef Kunal, Chef Rakesh Sethi, Rinku Madan, and Dr Pushpesh Pant, will be seen at the Méridien. The festival is curated by food historian Osama Jalali, and will take place till the 15th.

Jalali explains In January I went to Lahore and Karachi for a wedding. I documented the regional recipes and street food there. The entire menu for this festival was inspired by my experiences across the border. Jalali shares, I was blown away by the food there. It’s very rustic, and not atall commercialised. He adds, It’s a mix of very different culture in the NWFP. There they are Baluchi, Sindhi, Peshawari, and Punjabis, which is reflected in the cuisine. Many are sure to flock here, as the NWFP is an area which many are curious about.

He muses, There is so much nostalgia associated with this region. He adds, A family who had left Peshawar after Partition will be coming to the festival shortly. In fact I had consulted them on the menu. This elaborate menu, as Jalali says, took six months to curate, and reflects the amount of research taken to replicate the flavours of the province. What makes this festival even more remarkable is that that each dish will be prepared by Jalali and his wife Nazia Khan, herself a Pathan, whose forefathers were from Afghanistan. The festival will be a treat of tastes and textures from the provinces.