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From rural delicacies to home-cooked meals, authentic Indian dishes a hit in migrant-dominated Bengaluru

Many metro cities are opening their homes to offer regional, traditional food.

, ET Bureau|
Sep 11, 2019, 10.01 AM IST
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​A wide spread of Gujarati Thali​.
A wide spread of Gujarati Thali by Authenticook .
BENGALURU: IT professional Ankit Das’ yearly ritual was to head back home to Kolkata for Durga Puja. However, last year, workload and business trips meant he couldn’t. Though he missed the festive fervour back home, he got to feast on begun bhaja (brinjal fritters), the elusive ilish (Hilsa fish) and gobindobhog rice. This was with a Bengali family in their home in Hebbal.

“I was reminded of home and made new friends who share my passion for Bengali food. I’ve now signed up for a Gujarati home-cooked meal next month. It is much lighter on the pocket, authentic and healthier than going to a restaurant,” Das said.

The family that hosted him and a couple of his other Bengali friends are among many who are opening their homes to offer regional, traditional fare.
Begun bhaja, ilish jhol and gobindobhog rice as a part of Bengali thali.
Begun bhaja, ilish jhol and gobindobhog rice as a part of Bengali thali.

Giving a leg-up to such initiatives are online hosting platforms where people can sign up as hosts and offer small or large group meals in their homes.

Mumbai-based Authenticook is among the most popular hosting platforms and is gaining currency in Bengaluru. Its website has over 200 home chefs who host traditional meals and food experiences for a price.

On a monthly basis, Authenticook adds more than 25 home chefs, after verification and tasting, cofounder Aneesh Dhairyawan said. Bengali and Bihari meals are among the most popular, followed by regional coastal cuisine.

“Apart from the cutlery and décor, there is rarely anything different in restaurants,” he noted. With home chefs, it’s not just traditional food, lost recipes and homecooked goodness, there’s a strong sense of culture too, said he.
Home chefs bring a strong sense of culture along with traditional food, lost recipes and homecooked goodness​.
Home chefs bring a strong sense of culture along with traditional food, lost recipes and homecooked goodness.

Food writer Purvi Kulkarni said, “Community building is intrinsic among Indians, and we gravitate towards people from similar backgrounds. It’s the same with food, especially in a migrant-dominated city like Bengaluru.”

While she hasn’t signed up on such platforms, she routinely hosts home-food experiences through word-of-mouth and social media promotions. From rural delicacies like mudde and heerekaayi palya to Maharashtrian staples including misal pav, puran poli and zunka bhakar, her meals have been gaining much traction. “Most of those who sign up are youngsters who miss home food.”

Bohri food is also catching on. Conosh, another platform, recently hosted a Bohri New Year thaal lunch.

Healthy Dessert Recipes By Chef Manish Mehrotra To Add To Your Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration...

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Food For The Soul

29 Aug, 2019
The festive season in India is often marked by feasts, in which sweets form a major part. Festivals in different parts of the country are celebrated with a variety of desserts. While Ganesh Chaturthi sees modaks surface as a favourite, Pradhaman is popular during Onam. The craving to dig into your favourite dessert as you celebrate festivals with your loved ones can be at an all-time high during this period. But, if the stress of the unhealthy eating gets to you, there's always a way to indulge your sweet tooth, while staying healthy. To make your festive-binge smooth, we asked award-winning chef Manish Mehrotra to share his secrets to some delectable, healthy treats. Scroll on for the recipes and their nutritional content.
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