When butter chicken took a backseat in Chandigarh

October 20th, 2008 - 11:42 am ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Oct 20 (IANS) Punjab may be called the land of butter chicken, but the residents of its capital city relish their chicken chettinad and mutton vindaloo just as much - as was evident at a south Indian food festival here.The three-day Spicy South Food Festival at the five-star Mountview Hotel here had much more than just idli-dosa to offer and an estimated 750 foodies turned up for it.

“It was a big bonanza for us in this festival season. We have many south Indian restaurants in this city but still the dishes offered here were exceptional,” said Raghu Sharma, an engineer working in a software company here.

The menu included different types of salads, rasam with papad, buttermilk, chicken chettinad, koli kuzhambu, mutton vindaloo, porrial, aloo kora, idli, vada, dosa and sambar.

Visitors got to savour the lip-smacking fare for a fixed price of Rs.399, inclusive of all taxes.

“We really love south Indian food and such occasions are very rare when we have so many delicacies available at such throwaway prices,” said Manjeet Bhalla, a businessman here.

The three-day festival started Oct 18 and was organised by the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO), which runs Mountview Hotel.

“This was our endeavour to bring the cultures of two different states under one roof. This was also probably the first time anyone offered non-vegetarian south Indian fare at a food festival,” R.P. Singla, general manager, Mountview Hotel, told IANS.

“We also got many outstation visitors.”

Customers enjoyed the treat in the backdrop of classical dance and music at a food festival here.

“Our own team of chefs, many of whom were trained in southern India, prepared all the food. However, the artistes performing here were specially invited from Tamil Nadu,” said Singla.

To give it a feel of southern India, the hall was decorated with the leaves of mango trees and posters displaying food from that region were put up all over the walls.

“All our staff members also wore traditional southern Indian clothes.”

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