Learning about a new cuisine is always interesting. Recently, I leaned about a little cuisine which belongs to the Bohri community. Dawoodi Bohra’s originally belong to Yemen, and later spread to India and Pakistan. In India, the Bohri community first settled in Gujrat particularly Surat. The roots of Bohri cuisine lies in Yemen but has major influences from Middle East and other parts of the world. All of this sounds really good, doesn’t it? However, there are not many places in the city that serve up exclusive Bohri cuisine.
Honrby’ Pavillion used this opportunity and hosted a Bohri Food Festival a few weeks ago. Chef Zabeer Khan, their Bohri food specialist, served up a wide spread of Bohri food. Here’s my experience at the food festival.
Saboot Tandoori Aloo
Potatoes never tasted so good! They were fluffy, well spiced and I loved the crunchy bit.
Murg Atishe Kebab
Minty and spicy, the extremely succulent. I squeezed a little bit of lemon juice and tried it with some onions. Perfect!
Baida Roti with Kheema
The kheema was delicious. What I really enjoyed was the aromatic flavour of cardamom. Also, I found chunks of meat in it. I didn’t mind it at all.
Pumpkin Tomato Soup
Unfortunately, I found hair in my soup. I was really looking forward to this dish. After I spotted the hair, the chef immediately replaced it. However, it wasn’t replaced. Disappointing…
I’ve usually refrained from having Paya. I don’t particularly like the greasy flavour. Also, it is extremely spicy. But to my surprise, the Bohri version of Paya was actually delicious. It has a luscious favour that filled my mouth.
Vegetable Biryani and Chicken Biryani
Both the biryanis were good and not greasy at all. I found dried fruits like cashew and apricots in it. That’s when I learnt that Bohri’s use a lot of dried fruits in their savoury dishes. That adds a lovely hint of sweetness.
Chicken in White Gravy
This is a classic Bohri dish and I was impressed. You can add it to your biryani our dunk your baida roti in it.
Paneer was lovely. The gravy was just average. Nothing great.
Bhindi and onions taste great together. The only thing missing in this dish was salt.
The taste was very odd. It almost tasted like a Chinese sweet and sour gravy. Very odd. It did not fit in with all the other dishes out there.
The dessert section was so overwhelming! I think I had a bite of everything. Motichur ladoos were delicious! I wish I had more space to accommodate the gajar ka halwa on my plate.
Chef Zabeer was kind enough to explain to me the difference between Bohri cuisine and Mughlai cuisine. He said that Bohri’s like milder flavours. They don’t go overboard in the spice department. That explains the unique flavour.