Food and Beverages · Hospitality · Lifestyle

The Vijayagara Feast at Cubbon Pavilion, ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru. 

Established in the 14th century AD by two brothers from the Sangama Dynasty, the Vijayanagara empire was based in the Deccan Plateau region of southern India.

The empire was a prominent and powerful; one whose reign lasted well over 200 years, before it was defeated at the battle of Talikota. Remains of the capital city of Vijayanagara can be found surrounding present day Hampi. 

The empire was praised by many, including Hiuen Tsang- the Chinese Buddhist monk and traveller, for its prosperity, powerful army, strong maritime trade and abundance of food. 

Rice and wheat were staples, along with an abundant supply of pulses, fruits(Mango, grapes, oranges) and vegetables. 

Paying homage to this heritage is Cubbon Pavilion at ITC Gardenia, which is hosting The Vijayanagara Feast- celebrating the erstwhile cuisine in all its glory. 

At a recent preview, I was both delighted and astounded to see the variety of offerings yet how simple and delicious the food was. 

Items I sampled include:

Balakkai Vada- Fried dumplings of raw banana

Koli Menasakai– Dry chicken preparation with red chilies and spices

Kaima Unde Bartad-Dumplings of lamb and coriander

Ennai Badanakai– Brinjal cooked in a roast peanut, tomato and tamarid gravy

Tondakai Pallya– Dry preparation of Ivy gourd with fresh coconut and red chilly

Bele Menthe– Yellow lentil with fenugreek leaves

Urida Mamsa– Lamb chops with roast spice masala

Kothimiri Koli Saaru– Chicken in a coriander and coconut gravy

Meen Huli– Fresh sear fish cubes cooked with tamarind and tomatoes 

Mavinakai Annam– Raw mango rice

Koli Pulao– Chicken cooked with rice and spices

Akki Roti– Flatbread of rice flour

Chappati– Flatbread of whole wheat flour

Akki Payasa- Rice and milk flavored with cardamom

Gullorige– Sweet semolina flat bread stuffed with roast chana flour, coconut & cardamom. 

I am told that a LOT of research has gone into curating this menu by the expert line of cooks at the ITC Gardenia, and they have done their best to keep it as authentic it can be, today. 

While many would question the use of Tomatoes in the Meen Huli (since tomatoes were introduced to India much later by the Portuguese in the 16th Century), I’d like to think of this passing down of recipes as a game of Chinese Whisper- there is bound to some change with passage of time, but the basic ethos remains true to the Vijayanagara style of cooking. 

A warm note of thanks to Executive Chef Yogen, Ms. Simonti, Ms. Ayesha and the F&B team at Cubbon Pavilion for this experience. 

This Royal Repast is available till Sunday, 4th June, 2017 for Dinner only at Cubbon Pavilion, ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru and is priced at ₹1950 plus taxes, per person.  

Reservations are recommended and can be made on tel:+918043455000.  



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