Food and Drink

Flavours From The Forests of Panchachuli

With traditional recipes on the verge of being lost, food festivals like 'The Himalayan Bounty' attempt to revive the age-old delicacies by infusing them with modern flavours

A glimpse of 'The Himalayan Bounty' festival Photo: Mayank Kumawat

Clanking of vessels, wok-tossed pindalu (purple yam) and a tangy-sweet thuruchook (sea buckthorns) condiment dominated the recently concluded Himalayan Bounty in Munsiyari, located amidst the snow-clad ranges of Pithoragarh. This bountiful sight at the food festival honoured indigenous cuisines and ancient cooking methods. It is a way to thank nature for its abundant offerings. Foraging ingredients from forests and farms of Sarmoli, the festival was a collaboration "with the rural community and for the rural community."

As someone who hails from Uttarakhand, I was delighted to see "Pahadi" delicacies cooked with a contemporary twist. More so, the inquisitive village women captured my attention with their fine skills and camaraderie. Their conversance of the local ingredients, attention to detail and handpicking the traditional brass and copper utensils reflected their loyalty to their roots.