How much do you know about Ladakhi cuisine? About the food traditions and delicacies of the northern parts of India? Not the generic ones that often get listed under the 'North Indian' or 'Tibetan' categories in restaurant menus. But the authentic dishes, which are closely woven into the culture, tradition and nature in Ladakh.
If you are yet to have a taste, here is an opportunity. Chef Kunzes Angmo, who has roots in Ladakh, is excited to introduce the unique flavours of her homeland to the foodies of Kochi and Kottayam. She is in the state to serve some interesting Ladakhi dishes to Keralites at ‘A Ladakhi Odyssey’ culinary festival organised by Guestronomy, which is known for organising curated food experiences for guests.
Guestronomy, a brand founded by Sareeka John and Payal Bafna 2019, organizes food pop-ups, offers curated menu and dining experiences, hotel and restaurant audits and premium customer experiences.
For this event, Kunzes has brought around forty kilograms of ingredients including vegetables, fruits and spices from Ladakh to cook the Ladakhi dishes at Kochi's Holiday Inn Hotel. Some rare tubers, yellow chillies and Chinese radish that aren’t available anywhere else in India too are used in the dishes.
The influence of Tibetan and Chinese cuisines and the food items from countries in the ancient Silk Route, including the Persian region, could be seen in the Ladakhi cuisine. Born and brought up in Srinagar, Kunzes works in the food processing and farming sector. She has learned quite a lot about the history and cultural significance of the Ladakhi dishes and wishes to share them with the rest of the country. She often shares recipes and pictures of authentic Ladakhi dishes through her social media page ‘Artisanal Alchemy’.
Kunzes is interested not just in cooking and serving the dishes but also in giving an idea about the ingredients that have been used, their farming methods, nutritional values and other special features.
Yarkhandi pulao is Kunzes’ signature dish. This is a special rice dish cooked with huge chunks of meat. Interestingly, only a handful of families in Ladakh know the unique method of cooking authentic yarkhandi pulao.
A Ladakhi Odyssey
The event offers a seven-course gourmet delight for a marvelous dining experience. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are offered. The Kochi event, being held at the Holiday Inn, will conclude on November 30. Guestronomy is also hosting an event in Kottayam on December 2. It will be held at the Kallukunnu House at Kanjikuzhy from 7.30 pm on the same day.