Being home to many architectural marvels, Gujarat is famous for its rich heritage and vibrant culture, besides their surreal landscapes and mouth watering cuisine off course. For me this “Land of Legends’ harbours a rich diversity of flora, fauna and quite literally presents a perfect blend of music, history, art and culture.
From the moment I landed in Ahmadabad I couldn’t help but notice its infrastructure and clean air. My drive from the airport to my hotel was smooth thanks to great roads. Even the hospitality and warmth from locals didn’t disappoint. Essentially, what brought me here was a ‘Food for Thought’ event hosted by me for none other than prestigious FICCI which happens to be India’s largest and oldest Apex business organization. And I feel honored to associate with them. For starters, I was welcomed by FICCI organizing a spectacular dinner with 25 inspiring women entrepreneurs across various industries.
From promoting to motivating and even celebrating each other’s success and perseverance, the dinner was highly riveting. And what made it a binding experience was accepting the familiarity of struggles only women face and must fight together. I was excited to share my views on stage about food trends, what’s next in the food space, sustainable lifestyle and a live interaction with the audience too. Being a firm believer of eating locally produced foods, I spoke about the benefits of seasonal produce to humans and the environment too.
For instance, ingredients grown during the monsoons should only be consumed within the season itself. Interestingly the city of Ahmadabad is known to savor taste buds of those like me who crave Gujarati food. I enjoyed this food so much that I’ve actually created my re-imagined version of a vegan khakra using baked carrot, pickled cauliflower and chilly dipped tofu aioli. If you know me, then you’ll already know that I love creating vegetarian foods which go beyond ingredients like mushroom and paneer by giving local foods a twist to make them my own.
I relished signature delicacies like dhokla, patra, handvo, buttermilk, dalvada, fafda, sev usal, dhebhra, thepla, undhiyo, mohanthaal among others which made me realize that Gujarati food is a perfectly balanced combination of sweet, salty and spicy flavours. I even gave the traditional feast, thali a shot. With contrasting textures and flavours, it left me intrigued on so many levels.
My trip to Gujarat would be incomplete without shopping which is why I couldn’t resist picking up some breathtaking bandhani fabrics created using ancient tie and dye techniques. Needless to say, it’s indigenous to this state and holds quite a special place in the rich Indian textile industry. All in all, my super short stay in Gujarat left me wanting more and that in itself is reason enough for me to come back very soon.