Home to many architectural marvels, Gujarat is famous for its rich heritage, vibrant culture, surreal landscapes and mouth watering cuisines. Certainly for me, this “Land of Legends’ harbours a rich diversity of flora, fauna and presents a perfect blend of music, history, art and culture.
From the moment I landed in Ahmedabad 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. Likewise, the hospitality and warmth from locals didn’t disappoint. Essentially, what brought me here was a ‘Food for Thought’ event hosted by me for the prestigious FICCI. FICCI is India’s largest and oldest Apex business organisation. I feel honoured to associate with them. First of all, I was welcomed at a spectacular dinner organised by FICCI 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. 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 and a sustainable lifestyle. This was followed by a live interaction with the audience. Because I am a firm believer in eating locally produced foods, I spoke about the benefits of seasonal produce to both humans and the environment.
Interestingly the city of Ahmedabad 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. The dish boasts baked carrot, pickled cauliflower and chilli dipped tofu aioli. If you know me, then you’ll know that I love creating interesting vegetarian dishes. Therefore, I like to 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 and mohanthaal. Certainly, Gujarati food is a perfectly balanced combination of sweet, salty and spicy flavours. I even gave the traditional feast, thali a shot. Above all, I loved the contrasting textures and flavours.
My trip to Gujarat would be incomplete without shopping. I couldn’t resist picking up some breathtaking bandhani fabrics which were 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. I look forward to a return visit very soon.