Bawarchi asks chefs and restaurateurs to name dishes that signifies the essence of the day and why? And this is what we came across…
Can a dish define the essence of a festival or a day? If one has to look at the world culinary glossary, then there are many that not only represent the spirit of the day/festival but also define it. Take the Christmas Pudding for instance. The fact aside that it is one of the oldest dishes made during Christmas, it defines what Christmas stand for: wholesome happiness.
Likewise for Phirni which defines the pious month of Ramzan and ladoo, which captures the sweet essence of festival, and Pongal that brings firth the true meaning of good life through good harvest.
But can something like Republic Day have a dish? Turns out we do have, and not just because it has the tri colours on it, but for a more profound association with the day. A few like these, courtesy some of the best names in the culinary world:
By: Madhulika Dash
Manjit Singh Gill, Corporate Chef, ITC Hotels
Dish: Boondi Ke Ladoo
I have always correlated Republic Day with Basant, a season for new beginnings, better harvest and joy. May be it is because it falls on that season!
So for me, the dishes that represent Basant also represent the idea of being and celebrating a Republic Day. And what better defines it than the iconic Boondi Ke Ladoo- in texture, in appeal and in its versatility, where it can adapt to changes and still maintain its character.
Zorawar Kalra, Founder & Md, Massive Restaurants
Dish: Vada Pav
The Vada Pav is a perfect representation of the essence of the Republic Day as it is not just an iconic and revered dish presenting the culinary legacy of the country but also one that has stood the test of time.
I especially like the one at Farzi Café that brings in that element of modernity but without losing the character of the dish.
Zubin d’Souza, Executive Chef, Waterstones Hotel
Dish: Molten Madras Filter Coffee Cake With Chikki Kulfi
My understanding of the Republic Day is a day that celebrates the human ability to come together and build something that can do greater good.
And the one dish that fits the bull is the Molten Madras filter coffee cake with chikki kulfi. It is a blend of almost everything that led us to become and what it means to be a republic.
It is hot and refreshing, it has a kick, there is a perfect blend of sweetness and spice and elements of the North, South and even the British influence on our country.
Vikas Seth, Corporate Chef, Dish Hospitality (Sanchos, Singkong and Cle, Dubai)
Dish: Kala Jamun Rabri Tart with Pistachio Dust and Carrot Boondi
I have always associated Republic Day as a day that reminds me how far we have come, how we used our victories and falls in a way that has only helped us progress as a nation, and while we are a modern nation today, we hold the values that have been the foundation of our life.
This dish, which I created to explain the essence of India to a delegate of experts perfectly sums up my feeling of the day. Kala Jamun and rabri connects with whole nation as popular national desserts’ the tart is used to carry this dessert together literally and also getting connected with the rest of the world; the pistachio dust adds to the nuttier taste and flavor and the carrot boondi gives it that hint of modernity.
Shefali Gandhi, Owner, Koi Asian Dining
Dish: Spicy Chilly Chicken Rolls
Republic day signifies our right to choose; and the dish from my cart that shouts out loud exploding spice on taste and fiery heat on display just like the grit and power of our nation then my Spicy Chilly chicken rolls all the way. A dish made for the Indians, by an Indian and to be renowned by the world.
Basu Shatbhi, Mixologist of India
I have associated republic day with the celebration of the winter bounty. So whenever I think of the day, I think of our slow food culture and of course greens. But that is not the only reason undhiyu is my dish for the day, it’s also because of how beautifully the dish gets to present the flavours of vegetable without any of the vegetable losing its character.
Isn’t it what being republic is all about – uniting the states and its people under one banner and yet giving them the freedom to have their own individual presence?
Deepak Dangde, Executive Sous Chef, Sofitel BKC Mumbai
Dish: Puran Poli
A dish that would capture the essence of Republic day is PuranPoli. Although it’s quintessentially Maharashtrian, one can find similar dishes in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and even Goa.
For me, it is this unity in diversity that makes it a celebratory dish of the day: while the size, method of preparation and thickness may vary for this dish in different states, the essence and basic concept is similar. The fact that it was made at home every Republic Day may also be another reason why I closely associate the dish with this day.
Gaurav Chakraborty, Executive Chef, Novotel Imagica Khopoli
Dish: Singhade Nariyal ka Halwa with Nolen Gur and Saffron
India is all about unity in diversity and being one of the largest democracies in the world, I feel the best dish to signify this occasion would be one to represent the soul and culture of the country. Have chosen four different ingredients from various regions of India to create one ideal desert that captures the Republic Day spirit.
Ajay Anand, Director of Culinary, Pullman & Novotel New Delhi Aerocity
Dish: Lahore Ki Pinni
A dish can take you back down the memory lane, and when I think of a dish that represents the Republic Day, the first name that comes to my mind is Lahore ki Pinni from the house of Madan Lal Halwai, a sweet shop located in the busy bylanes of Sadar Bazar in Old Delhi that has been serving the treat since 1950 – and so the significance.
Saransh Goila, Tv Celebrity Chef – Author
Republic Day for me is absolutely incomplete without biting into this juicy, crispy and slightly tangy sweet dish. The favourite shop for us Goilas to get Jalebis used to be Apni Dukaan in Kamla Nagar.
I would say this is a tradition that has been passed down from the time of my grandfather, as he believed all celebrations have to start with a sweet dish. So my grandfather and I would have one full, big, juicy Jalebi with curd for breakfast.
Isn’t it amazing that the Jalebi has existed in the Indian subcontinent for at least 500 years now, and still continues to be one dish that can be relished at any time of the day, and the way you like?
Manish Mehrotra, Culinary Innovator, Indian Accent
Dish: Tandoori Foie Gras, Amla Murabba, Dehydrated Paprika Pineapple.
Republic Day for me is a representation of how diverse things and influences can come together to create something really stunning. Like this dish; Foie gras is a French delicacy that came to India post 1560 and the Tandoor, a few years before that. And yet today, they both are used to present Indian cuisine in a çontemporary' avtaar.
This is the ode to the Prime Minister of France attends the Republic Day Parade in Delhi.
So, tell us what's your Republic Day dish?