As soon as I saw an event invite for Masalas of India festival, a festival of all regional cuisines of India, I was beyond excited to attend the fest. The regional cuisine festival was brought to us by the team of SoDelhi and GoBazzinga, the same team had arranged the Momo Festival and the Horn Ok Please festival. The venue was Ansal Plaza on 29th and 30th from 4 PM TO 10 PM.
Then came the day and I wanted to visit early since I wanted to avoid the rush of standing in lines for my food which happened most of the time during the last two festivals. there were ticket booth at the entry point which excepted card and cash both. The entry charge was Rs 100 per person. I want to thank my Sweet friend Devlina, who put me on the guest list and gifted me the pure bliss of saving a hundred bucks :). we were given bands to enter the event grounds. since it was just about 6 at the time, there was not much rush and I could enjoy the surroundings without being trampled upon.
The event was heavily sponsored by Nestle Maggi Noodles and Himalayan flavored spring water. The main purpose of Nestle was to promote their four new regional flavors, namely Bengali Jhal, Super Chennai, Amritsari Achari, Mumbaiya Chatak. Maggi was giving out free tastings of the all these flavors at the various stalls set up at the event where the people cooking and serving Maggi were dressed in traditional attire of the respective state.
As a Maggi addict, I tasted all the flavors and was left impressed with only two of them. The first one I had was Mumbai chatak and it was the best of the lot. It was a mix of heady masala like cloves, kasuri Methi, cinnamon and star anise. It was a good garam masala flavored Maggi that would pair well with some addition of grilled chicken for non vegetarians and some masala aloo for vegetarians.
Next I tried the Amritsari achari and it was blaah. It had no Maggi flavor but tasted too tangy because of addition of kalonji (the black seed that makes everything taste sour). I did not like this flavor at all since it tasted only sour and no other flavor was recognizable.
Then I got to the Bengali jhal and it was also a good change to the usual Maggi. Though I have never tried the real authentic Bengali jhal, this one tasted pretty nice with the chatpata flavor of panch phoran namely cumin, fenugreek, kalonji, aniseed. It was spicy and hot and can be experimented with in the kitchen by adding some roasted peanuts and tomatoes.
Lastly, I tried the Super Chennai flavor and it was nothing but a tamarindy sambar Maggi. like any Mallu, I like my sambar to be left alone and not experimented with much. I become super defensive with the sambar and cannot handle its fusion with other foods so yes, this flavor did not go down well with me.
Some of the volunteers were handing out free bottles of Himalayan flavored water and I got my hands on two of the three flavors (peach and apple). Both the flavors were refreshing and would turn out be great coolers for the summer heat.
There were many small eateries present at the venue majorly from the south Delhi side only. There was Rakesserie, Dessee Dakshin, and others at south Indian side then bombay brunch, Godinhos and others also kolkata biryani house (the mustard) charan singh kilfi wala and many other were part of the event.
The best I got to eat at the venue was Jamun kulfi. Since I could not stop eating the endless supply of Maggi, I had no appetite left for pretty much anything else yet I managed to incorporate a few of the joints.
The festival was very well organised with bands playing on the centre stage and good huge water fans around to save us from the heat. The best part still remains the Endless Maggi supply and the Himalayan fruity water to cool you down.