Amritsar for me always meant work, but thanks to Punjab Food Festival hosted by DainikJagran at the historic Gobindgarh fort this time it was leisure trip turned into a delicious one
So before I take you to the culinary journey at Punjab Food Festival, let’s have a look at the History of this historic Heritage property – Gobindgarh Fort.
So as the History goes, In the 18th Century, Punjab was ruled by clans called Misls. It was in the 1760s that Gujar Singh Bhangi, – a local chieftain- built this as a mud fortress- and it came to be known as “Bhagian da Qilla”. They owned it till 1809 for almost 49 years. With some conspiracy by a trader this was won over by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and he ruled this fort for 40 years and named this fort as “Gobindgarh Fort ” after the 10th Shikh Guru -Shri Guru Gobind Singh ji. He lost this to Britishers in the year 1849. After Independence the fort was garrisoned by the Indian army in 1947 and was not open for common people. Gobindgarh has been at the very heart of political events in the Punjab for most of its existence. This place was handed over to Punjab government in 2006 after being declared as Historic monument.
So while there is a constant renovation and preservation drives going on here to promote the Historic fort , with a lot of recreational activities and food stalls here have become a sort after tourist destination and a outing spot for locals.
Now that we know this fort , let’s get on to the Punjab Food Festival , which is what bought us all the way from Delhi to Punjab, This fest was one of it’s kind first time being organized by Dainik Jagran in association with the Punjab Government to bring together everything about Punjab at one place.
Food not only defines and reflect the cultural history of a place it also defines the evolution through time of a particular place and it’s religion.
With over 25 food stalls spread across the fort Punjab food festival not only bought the food lovers together but was also power packed with outstanding discussions around food , culture , heritage , music and art of Punjab, bringing Master chefs , Food historians, art ambassadors , Food bloggers together to just connect over one common thing to all -Food, making it different from the normal food fest commonly witnessed. And having it at the fort added more than just a good outing over good food.
While it’s impossible to cover so much food at one place but still I tried my hands on a lot of famous food points who have come from all Over.
Pandit Ji di Hatti : The breakfast starts with Alloo Parantha which punjabis call as Alloo de Paroanthe and off course with loads and loads of butter dripping from it.
This is first time where we saw that there were 2 Tawa on which this yummy Alloo Paroanthe were made. One only baked it without butter, then It was transferred to another Tava which was almost 2.5 kg each and very thick ones.
This made the Parantha very crispy and Pandit ji emphasized on the art of making a good parantha is to make it on sim flame.
Narains Taste of Punjab : If we think of Punjab the first thing that strikes is Makke Di Roti te Sarso Da Saag. And this place offers outstanding Organic Sarso da saag with Makke Di Roti and Gur Sakkar all home grown in their organic farms in Batala.
Fingerlicking good this was a great food stall serving only 1 dish and that was A1.
Bubbys Amritsari Fish Fry : Well since I am a vegetarian therefore could not have Fish fry but had their amazing Chole Bhature
Being anyways in Love with Chole Bhature this was an obvious stop over for me.
Pritam Dhabba : The best of Dhabba food has either evolved on Highways or at the railway stations. Serving the best and affordable freshly made food. pritam Dhabba is one such name in Punjab being the first Dhabba at the railway station.
They specialize in Yellow Dal Makhani – Yellow lentil cooked for 4-5 hours to get it that perfect delectable taste. Though apart from this their Mission roti is also amazing and for Non veg lover it’s Dry chicken that’s what the visiting cards also mention. In action since the country got it’s Independence , they started in 1948.
And that’s the very proud Pritam Ji the owner of Pritam Dhabba serving not just food but also the history of love of food and serving food running in their family.
Lovely Veg Chaap : This is first famous Dhabba a Veg Chaap point that turned from non vegetarian to vegetarian Dhabba and ever since they did that , there was no looking back.
Jasvant Singh Ji is a proud owner of 3 outlets in Amritsar and had been serving good veg Chaap in various forms since 1965.
Trust me this was all so good better than any Chaap item I had till date.
And after already done to death with such good food. And I seriously felt like having everything came to the last stall from my list of having food for today. Last but not the least and also a non Punjabi stall.
Saal Flavors : Few places have inviting aroma , decor , something famous about them. Saal Flavors a corner stall had their Owner Mr. Sunil Tikoo who was serving authentic Kashmiri food, he not only served food with a broad smile but also sharing the recipes, ingredients and process of kashimiri food, adding a kashmiri Tadka to the Punjabi food festival.
Kashmiri Kawa on a Cold winter day was a perfect after food. Normally this is served in Khoso ( Check out the entire live Video here )
And there other 2 things that took my heart over was the Kashmiri Dum Aloo and Kashmiri Phirnee
The kesar Phirnee was the best way to end this food journey at Punjab Food festival.
Though there was so much more to do at the fest but probably I was so so engorged in the Food that I could hardly spend time on other things. But 2 sessions that I attended were worth it.Chef Amrita Raichandra session moderated by Padamshree Puspesh pant ji was too good , with some great ideas being steered by Pant ji in the session And one which I really liked was he promoting creating Food festival as a part of the heritage walk at this place as a permanent feature of Gobindgar fort.
Celebrity Chef Amrita Raichandra also demonstrated a Health recipe in the Master class with Beetroot Sweet potato samosha , adding the twist of health to out traditional samosha which was loved by all the mothers in the audience.
Another live Master class that I could attend was with Master Chef Hiral again it was a health recipe. This was a quick recipe using everything that you have in the fridge as the left over vegetables.
One more group discussion that I personally loved was Phulkari Women of Amritsar , wherein the main highlight was the traditional history of rich Punjab food busting the common Myths around the Punjabi food. And it was a eye opener in a lot of aspect from highlighting the various ingredients in lot of Punjabi dishes and their health benefits.
Overall a great food experience at the cultural city of Amritsar.