As you walk through an entrance resembling India Gate accompanied by the strains of street music, you will be refreshed by a clay cup of Chaas or Lassi. Further in you will find a miniature version of Chandni Chowk, also famously known as the Street Food Capital of India.

Delhi’s food culture is an amalgam of Mughlai, Persian, and North Indian cuisine and the ‘Dus Din Dilli Ke’ (Ten Days of Delhi) food festival does not miss any of these. The 10-day culinary extravaganza at The Cafe in Hyatt Regency Kathmandu that starts Friday offers an unlimited buffet of scrumptious delicacies from Delhi till 24 June.

Santosh Kumar Koradi, the Executive Chef at Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, was born in South India but was brought up in the North. While he openly admits to succumbing to the fusion side of Indian cuisine, Koradi always felt a sense of belonging towards the food on the streets of India. So when he got an opportunity to showcase Indian cuisine in Kathmandu, he passionately went for what he loves: Delhi’s authentic street food.

Chicken Tandoori. Photo: BIKRAM RAI

Give yourself a royal treat, as you choose from the varieties of beloved paranthas brought straight from Delhi’s famous Paranthe Wali Galli. Or if you want to feel like Bollywood actors who reportedly visit Old Delhi’s narrow streets for spicy and crunchy treats, there will be a separate counter for chaats and golgappas as well.

“We have had numerous food festivals before on a monthly basis, but this one is completely different, and on a much larger scale. We have been planning it for six months and preparing the ingredients for 15 days prior to the event,” says Koradi. “We have four hours of splendid buffet with more than 100 Indian dishes.”

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The festival brings together more than 100 masala-enriched and lip smacking food items from a city that is a melting pot of ethnicities, with treasured recipes passed down through the centuries. Myth has it that butter chicken or murgh makhani in Hindi was accidentally created by the three founders of Moti Mahal in Delhi when they tossed Tandoori Chicken in tomato gravy, rich in butter and cream, by mistake.

But your encounter with the Butter Chicken here at the festival won’t be accidental. The dish is Chef’s favourite, and chances are he might make extra effort on it. Combine it with Rumali Roti, another favorite of the Chef, and you will end up with a hearty meal.

Gilafi Seek Kebab. Photo: SIKUMA RAI

Kebabs and Biryanis are an integral part of Delhi’s Mughlai cuisine. If you are confused by the mind-boggling variety, Chef Koradi will give you a crash course on their history and preparation methods. It may make your decision even more difficult, but will surely make your indulgence more informed.

And vegetarians also have reason to cheer with dishes like Lal Paneer Tikka, Bhutte ke Kebab, Dal Makhani, Baigan ka Bharta, Mutter Paneer, etc. Delhi’s renowned creamy, milky and nutty sweets like Kesar rasamalai, Phirni, Jalebi etc have a separate counter in the restaurant. Make sure you watch what you eat and leave some room for desserts.

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With a team of 57 chefs from the Rox Restaurant, Banquet Team and The Cafe, Chef Koradi is commander-in-chief of what promises to be foodie heaven. For those who haven’t yet been to Delhi, here is your chance to taste it.

Chicken Biryani
Kesar Rasmalai. Photos: SIKUMA RAI
Lal Paneer Tikka

Dus Din Dilli Ke
15-24 June, 6:30-10pm
The Cafe, Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
Bouddha, (01) 5171234
Rs2,200 (excluding taxes)

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