A spice so without problems available on our eating tables now, black pepper was as soon as a surprisingly precious commodity, having attracted buyers and invaders to India who got here with the only purpose of taking lower back with them this “black gold”.
Black pepper, the tiny, hard, nut-like berry, changed into first stated as a cooking spice in Tamil history in Sangam literature dating again to three hundred BC. Tracing the origins and evolution of this spice, JW Marriott Chandigarh is establishing a Black Pepper Food Festival, a unique exploration of the Tamil cuisine throughout the Sangam, Medieval and Contemporary eras of Tamil records. The pageant will explore how, from being black pepper oriented in Sangam generation, Tamil cuisine got infused with different spices, via outsiders who have been drawn to India with the aid of this precise spice.
To create an actual experience, one that is steeped in history of black pepper and Tamil delicacies, renowned food historian and chef, Sridevi Balasubramanian popularly known as Shri Bala, an expert on Tamil cuisine, has been invited to curate the Black Pepper Food Festival. An epicurean initiative to trace the journey of spices in India through a culinary sojourn of Southern Deccan area of Tamizhagam, Bala, who has an eager interest inside the evolution of meals from pre-ancient instances to the modern, has recreated a whole menu of Tamilian dishes covering three eras spanning 3,000 years.
“The menu capabilities ancient Indian recipes made from easy substances from the pre-historical Sangam technology to the more complicated recipes especially from the Southern Deccan. The highlights of the pageant are historic rustic recipes from the Sangam era in Tamizhagam or the antique Tamil empire, which use handiest black pepper as the spicing agent,” stated Bala, talking approximately the traditional spices she has were given for the pageant.
On the menu are dishes organized with just black pepper because the spice, however presenting a ramification of flavors thanks to the use of other ancient components and cooking techniques. For example, Druva grass smoked meat in which Druva grass is used to smoke and cook dinner mutton is spiced handiest with black pepper, however, the smoke of Druva grass lends a weird highly spiced flavor to the beef corresponding to the modern-day garam masala.
From the Sangam Era, ruled via black pepper, the festival moves ahead in time to explore the medieval era of Tamil delicacies, when the Arabs, Dutch and Portuguese got here to India through the ocean-path. Chilies and tomatoes were delivered to the Indian cuisine at some stage in this time and it was at some point of this time that purple curry recipes flourished in Tamizhagam. Soupy curries like Mutton Paya, the Goat leg curry soup or Pallipalayam, a highly spiced gravy, are a part of the competition, with each having a liberal use of chilies within the gravies.
Explaining the contemporary Tamizhaga delicacies, Bala says the Mughals and Britishers have had predominant and lengthy-lasting affects over Indian delicacies in the south. Several spices like cloves, black cardamom and megastar anise got brought from Mughlai delicacies to Indian delicacies and elements like potatoes became a part of our day by day cooking because of the continental influence. The cognizance of the pageant is on real meals from the ancient Tamizhaga place that spread across Tamil Nadu, Kerala and elements of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
A must try from the Sangam Era is Mukkani Payasam, an aggregate of jackfruit, banana, and mango. For meat fanatics, there may be Manga Meen Kuzhumbu, fish with raw mango gravy and Eral Keerai Kuzhumbu, prawns with amaranth gravy. Representing the modern-day day recipes is Sodhi or the candy coconut milk gravy, cooked in conjunction with a collection of seasonal greens and gives a subtle burst of flavors. For those with an insatiable candy enamel, Serki Bath or the Cotton seed and rice pudding from the Medieval technology and the Kavuni Arisi Halwa or the black rice pudding from the present day technology are should-haves.