A cool, crisp night filled with a warm, inviting setting and the scent of something deliciously exotic at the end of the tunnel. This is a small portion in one of my many dinners served at Shalimar which is the place that has often got to my heart through my stomach! Indian food, though known for its stunning and varied flavors, generally is distinguished by a warm and cozy atmosphere which I’ve always found intriguing and inviting. It’s not just a reflection of India’s rich heritage and traditions, but also of the personal connections made over shared meals or trips to restaurants.
My first introduction to Indian eating was nothing other than a romantic encounter. The food was referred to as Chaat. It is among the most popular street foods that can cause you to open your senses to the sound of a symphony. It’s spicy, sweet, tangy, and absolutely exciting. I was awestruck with the realization that each ingredient, from the smoky puris, and then the boiling potatoes, through the sweet sev with tang and the tart the tamarind chutney was a part of the orchestra’s sound. It was more than a dinner, it was an art in its own right.
The best place to go to was Shalimar Cuisine of India where this love turned into a lifetime commitment. A warm and cozy spot that was the perfect depiction of the beauty of India with breathtaking colors, stunning aromas, and an enthralling experience that was both stimulating and calming. My experience here was always like a simple trip to a faraway land in which every bite told the story of an individual, every spice played a tune and each meal was the result of a diverse and rich history.
It’s easy to lose yourself in the warm warmth of perfect butter-cooked chicken. The rich tomato gravy coated in a delicate char, and wrapped in a multitude of spices, is a perfect smothering for the succulent pieces of chicken. It’s not just food, the experience is a soothing echo of a culture that is communicated through the food we eat, which allows an unspoken language that is universally acknowledged and loved.
Conversations with staff members, whom I am amazed by the way they’ve always been welcoming and warm, allowed me an insight into the workings behind Shalimar. In the background there was more than just food but about preserving the heritage of the family tradition handed down from generation to generation. Every dish was a tale of a recipe passed to an aunt, or a childhood favorite or a recipe that was unique to the recipe.
It is also impressive the commitment to Shalimar towards ethical practices and sustainability, and the sustainable ones. It’s no surprise that our future requires us to adhere to an ethical way of life. Being able to watch the most loved location such as Shalimar strive to be the best it can even in the face of hardship is an excellent opportunity to appreciate the efforts of Shalimar.
When I think about my past memories and think about my previous experiences, I see that Indian food, and its enthralling imperfections, as served by places like Shalimar is more than a mere meal. It’s a bonding and a sense of happiness that binds people by weaving stories from the historical past and staking out the foundation for future stories.
It’s been a traumatic but wonderful experience to translate it into an adjective, and one I’m excited to keep going. Let’s toast (or perhaps throw in the Samosa) to more experiences through the many diverse facets of Indian food!