Food for thought: Chef Vikas Khanna teams up with Punjab tourism!

Chef Vikas Khanna teams up with Punjab
Walking down the narrow, bustling streets of Amritsar, it is difficult to ignore the aroma of food wafting from archaic corners, making it a suitable location for Michelin star Chef Vikas Khanna to launch his new book, "Amritsar- Flavours of the Golden City" here recently.

The book records the native food dishes found in the lanes of Amritsar. From puffy 'Puris' with spicy 'Chole' to crispy Amritsari Kulcha, from batter fried chicken to the popular Amritsari Fish, soft flattened Gulab Jamuns to gooey 'Halwa' laden with purified butter (Ghee), crispy, succulent 'Jalebis' to thick, creamy 'Lassi' (Butter milk); there is more and more food to suit everyone's palate.

In his book, the sixteenth by him so far, the chef shares the history and culture of his hometown -- recipes of his grandmother, close relatives and food outlets that have been dishing out gastronomic delights since decades, becoming a quintessential part of his childhood.

In collaboration with Punjab Tourism, the chef has chalked out a list of eateries within Amritsar and created a "food trail" to make the golden city a popular spot for Food Tourism, a first of its kind. Khanna led the first food trail here recently, which included the 'langar' served in the Golden Temple just before dawn and takes one across various dhabas, food joints and restaurants across the city and one adjoining Wagah border.

"It's a big pride for me that Punjab Tourism came together with us. It has never happened before in India. So state is focusing on its cuisine. Punjab's food is its biggest heritage. Our food is what we live for. "We are the first state which has produced a food trail.

Food tourism starts from Amritsar, the food capital of planet earth," says Khanna. For food lovers, Khanna's tome features a rundown of the best street food eateries to present the vibrancy of the life in Amritsar. Khanna says that is his way of expressing gratitude to the people of the city.

"With every time I gained one step forward, I felt that I've to look two steps back to understand where I come from. These are the small shops, people who've done so much to make me who I am," the chef told PTI.

"I think I owe them. It think its unfair to walk away with all this and have no responsibility or accountability for it. In a way we're giving them a small token of thanks," says Khanna, who has cooked for a large number of dignitaries.


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