I ‘popped’ home to Mumbai on the weekend and found myself at a ‘pop up’ venue for a home made lunch of various Assamese delicacies. Expect by now most are familiar with the concept – enjoy fab food outside of the traditional restaurant setting with other ‘foodies’.
In this case, our venue was a funky store Sanctum, our hosts The Secret Ingredient and our chef the beaming energetic Gitika.
As for our menu? Read on my friends:
The thing about a lot of local cuisines is the best food is made at home for a small group of people. It also is more likely to focus on seasonal ingredients sourced locally. Which was exactly the case for our lunch.
We started with a loki like dal, steamed rice that was just a wee bit different (it was explained, I was too focused on salivating to pay attention), fried eggplant, the remarkable Assamese lemon kajinemu with two pickles made by our chef:
- Lotus stem pickle
- Bhut Jaloki – better known as one of the world’s hottest chillies (yes it was dynamite!)
The funny thing about really explosive chillies is the more you have, the more addictive it becomes.
Then came a trio of vegetables that were insanely finicky preparations requiring way too much effort for me to ever attempt! My favourite was pumpkin leaves with jackfruit seeds, however the banana flower was also yum!
Then the fish followed… delicate, flavourful and fabulous! For the meat eaters there was also a pork dish that received happy moans and groans so I’m assuming it was equally superb.
We finished off with Assamese tea with jagery to help digest a little of the repast before the food coma set in!
While we were the lucky ones to have taste buds delighted, Gitika decided we all needed miniature colourful Assamese hats… and a few brave souls purchased the mind blowing pickles to enjoy at home! (or maybe gift as a dare to some unsuspecting soul!)
And now? Popping back out for my last trip to Jakarta!
Have you enjoyed a ‘pop up’ meal or regional cuisine recently?