The Armenian Cuisine Goddess, Celebrity Chef Zarmig Halladjian is welcomed to India with utmost zeal and enthusiasm by Novotel, Aerocity. To honor and celebrate her, they are hosting the Armenian food festival from 17th to 26th November 7PM onwards celebrating Food, Art and Life!
Armenian cuisine is very recognizable by the Indian Palate, and the stories behind the origins of this cuisine go back to around 1500 years, when there was documented proof of using fire for cooking. This cuisine reflects the history and geography of the places where Armenians have lived as well as external influences from the European merchants and their eating style.
We got the privilege to witness the Chef’s art, a live painting which turned a plain canvas into something magical right in front of your eyes. We also enjoyed the evening with some good food and wine at Food Exchange, Novotel.
There is something about Armenian cuisine that resembles closely to Indian style of food preparation. Heavy use of puree’s, gravies, basic ingredients like tomatoes and onions and lots of varied spices to balance that flavor!
We tried the Harissa which is actually a porridge made of wheat and meat cooked together for a long time, originally in the tonir. This had very familiar taste and felt like porridge reinvented.
The Matazounov Kebab were something spectacular, chicken kebabs packed tightly paired perfectly with some hummus and pita bread.Grilled Fish with the dipping sauce was a lot tangier than expected, a lot of lemon with onion and tomatoes made into a gravy, avoidable.
Khashkgash Kebabs were something like kebabs in a gravy, but the gravy was again a light tomato and onion based gravy with dry fruits and had very similar flavors as the other dipping sauce. Another preparation was the Chakhoubelli with varied flavors of spices but a very similar sauce. The reprise with the meal was the freshly grilled and customized chicken Shawarma.
Breads are something of value in the Armenian cuisine and after having some encounters with Armenian cuisine, I feel Novotel is hosting this with great hospitality and a good buffet spread.