RESTAURANTS ARE TURNING TO INDIGENOUS FOODS FOR LUCRATIVE BUSINESS
WALLS DISPLAYING images of local ingredients and cookware used in a typical Garhwali kitchen welcome patrons at Garh Bhoj, a fine-dining place in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Adding to the rustic charm are information on dishes made with finger millet or ragi, stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), red rice and barnyard millet (Echinochloa esculenta) that peep from under glass-topped tables. Manager Rajbir Bisht says an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes contributes to the soaring popularity of the restaurant set up two years ago. A typical Garhwali vegetarian platter, or thali, costs 250 and the non-vegetarian variant is priced at 350. Gulab jamun prepared using the millet kodo, laal bhaat made from local red rice, biryani prepared from jhangora or barnyard millet and burnish or rhododendron sharbat are part of the menu. But Garh Bhoj also faces the challenge of drawing customers. Bisht says people prefer home delivery and tourists hesitate to try local cuisine. But the profit is good enough for Bisht to think of ways of increasing the footfall.
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June 01, 2019