Siem Reap’s first Indian Food Festival opens tonight for six days until April10 at the Sokha Angkor Resort, featuring two of India’s prominent chefs – Balram Jaiswal from the Ashok Hotel in New Delhi, and Akashya Kumar Barik from Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Ashok Hotel.
“One thing that strikes every visitor to Cambodia is the large number of Indian restaurants, both in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap,” says Indian Ambassador H.E. Mr. Dinesh K. Patnaik. “This means there is a big demand for Indian cuisine. Most people in Cambodia have an idea about cuisine from only one part of India, while India actually has several different cuisines from all parts of the country. Our idea was to bring this aspect of culture to Cambodia.”
The festival will showcase over 50 dishes through nightly buffet dinners, including such signature dishes as gosht rogan josh (curried mutton), Malabari fish curry from south India and chicken dopiaza.
“The two chefs who are coming have different culinary expertise,” says the ambassador, “but they will focus mostly on the royal tradition of food made in the courts of the Mughal emperors, which will include Awadh cuisine and cuisine from various parts of north India including from the tandoor and a variety of curries.”
The buffet dinners, with daily changing menus, will cost $22++ including a beer or soft drink.
The food festival is actually part of a larger Festival of India that has been running for the last two months, with more to follow.
“We will be having the Manipuri Dance Group performing on April 7 in Siem Reap,” says the Ambassador. “The Siem Reap performance will coincide with the opening of the MGC Asian Traditional Textiles Museum in Siem Reap. We are also planning an exhibition of Dharma Darshan which includes a photo exhibition on the life of Buddha as well as of the sacred Buddhist sites in India, from April 4 onwards in front of the Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chom temple in Siem Reap.”