It is difficult to think about anything but good thoughts while eating thoroughly Sattvik food at Cubbon Pavilion, ITC Gardenia
. This Saturday I had the opportunity to have Sattvik lunch with Vinita Bartlett, the public relations manager of ITC, who had invited me over. Cubbon Pavilion Celebrates Purity- showcasing a plethora of vegetarian and no-onion, no-garlic recipes, all cooked in a separate kitchen. Sattva, Honestly Vegetarian – Pure in tune with Nature.
There are three categories of food according to ancient Ayurvedic school of thought, SATTVIC (purity), RAJASI (activity, passion, the process of change), and TAMASIC ( inertia, darkness). Sattvik diet is basically vegetarian, freshly prepared food, attending to one’s biological and physical needs and also, to some degree, affecting our personality. And ITC Gardenia
is the first one to introduce the novel idea of Sattvik brunch on Saturdays, which is definitely on a different line of thought. Sattvik foods are foods that are abundant in Prana- the universal life-force that gives life to all sentient beings in both plant and animal kingdoms.A Sattvik diet means not only vegetarian food, but food rich in ‘Prana’ , ‘life-force like organic fresh fruits and vegetables’.
Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines, given the range of diversity in soil type, climate,culture,ethnic groups and occupations, these cuisines vary significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits.Indian food is heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices and tradition.
Since I come from a family of pure vegetarians, my affinity towards such a food is intense. And, unlike any other hotels, ITC has a separate kitchen and cook wares for the Sattvik food. We can’t go that far to keep such details in mind even at home but I truly understand the emotion behind this thought, which only somehow reminds me of my grandmother’s food- it is love. And as they say cooking is like love. It should be entered with abandon or not at all. Cooking is no chemistry but art and the food here which I was feasting on was a testimony to this. ITC champions in bringing a new concept and coming up with perfection and precision to the fore and so was the ‘thali’, which was served to me.
First the ‘chaas’ was served in an earthen pot. And then came the food in lavish silverware, with deliciously prepared vegetables and lentils, salads and curries in it, and the ‘pooris’. Finally the sweet ‘barfi’ was served. Vinita and me were in conversation with the chef trying to know what vegetables were these and it was a beautiful combination of ‘aloo Palak’, bottle gourd in a very different style,pulses with some greens in it, and many more simple yet fulfilling recipes were served. But I found one curry amazing and it turned out to be some preparation similar to ‘ gatte ki sabzi’ wherein instead of gram flour, the wheat flour had been used, as Chef Himanshu explained while throwing some light on the preparations.
The most impressive part about ITC gardenia is this that it is Eco-friendly, on a responsible luxury endeavour and even the water that is being used is herb infused water which comes in green and red bottles,tulsi and fennel infused,respectively.The water is named Sunya Aqua.
In Vedic philosophy, Sattva or Sanskrit for purity is the most rarefied of the three gunas. The green leaf represents freshness and holistic well being. In the universe, energy has three qualities, known as Gunas that exist together in equilibrium. Once energy takes form, one quality of the three predominates. In all human beings,one of the three Gunas has superior strength and is reflected in all they do and think. Only in enlightenment are the Gunas completely transcended. This is the purest diet for a consciously spiritual and healthy life. It nourishes the body and maintains it in a peaceful state. According to Ayurveda, this is the best diet for physical strength, a good mind, good health, and longevity. And it calms and purifies the mind, enabling it to function at its maximum potential. A Sattvik diet thus leads to true health: a peaceful mind in control of a fit body, with a balanced flow of energy between them. Nature’s Sattvik foods includes fruits, vegetables, sprouted whole grains, oils, spices, nut/seed, milk and cheese.
The ambience was perfect, the table was laid with a bunch of yellow marigolds and bamboo leaves complimenting the pure, Sattvic lunch we had. And how I realised the truth of G.B.Shaw’s words,”There is no love sincere than the love of food”. This initiative into getting a concept of this sort and introducing vegetarian food in a different light, is a pleasurable treat is marvellous.
Great taste now comes with touch of Purity – Sattva – Honestly Vegetarian at Cubbon Pavilion at ITC Gardenia.
>Available from 28th May, 2016 onwards, every Saturday (Lunch only).
> For Table Reservations Please Call 080 4345 5000.