In today's episode we are joining chef and restaurant consultant Mohit Bhanj Deo at Bastar Birds Nest to unearth the nuances of some classic tribal dishes from the region. Nestled amidst a lush green surrounding and resonating with the cheerful chirping of birds, this serene rural theme campsite will clearly won our heart.
The menu for the day included dona purga, aamat, paan bobo and mandia pej. After a brief tour of the place, Mohit acquainted us with the mise en place. With the ingredients ready we jumped into action. He started with the preparation of mandia pej, a rice and finger millet gruel and aamat or traditional rice and vegetable based curry. Together they make a great combination both taste and nutrition wise. Next was the turn of paan bobo - a thick rice flour flatbread and dona purga- country chicken cooked in sal leaf bowl. Both the dishes we prepared over wood fire embers and hence had a smoky overtone to them.
Witnessing the culinary details was truly enriching and fun. Finally we sat down to enjoy this humble meal. The food was simple yet soulful. Mandia pej was starchy. Aamat and dona purga were tangy because the use of tamarind and roselle flower powder respectively. Paan bobo was crisp, little dry and dense. The insights shared by Mohit during the meal helped us get familiar with the tribal food scape of this region. Heartfelt thanks to him for this memorable experience.