The first image that conjures in the mind of a traveller when the word Abu Dhabi comes afront is an array of neatly decked, swanky skyscrapers, sand dunes, desert safari and sprawling shopping malls. A new element to that repertoire is the vast culinary offering – which has yet not caught the fancy of the gastronomically aware Indian outbound. By the looks of the outreach made by Abu Dhabi Tourism Board, the glaring omission is finally being addressed, and well.
A lavish spread, with several quintessential dishes from Abu Dhabi, was decked for tasting for a select group of media personnel who were invited to sample a real Emirati culinary experience at Shangri La in New Delhi. The event, hosted by Abu Dhabi tourism, featured a live cooking session by Chef Ammar Molki which saw attendees eagerly clicking pictures of delicate preparations which had all the elements of the magical Emirati flavours. There was hummus, pita bread, a lamb dish with rice (traditionally called Mutton Mandi) and Emirati Yellow Rice, among others. Chef Ammar Molki was seen eagerly explaining the intricacies of preparations. He emphasised that there was much in common between Indian and Emirati cuisines and both featured several common ingredients and spices, suggesting that Emirati culinary experience was highly likely to attract discerning Indian gastronomical aficionados.
In attendance were Rajiv Nangia, Chief Operating Officer, TRAC Representation; Bejan Dinshaw, Country Manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and representatives from Abu Dhabi Tourism in UAE.