“Bohri food can represent the country. It soothes the taste buds and people from all over the world can eat it without complaining of too much heat,” said Rehana Nagaria and Arpitha Rai.
They were speaking to Times of Food on the sidelines of the Bohri Shahi Dawat organised in the city.
Founders of the home-dining experience Bohra Bohra Thaal, Nagaria and Rai have curated the Bohri experience at the Bohri Shahi Dawat, being hosted by Welcomcafe Jacaranda at ITC Welcomhotel in Bengaluru.
Times of Food caught up with them to understand how Bohri food stands apart, and they were happy to explain.
The Bohri Thaal experience
Bohri food comes from the Islamic Dawoodi Bohra community, whose members are present in Mumbai, Gujarat, Hyderabad and even Bengaluru.
Mumbai-resident Nagaria, herself a Dawoodi Bohra, used to make Bohri food at home for all occasions. “Making enough biryani to feed 50 people was no big deal for me,” she told Times of Food.
Then she met Bengaluru-based Arpitha Rai. The two minds came together to serve the home-dining experience that is Bohra Bohra Thaal.
The next step was the food festival at Welcomhotel, where Rai and Nagaria are presenting the Bohri thaal.
The thaal, as expected, is a table-encompassing plate where food is served for community dining. Two-to-four people can partake of the food — both vegetarian and non-vegetarian — as part of the experience.
What sets Bohri food apart?
In a country that has about as many kinds of cuisine as it has languages, what sets Bohri food apart? Rai was happy to explain.
She explained that Bohri food, for one, rarely uses garam masala. As a result, none of the dishes end up being as spicy as some of their North or South Indian counterparts.
Nagaria chimed in that the Dawoodi Bohras travelled far and wide, and brought back tastes from there that were incorporated into Bohri food.
As a result, Bohri cuisine is suitable for diverse palates, and could be especially suitable for tourists visiting India, she added.
The Bohri Shahi Dawat
Nagaria and Rai are currently hosting the Bohri Shahi Dawat at Welcomcafe Jacaranda at ITC Welcomhotel, for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
The food festival began on November 22, and will last till December 1. The cost per person is Rs 999 for vegetarians and Rs 1,099 for non-vegetarians. The price does not include taxes.
The taste of Bohri cuisine differs depending on the regional style in which it is cooked. Nagaria and Rai are serving Mumbai-style Bohri dishes.