You’ve Heard of Extreme Sports, Now It’s Time for Extreme Food!

Your all-in-one guide to exotic and adventurous cuisines from India and the world

Annabelle D’Costa

24cuisines, 19 states, and 31 strange ingredients—it is an impressive repertoire for the inaugural edition of the ISUZU XFood Festival. Being held in Mumbai on November 16-17, 2019, the food festival is on a mission to showcase and celebrate the country’s culinary diversity! Every region has found representation; from Bengal's snail curry, Naga Bhut Jolokia chillies to the iconic Tunday Kebab of Lucknow, and the best of Garhwali,  Pahadi cuisines and more.

It will be a veritable smorgasbord of food-gasmic moments. Here are some of the highlights that Team LF recommends:

Home chefs that delight

It is a pure passion that pushed home chefs to resurrect lesser-known regional dishes, and they will blow your mind.

Rekha’s Khanaval’s

kaleji masala, vajri (goat tripe) masala, sukat/jawala koshimbir, ghaati mutton and kolambicha loncha come highly recommended. Known for her hyper-local food, Rekha is a familiar face amongst the office goers of Prabhadevi, Mumbai who she has been feeding over the years. There is also Gitika’s Pakghor who’ll be dishing out north-eastern dishes such as amlori tup (weaver ant eggs), fish roe fritters and wahan mosdeng (a Tripuri dish of pork salad wrapped in roti served as a roll). Gitika Saikia's home-dining venture

Gitika's Pakghor

is one of the best known in Mumbai for its northeastern offerings.

That’s not all. You could pamper your sweet tooth with yak cheese, mohanthal, jalebis and more at the Xtreme Adventure Zone. An entire world of pungent, bizarre and just plain scary foods at the ISUZU XFood Festival is waiting to be sampled.

Bottoms up

Quench your thirst at the XFood Festival with Black & White signature cocktails or cocktails infused with ingredients such as mahua flower, yuzu, passionfruit, Medjool dates and more. You’d definitely not want to miss this one-of-a-kind chance of sampling fusion cocktails while you get your groove on with live music by Shanay Shah, Siya Arora and Ape Echoes among many others.

Also read: 5 must-try local brews that will leave you in high spirits 

World on a plate

ISUZU XFood Festival isn’t just about desi specialities. International cuisines will also make an appearance. International chefs championing their country’s own distinctive cuisine, cooking methods and style will introduce to the true flavours of Ethiopian and Abyssinian food, Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches, Thai street food and South-East Asian delicacies, authentic Sri Lankan hoppers, curries and pol rotis, and some amazing Burmese cuisine.

Take your reusable shopping bags along 

Bottle this culinary adventure in the form of organic sunflower honey, jams, home-brewed mulberry and apricot brandies, masalas, pickles and spreads that will be sold at the X Bazaar. Keep an eye out for brands such as Under The Shed, Native Tongue, Four Thirty, Spirit of the Earth, Chevon, Nandan Coffee and Sleepy Owl Coffee under one roof. A fully-loaded wallet, a big heart and plenty of cloth totes are a must!

Also read: Where to find fresh, local and organic produce 

Let the games begin

Comfy sneakers and clothing are highly recommended as you explore the adventurous side in the Hunger Games at ISUZU XFood Trail. Test your mettle by eating  Death Wings with Naagin Sauce or 5 silkworms without throwing up. Let your hair loose while playing Drinking Games such as chugging, beer pong, flip cups and burping contests.

Keep your notepads ready

Gain insights and skills by attending a bevy of masterclasses and workshops in the Adventure X Tent. We have our eyes set on the

Beekeeping Workshop

with Kushi Bhimaya,

Wild Cooking

(cooking in the wild) with Chef Michael Swamy,

How-To Tuna

(Cooking Tuna two ways) with Irfan Pabaney (
Country Head at SodaBottleOpenerWala and the owner of The Sassy Spoon) and Nicole Mody (festival coordinator at Kala Ghoda) and the

Beauty Of The Tandoor

(Gasless Cooking) with Chef Amninder Sandhu. Kushi is a curator of nature walks at The Giving Tree at Kasturi Estate in Coorg, giving day-trippers a chance to get up close with the activities around the estate. She spends most of her time hiving colonies for bees and butterflies and works towards securing a beautiful future for tomorrow's children. Chef Michael Swammy's passion for nature and wildlife led him to create culinary experiences that combine food and nature and bring out the interconnection between them. Chef Amninder Sandhu, on the other hand, is on a mission to revive chulhe ka khana by approaching food with a back-to-basics attitude. She has been making waves with the conceptualisation of India’s first gas-free kitchen at Arth, Mumbai.

Also read: I attended a cocktail masterclass and here's what happened 

What’s more, you could also bump into the adventurous veteran experts of Indian gastronomy that crisscrossed the globe in search of the world's most bizarre foods, putting together this food festival - Kunal Vijayakar, chef Micahel Swamy, Nicole Mody and Tara Deshpande. 

The weekend presents a prime opportunity to give all those off-beat destinations you haven’t visited yet a whirl at the XFood fest.

When: Saturday and Sunday - 16th (4 to 10 pm) and 17th (10 am to 10 pm) November 2019
Where: Members’ Lawns, Royal Western India Turf Club, Mahalaxmi Race Course, Keshavrao Khade Marg Mahalakshmi Nagar, Mumbai 400011
Entry: You can book your tickets here 

Images: Shutterstock


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