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Taste of azaadi in an Independence Day daawat

A feast to celebrate freedom could mean paying it forward, and The Bombay Canteen does so by adopting a village in Andhra Pradesh

The Bombay Canteen's 7th Independence Day Dawaat

In 2021, freedom has multiple expressions—LGBTQ protests, art to save trees or initiatives to support communities. For a restaurant like The Bombay Canteen, that has built its brand on dining as a community, Independence Day means paying it forward. Since its launch seven years ago, they have an annual tradition of a thali-style feast on August 15 with regional dishes. The proceeds are pledged for a cause, such as education, and more recently supporting a farming community.

This year, the funds raised from The Bombay Canteen’s Independence Day Daawat, will be utilised to support farmers in Cheduputtu, Andhra Pradesh. The association began in 2019 when they joined hands with Naandi Foundation that works to safeguard the livelihood of farmers. The restaurant not only sources ingredients like flours and turmeric from these farms, but they went a step further by adopting Cheduputtu.

The idea is to go beyond the produce and work closely with the farmers. At a granular level, it has translated into efforts to replenish the soil. The funds from this year's Daawat will be used to improve the health of the soil for the farmers at Cheduputtu.

The menu has ingredients produced by them and infused into dishes like chickpea sundal stir-fried with jaggery-mustard, tapioca crumble and curry patta and an upcycled chutney of smoked onion, trims and peels. These regional specialities reflect the pluralities of Indian cuisine with a touch of creativity—naga chilli oil in a petha curry. Those not from Mumbai can donate to the cause online or attend virtual workshops to learn baking from chefs like Heena Punwani and Vinesh Johny, or pick up lessons on entrepreneurship from Roshan Abbas.

The daawat is available via pre-order only. Book online from August 4-14, 2021.

Price: 2500 for home delivery and 2300 for pick up (each box feeds 2).

To place the order, book a virtual workshop or donate only, visit https://thebombaycanteen.com/pages/independence-day-daawat

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