Ask anyone today what they visualise upon hearing the words “Indian food”, and invariably the first responses would include parantha and butter chicken and a vegetarian thali. And whilst it is true that these dishes find pride of place, when you’re in India - a vast country that envelopes a range of climates, geography, people and traditions - you will discover so many culinary streams and rivulets that will have you scratching your head about that parantha!

The range of India’s culinary traditions is as manifold as the country’s cultural diversity. A large country playing host and home to multiple communities, we’re presented with a culinary diaspora for the gourmand. Each state, with its cities and towns and villages, will have at least a couple of go-to dishes that everyone has heard about and must have or must send across for a bite.  Each region will have a preparation of a single ingredient; let’s say something as simple rice, as varied as fire and ice - enticing, beguiling and mouth-wateringly divine.

But since we can’t all go traipsing into the hinterlands and peaks and shores across India, ITC Hotels presents Local Love, a selection of indigenous flavours from a locale or region, compiled  by our ‘Food Sherpas’ (Chefs).  A Responsible Luxury initiative, each of the 10 Luxury Collection hotels feature a curated bespoke gourmet trail upon request with the Sherpas, for a culinary sojourn of the city.

This October, we’re sharing the spirit of Local Love at ITC Hotels. Kitchens of India celebrates the Flavours of Bikaner at ITC Grand Chola’s Madras Pavilion, with a cuisine that hails from the rugged and arid terrain of Bikaner with traditional vegetarian fare like Dal Baati Choorma, Papad ki Sabzi, Aam ki Launji offered alongside robust non vegetarian dishes like Laal Maans, Maans ka Soweta and desserts that include Balushahi, Mava Kachori, and Ghevar from October 2-12. If you’re in Bengaluru, ITC Gardenia beckons you to discover the magic of authentic Karwar cuisine with Kitchens of India - Unique Tastes, as you explore the very best with dishes like Yerappe Ani, Alambya Ambat, Dali Toy and Bhajillo Visvana, from October 6-15 at Cubbon Pavilion. In keeping with its royal avatar, ITC Rajputana’s Jaipur Pavilion presents the grand delights from the Royal Kitchens of Hyderabadi Nizams with a spread from the kitchen of Salar Jung III, Nawab Yusuf Ali Khan. Kunwar Rani Kulsum Begum, a descendant of the royal family, showcases select recipes for dinner from October 6-15. And finally, WelcomCafe Cambay invites you to indulge in the aromatic flavours of Rajasthan with authentic delicacies slow-simmered with love from age-old recipes that have been handed down through generations as you participate in the Rajasthan Royal Hunt from October 15-22 at WelcomHotel Vadodara.