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MOHALI: As Punjabis are known for their hospitality and sumptuous cuisine, Punjab Government via its maiden Tourism Summit and Travel Mart 2023 all set to serve the platter of traditional flavours to attract global travellers to the state.

During the opening day of the 1st Tourism Summit and Travel Mart 2023 jointly organised by the Punjab Tourism & Culture Affairs department and Invest Punjab at Amity University, a panel discussion was held on the topic “Amritsar’s Hinterland and Culinary Tourism”.

Joining the discussion on the topic, Principal Secretary of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Department Rakhee Gupta Bhandari said that when we talk about foods, Punjab tops the chart and there is no place across the globe where you cannot find Punjabi food.

She said that where people across the globe relish Punjabi food, Punjab also has some unexplored unique traditional cuisines and locally famous Tosha of Fazilka, Atta Chicken of Kotkapura, Dhodha from Kotkapura, etc., which needs recognition at the global level.

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Taking forward the discussion, Partner KPMG Himanshu Rattan, who was the moderator of the session, shed light on how the culinary traditions of Amritsar and its hinterland can be leveraged to attract travellers interested in authentic and immersive experiences. From the world-famous Amritsari kulcha to lesser-known regional dishes, Amritsar has a great history in food and culture, he said.

CMD Sadda Pind Ish Gambhir, who was a speaker at the event, stressed the need to showcase the cuisine of Punjab along with its heritage, culture and tradition. He narrated how he had established his much-famous project ‘Sadda Pind’ in Amritsar by involving the people from adjoining villages and refurbishing old things, which people had declared scrap, into the artefacts.

Convenor Amritsar Chapter, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Gagandeep Singh asserted to include millets in the diets.

Renowned Chef and President of the Indian Federation of Culinary Association Manjit Singh Gill, emphasised the revival of traditional Punjabi food, which people are not aware of. He said that cooking is the result of knowledge and skills. He also said that there should be documentation on Punjabi food so that students of Hotel Management could take the taste of traditional Punjabi food to the next level.

Terming the Tourism Summit as a great initiative by the Punjab Government, the Chairman of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), Punjab Chapter, Manmeet Singh said that as far as Punjabi food is concerned, you can find it anywhere in the world and it is relished by the all the people across the globe. He also talked about including cookery in school education so that more Chefs can be produced from Punjab, who can take Punjabi cuisine to the global stage.

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