Rocky and Mayur from Highway on My Plate travel to Guwahati
Almost every household in India knows Rocky and Mayur. They entered our homes and our hearts through their iconic NDTV Good Times TV show, Highway on My Plate. They are well known for being the funny, witty best friends eating their way across India. We are all well aware of their on-screen personality, but what hits you like a tsunami and engulfs you is their exuberance for life and their humility in real life. Their passion for food and life is probably bigger than their appetites! I had the absolute pleasure of spending time with both of them and it was a riot.
They were in my city, Guwahati, and by various alignments of the stars, our paths crossed. ‘’We met by fluke” I said, to which Rocky replied ‘’It was meant to be”. I nod my head in agreement, he is twice my size and he has been a state boxer for Delhi, I’m not refuting with him! Jokes aside, they were in town to taste and eat Axomiya dishes and rediscover our infamous bhoot jolokia. Every dish they tried had to be flavoured with bhoot jolokia.
Their love and understanding of Axomiya flavour is palpable and their enthusiasm infectious. A table laden with Axomiya delicacies was set for them at King Chilly, the speciality restaurant at Hotel Gateway Grandeur. Rocky told us about his connection to Assam: his father had served in the Indian Army and was posted in Tezpur. He has spent many a summers in Tezpur and Shillong. Mayur soon piped in about his time in Jorhat, only he does not remember much! “I was one, when Dad was posted but I still have that Assam connection just like Rocky” he grinned.
Rocky is a wildlife enthusiast, he has visited Kaziranga National Park several times; both as a traveller, seeking new experiences, and as a foodie, eating cuisines, connecting people and retelling forgotten. I love their candour and their enthusiasm for what they do. They are different to one another yet complement each other with their unique personalities. If Rocky loves the pork with laisaax and bhoot jolokia, Mayur matches it with his love for Boror tenga with Ou tenga or Elephant apple. They both equally love the Kumal Sawal which we presented in a new avatar: a savoury salad with hints of bhoot jolokia.
We discussed the future of Axomiya Cuisine: will the rest of India warm up to a cuisine, which is by far, one of the healthiest and most flavoursome cuisine in the country? A cuisine whose flavours don’t overwhelm you, rather coax you to savour the simplicity. They savoured the lunch at King Chilly, the fragrant Joha Bhaat, with Paro Mangxo (Pigeon curry) to Pork curry and Masor Ou Tenga diya Anja to Bahor Gaj chutney along with the ubiquitous Pitikas.
“We have always been drawn to the earthiness, simplicity and clean flavours of the wonderful cuisines of Assam. We love the way the Assamese Cuisine combines the bounty of nature and the sheer range of farm and forest produce to the table ingredients they offer,” said the duo. They believe that the rest of the country will soon discover the fabulous taste of Axomiya Cuisine. It is indeed a heart-warming thought for all of us locals, who love our regional dishes. I believe that food can move forward and beyond geographical boundaries to connect with people through the language of flavours and tastes.