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The way to our hearts

By Maria Gregoriou

Have you counted how many times you’ve eaten something this month and said “it’s Christmas, stuff it, I’m eating what I want”? Well, if you have and you don’t mind adding a few more numbers to the final sum – or if you haven’t, but are always up for a new challenge – here is your chance.

The Fontana Restaurant in the Hilton hotel in Nicosia is still spicing things up until tomorrow with its Indian flavours.

This week the restaurant has been taking a gastronomic journey to India where the colours are vibrant and an array of spices fill the air with a mixture of sweetness and natural elements for the tongue to savour and the nose to linger on.

Even if you have already ventured out on this voyage on a magic carpet made of food, you can always go back for more as the restaurant is serving a variety of dishes at the buffet which alternate every day. Also, if you are fasting or if you are a vegetarian, you don’t have to stay at home and miss out on all the fun, there will be plenty on the menu for you too.

The ingredients of each meal are based on five rasas or flavours, namely sweet, salty, bitter, sour and spicy. The main characteristic that we all know and love about Indian meals (as you may have already seen us mentioning) is the inspired use of spices, but there is much more in the mixing bowl. There are milk products like ghee (used as a cooking medium), coconut and curd or dahi.

Food is not all that is at store for you, oh no! As the start of 2015 is near and lots of magazines are publishing what to expect from your horoscopes, you may be in the mood to find out what the future holds for you personally from the Indian palm reader and astrologist who will be there, probably without a crystal ball we predict.

But Indian food isn’t all that’s going on this week. There are many many more types of cuisines out there, and if you have visited the Food Market in Nicosia before, then you know how many we are referring to.

The market which put the ‘food’ in street food is back. At this time of year the food vendors would never let us go without their famous burgers, vegetarian Thai treats, and sweets that range from red velvet cake to Churros, those wonderful Spanish sweets that you just want to dip again and again in hot chocolate.

We got carried away with the wonderful thought of all that food, and forgot to mention that the market will back with a food party on Wednesday at the old municipal market in Nicosia.

The usual suspects will be there selling their pulled pork and jerk chicken but you can expect much more from this market party. Expect mulled wine and aromatic soups to warm your bellies and hearts.

So how many times do you expect to say “it’s Christmas” with a mouth full of food this next couple of days? May they be many, and may the delight of food give you a very merry Christmas.

Indian Food Festival
A week-long gastronomic trip to India. Until December 14. Fontana Restaurant, Hilton Hotel, Nicosia. 8pm. €27. Tel: 22-377777

Fork Food Market
The market is back with an opening party and lots of food. December 17. Old Municipal Market, Nicosia. 6pm-11pm. Tel: 99-557777


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