The Harappan dinners that were scheduled to be hosted at the National Museum as part of the ‘Historical Gastronomica’ exhibition have been moved off the premises, according to a statement by the co-organiser, One Station Million Stories (OSMS), on Friday.
“With the support from National Museum, we shall continue Historical Gastronomica at National Museum, serving only veg tasters till 25 February, 2020. We had to cancel all dinners at National Museum. After receiving multiple requests from patrons who booked their Harappan diners with us, we have decided to move only the dinners (set to take place on February 21, 22 and 23, 2020) out of National Museum to Lavaash by Saby (February 24, 25),” said the OSMS statement.
The dinners were priced at Rs 4,000 (non-vegetarian) and Rs 3,250 (vegetarian) per head. OSMS is offering full refunds for those who do not wish to attend.
As reported by The Indian Express earlier, the week-long exhibition-cum-event on culinary history which planned to offer “the Indus dining experience” through an “ethno-archaeological kitchen of the Harappan culture” ran into trouble when, the day before it opened, OSMS was asked by the museum not to serve non-vegetarian food. The additional director general of the museum, Subrata Nath, said at the time, “This museum has so many idols of gods and goddesses, and a relic of Lord Buddha. International dignitaries visit this museum. We have to consider these sensitivities here.”
In its publicity flyer, OSMS stated that the menu for the ‘Indus Dining Experience’ was specially crafted by chef Sabyasachi Gorai and only included ingredients that had been identified by archaeologists and researchers from sites of the Indus-Saraswati civilisation.
The menu was to have included non-vegetarian dishes such as bati with dry fish, fish in turmeric stew, quail/fowl/country chicken roasted in saal leaf, salted cured sheep, lamb liver and chick-pea and dried fish and mahua oil chutney, before they were struck off.
Neither Gorai, nor officials from the National Museum could be reached for comment.
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