Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb

At Bruijn, all our conversations start with the single thought that food is borderless. We thrive on the idea of India as our culturally diverse homeland, only fortified through its myriad festivals and traditions. Hence, this month of March is special in experiencing the syncretic fusion of Holi and Ramadan, and in finding common ground to celebrate both.

Do ab - or two water bodies is a direct translation of two major rivers - Ganga and Yamuna. Ganga representing the Hindu counterpart with its many reverential references in ancient texts and Yamuna/ Jamuni representing Muslim or Mughal history and empire built along the Jamuna. The fusion of both in Prayagraj/ Allahabad is an example of the beauty that is derived from unity. Hence the term ‘Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb’ or ‘Hindustani Tehzeeb’ was coined, providing an umbrella for the arts, including culinary, to flourish under.

This March, Bruijn collaborates with Chef Taiyaba Ali - an expert in Awadhi cuisine - to bring alive this tehzeeb through its offerings. Both Taiyaba and Mandavi (founder Bruijn) hold their ancestral origins in Uttar Pradesh close to their heart as they join hands to create recipes sacred to their childhood.

- Creating a home-grounded spice mix for nuts, they give a spin to the dry masala in kachoris and samosas so intrinsic to Uttar Pradesh’s nashta culture.

- Gujjiya, ubiquitous in Holi, is heavily etched in their memories- for Mandavi as her mother kept alive traditions in the Gulf to make these fried dumplings and for Taiyaba who also participated in their making without the bindings of religion.

- For Ramadan, Mandavi brings to the table her memories of growing up in the Gulf and savouring classic, Middle Eastern date cookies known as ‘mamouls’. The molten dates, spices and butter create the scents of her childhood that wafted from these bakeries.

Keeping true to the honest and transparent nature of the brand, the mamouls and gujjiya take shape in tart forms. These gluten-free tarts have close to no added sugar (we do not use refined) and allow for the natural sweetness of dried fruits to brew. Additionally, the nuts serve best as nashta to welcome the guests who join in for the festivities.

Here is to us celebrating the diverse cultures of India that make it thrive 🥂