Brunei experienced a taste of the rich culture and heritage of Hyderabad over the weekend at its capital Bandar Seri Begawan. The occasion was a ‘food festival and handicrafts bazaar’ titled ‘Hyderabad in Brunei’, organised by the High Commission of India.

Major General (Retd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Government of Brunei Darussalam, and his wife Datin Noorhayana Janis inaugurated the promotional event on March 23 at the Rizqun International Hotel and Atrium.

Sanjay B Dasari, senior chef from The Ashok Hotel in New Delhi, assisted by Tara Dutt Bhatt, demi chef de partie, both specialists in Hyderabadi and Avadhi cuisine, conducted the food festival. Dasari, who has 22 years of experience as a senior chef with the India-wide Ashok chain of five-star hotels, currently heads the kitchen of the Ashok Hotel’s premier fine-dining restaurant ‘The Oudh’ in New Delhi.

Chef Sanjay B Dasari at Hyderabad in Brunei
Chef Sanjay B Dasari at the ‘food festival and handicrafts bazaar’ titled Hyderabad in Brunei. (Photo:


High Commissioner of India to Brunei Nagma M Mallick welcomed the gathering and highlighted the rich history and culture of Hyderabad and explained how its rich and unique cuisine had been developed in the royal and aristocratic kitchens of the state over two centuries, according to a statement issued by the High Commission.

Mallick said the event was part of the States’ Promotion Initiative of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Government of India to showcase the trade, tourism and investment potential of the states of India abroad.

The statement was posted on the websites of both the Union Ministry of External Affairs and the High Commission of India in Brunei Darussalam.

Mallick announced at the event that Hyderabad was likely to be one of the Indian cities to which Royal Brunei Airlines could soon launch a direct flight from Brunei and, therefore, she desired to project all the varied delights of the city and its region to travellers in Brunei.

Dasari too addressed the gathering and explained the nuances of Hyderabadi cuisine.

As many as 11 exhibitors and artisans from Telangana displayed their handicrafts, including Pochampally sarees, bangles, leather goods, lacquer items, bidriware or damascened metal objects and pearl jewellery, at the event. There was also a live demonstration of the glass-blowing craft by artisans.

The event, free to the public, was held from March 23 to 25.