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Spring Food Festival

 

 

USHERING SPRING WITH FOOD

By Shreya Chowdhury

1909302_601697826580769_1601033166_oSpring, the season of joy, colour, fun and frolic, greenery all around, of sweet fragrance of fresh flowers and chirping of birds, was experienced in its full splendor at Lajpat Bhavan on 9th February, 2014 on the occasion of the Spring Food Festival, the annual fund-raiser organized by the Sisters of the People’s Society for underprivileged children. It was a colourful affair, full of life, with kids playing in the trampoline and riding the giant wheel, vibrant stalls selling beautiful knick-knacks and a whole lot of exquisite wares. The main attraction, however, was undoubtedly the food which ranged from Thai curry and rice, Lebanese food to Rajasthani thali, South Indian dosas to pakoras, phirni and ice cream. It was, as one would aptly call it, a foodie’s paradise, a gourmet’s delight.

1459980_601698636580688_868046316_nPeople of all ages and from various walks of life, streamed around the food stalls in their efforts towards tickling their taste buds. Not to be left behind, we also made most of our time there sampling the delicacies and gorging on the lavish display. Our first stop was the stall where two elderly women were selling aloo and gobi pakoras. These were absolutely mouth-watering and appeared straight out of grandma’s kitchen and, indeed, North Indian delicacies at their best! Our next stop was the stall selling exquisite momos. We were lucky to get there in time as they were completely sold out and we were, in fact, the last ones to savour the steamy hot momos, which were simply brilliant. The chicken momos were soft and well-seasoned and completely out of the world! The Shephard’s pie was rather hot but, nevertheless, delicious even though a bit too cheesy. The meat was tender, well-cooked and abounding with the aroma of exquisite spices! The raj kachoris were, on the other hand, a little disappointing. They were damp and the stuffing inside was a wee bit bland.

1836799_601699686580583_1428800478_oThe dish of the day was, no doubt, the ‘luchi mangsho’ (puri and mutton). The long queue and even longer wait was absolutely worth the penny. Fluffy luchis with tenderly home-made mutton along with chana daal and tomato chutney was absolutely delicious. They appeared to be straight out of the streets of Kolkata. There was also an assortment of desserts. The Zuchini cake was quite a pleasant surprise, but the chocolate truffle cake was definitely the winner and, in one word, awesome!

The afternoon was, indeed, very memorable and a delightful experience for all who attended the festival since there was a brilliant display of exquisite India food at its best, from North to South, East to West, as well as a good sprinkling of Western food in the form of cakes, pastries and ice creams. It was a wonderful afternoon spent well, and the very look of the happy and contented faces of visitors leaving the venue of the Spring Food Festival after a hearty meal gave the impression that spring was, indeed, in the air and had been ushered in a gorgeous manner in the Spring Food Festival with excellent food.

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THE DELHI STREET FOOD FEST

THE DELHI STREET FOOD FEST

(Not just another fest)

-Navani Satija

So, the winter chill is on and along with it is ‘the random-thought-gush’. And during this time came the most awaited Saturday. Be it, while brushing in the morning to the talks at the breakfast table or from spending the not-so-fun travelling time in the metro to the boring afternoon coaching session, I spent my entire day thinking about the delicacies across the states in India. Finally came the moment when I was about to have the experience of my lifetime. Yes! It was the much talked about Delhi Street Food Festival held at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium. The most amazing part of it was to witness different cuisines spread all over India unite together in one arena just to serve the foodie-delhites whole heartedly.

IMG_0280This food fest saw not just the delhites but even a lot of tourists throng into the arena to relish the various tastes across India. Another best part of this whole festival was the pricing of the stuff offered by the 50+ stalls set up there.

I decided to take two rounds of the whole fest- first being the photo-walk to capture this unique experience, while checking out what was best to try and the second being the eating part which was totally worth it. So, I started off with the MAWA KI KACHORI available at the initial stalls, which was a cold sweet version of any regular kachori you would have had till date, only difference being that it was dipped in sugar syrup. It was the very first time I had a sweet kachori and it half lived up to all the excitement.

Next, to prove all the false allegations wrong that I don’t opt for spicy food ever, I went in for the spicy VEGETARIAN PANEER KATHI ROLL. It was this plate loaded with hot, strikingly orange, big chunks of soya and paneer balls served with rumaali roti. Extremely hot, just to accompany the cold chill around, it was extremely spicy and full of countless masalas (trust me!).

Moving on ahead, I spotted the word ‘Punjab’ which rekindled my inherent Punjabi soul craving for SARSON KA SAAG AUR MAKKI KI ROTI. (And no prizes for guessing!) It had to be there. But, honestly I’d never thought that I’d be having the best sarson ka saag till date. Along with this they even offered a big chunk of pure white butter and gur (jaggery) which was customary. The team handling the stall were these people who’d come from Patiala and owned a well known dhaba there and since they were Punjabis, they seemed to be up for a chat anytime.

Similarly, there were various other stalls representing other states. For example, there was the Rajasthani stall that I went to and tried their MIRCHI BADA and PYAAZ KACHORI. Now, this was surely one place that you couldn’t afford to miss. The mirchi bada was like a huge chunk of hot fiery green chilly fried with around dozen masalas. It was totally worth trying if you could bear spicy. Nonetheless, the pyaaz kachori was stuffed with lots of onion and other condiments freshly dripped in oil.

Finally, as I walked further I had arrived at the stalls that offered hot fresh jalebis and gulab jaamuns. Needless to say, these were the Punjabi-dominated stalls. Here you’d find people across all ages completely entranced in all the sweetness.

And after all that I’ve tried to express about this matchless experience, there still remains some part which is inexplicable. So, I’d let it be unexplained for this would hold its true essence.

Wishing that everyone gets such opportunities to eat their heart out!