USHERING SPRING WITH FOOD
By Shreya Chowdhury
Spring, 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.
People 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.
The 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.