Dasara Food Festival returns to the table
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Dasara Food Festival returns to the table

September 25, 2022
  • Gourmands spoilt for choice with Naati Koli Bamboo Biriyani, forest green leaf curries, crab delicacies
  • Many stalls dedicated to pure vegetarian spread including Davanagere Benne Dosa, Bangarpet Pani-Puri

Mysore/Mysuru: Like in the previous years where with an elaborate spread of tribal food, especially Bamboo Biriyani, the Aahara Mela had tickled the taste buds of the Dasara crowds at Scouts and Guides Grounds, this year too, an assortment of rustic delicacies is bound to pull visitors to the aromatic stalls.

Along with the Naati Koli (desi chicken) Bamboo Biriyani, other delicacies like juice made out of Makali Beru, Ragi Rotti made of Muthuga leaves, and traditional and spicy chutneys will be in great demand.

The Aahara Mela will be held from Sept. 26 to Oct. 6 at Scouts and Guides Grounds near DC’s office and at the MUDA Grounds near the Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel. This year’s main attraction will be green leaves procured from the forests, rich in minerals, fibre and vitamins. Prakurthi Aadivasi Foundation Trust will set up the tribal food section.

Addressing a press conference at Pathrakartara Bhavan in the city yesterday, Trust President M. Krishnaiah said that the Trust has been participating in the Dasara since 2014. “This year, we are planning an elaborate spread of dishes made of green leaves like magade soppu, jagadi soppu, aale soppu, thumbe soppu and ganike soppu. These leaves are grown naturally in the forests and each plate will cost Rs. 50 at the Mela,” he said.

The green leaves that the Trust has selected increase immunity and helps fight diseases. They are rich in proteins, he added.

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Bamboo Chicken Biriyani

Bamboo Chicken Biriyani is rice and chicken mixed in spices stuffed into a piece of raw bamboo stem that is put into the fire till the outer layer becomes charcoal. The bamboo stem is closed with green leaves blocking the steam while the food gets cooked. “This year, we are planning to introduce Naati Koli (desi chicken) Bamboo Biriyani which is extremely rare in urban areas,” Krishnaiah added.

“Traditional forest food includes a Biriyani from jungle fowl. But as hunting jungle birds is prohibited by the Forest Department, the desi birds that are reared by tribals will be brought to the venue to cook Biriyani,” he added. One plate of Biriyani will cost Rs. 200 and the masalas used here will be grown in the forests and are powdered with hand-made tools, he said.

Specially-prepared crab curry (nalli saaru) and ragi mudde will be another attraction. “We have been preparing the crab curry to serve with ragi mudde or rice. The dish has great demand and this year too, the prices have been kept as low as Rs. 100 per plate,” he said.

Cooked forest tubers with honey

Cooked forest tubers and roots mixed with forest honey, bamboo rice payasam, makali root tea and ragi rotti with muthuga leaves will be other attractions. Kumar, Nagamma and others were present at the  press conference.

Apart from the tribal food section, there will be over 174 food stalls that will be divided among the two venues. Starting from Monday, Sept. 26, well-known names in the food business will set up stalls and the Scouts and Guides Grounds alone will have over 100 stalls dishing out various spreads.

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From food that belongs to specific regions of the country like coastal food, Kerala food, Konkan spread, north Indian and continental delicacies, there will be exclusive sections for pure vegetarian spreads, said MUDA Commissioner G.T. Dinesh Kumar, who is also the Dasara Special Officer for Food Festival. The attractions here include Bangarpet Pani-Puri and Davangere Benne Dosa.

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