A two day food festival has been organised in the city by Shikshantar, a Non Profit organisation on the theme of Jaso Ann, Vaso Man or You are what you eat. The fest has been organised in the Hanuman Temple at Devali near Fateh Sagar between 4-8 p.m. in the evening. Being a variety food lover I made up my mind to visit the place. When I went there I was warmly welcomed by Mr. Manish Jain, the co-founder of Shikshantar. There were many stalls with mouth watering dishes.
The dishes were few famous national and international cuisines we have often heard of, but they have been modified with the local and healthier contents. To begin with, I started with Tacos, originally a Mexican dish, but modified as per the regional grains and vegetation stuffs of Rajasthan. The crispy base was prepared of the “Khakhra” and the topping of salads and “Rajma” or red kidney beans. The next attraction was of the Veg Kababs made of beetroot or “Chukandar”, with a nice blend of flavours of coconut and coriander chutney.
The cookie sandwiches made of Mal, Ragi or Finger Millet and fresh fruits stuffed within redefined my dictionary meaning of sweet dish, to a healthier one. Sweet dish made of sanwa, a local foodstuff, coconut laddoos, pineapple puddings, Jwar ki kheer, pinapple and Sabudana Kheer , Kokam Sharbat (Squash made of kokam) and Pina Colada (A blend of coconut milk and pineapple juice), Ragi steam bread sandwitches, etc were few more delicious, yet healthy food items present at the fest.
“Fast food has always harmed the healthy living. This food fest is in support of the concept of Slow Food movement, or the movement for switching to our home made food with local food stuffs. Today the high price we are paying for our eatables in the market is actually for the bulk amount of pesticides, insecticides, and harmful chemicals which eventually make way to our stomach. The crops like Ragi, Mal, Bajra are available locally and has been grown in villages and tribal areas from ancient times in this region. They have capacity to withstand intense climate changes. They are not so often attacked by insects, pests, etc and have great nutritive values, much greater than our conventional sources such as wheat, milk etc. These things just need to be promoted to the common masses, who want to sustain with a healthy living”
I met the enthusiastic team behind this innovative concept. The concept was coined by Manoj Prajapat and Surendra Gandharva, popularly known as Sunny. The team is energetic, confident, determined, and making every effort to promote the healthy living.
“I started working on the concept of Healthy food and healthy alternatives to fast food with Manoj Prajapat. We have worked for many years, and evolved with our idea, and made them better day by day. All the dishes presented here are cooked in zero oil and zero fat (Ghee/Butter), all the stuffs are either in their raw forms or steamed, as every nutritive value is lost on frying or cooking. We haven’t even used the cow’s milk, so as to ensure zero animal content. Coconut milk has been used as its alternative. In the sweet dishes, every care has been taken care of to ensure that there is minimal usage of additional sweeteners, and the natural sweetness has been emphasized. Still, wherever needed, we have used Gud and Misri instead of sugar.”
– Surendra Gandharva
The Food Fest will be continuing today also, with an entirely different menu than yesterday. This fest is open to all. This is a healthy initiative, and I recommend all to give a visit and taste the health. 🙂