By Staff | Rising Kashmir
It’s that time of the year when foodies clear their calendar of all events to make way for a three-day gastronomical delight. From Delhi’s Satrangi omelette to Mumbai’s chocolate dosa, an assorted platter of street savouries highlighting the diverse culinary heritage of the country was held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
The seventh edition of National Street Food Festival, organised by the National Association of Street Food Vendors of India (NASVI), saw around 500 street food vendors from across the country serving delicacies in over 120 stalls.
For spice lovers, the festival had dishes reminiscent of the Nawabi lanes of Hyderabad. Stall owners from Telangana will serve authentic Hyderabadi Haleem and Biryani cooked in traditional spices. For the first time, vendors from Jammu and Kashmir are selling delicacies like mutton Wazwan and Rogan Josh served with Kashmiri rotis. These can be savoured with steaming cups of Noon Chai, also known as Pink Tea and Kahwah.
While the most popular cuisine of Bihar, Litti Chokha will also be there, non-vegetarians can gorge on Litti served with spicy chicken and red mutton curry. Meat lovers can also relish delicacies like Chicken 65 from Karnataka and fish cooked in Goan style.
The festival was also a vegetarian’s delight as Jhunka Bhakar from Maharashtra, Mirchi Vada from Rajasthan, varieties of Dosa, Sarson ka Saag served with Makki ki Roti from Punjab and popular street food like chowmein, momos, golgappa, bhelpuri and mangla chaat will also be served.
For those with a sweet tooth, desserts like Hyderabadi Qubani ka Meetha made with dried apricot, Moong Dal Halwa, Nolen Gur Sandesh, Bal Mithai and Jhangora ki Kheer are there to satisfy their sinful gluttony.
“This is my first time in Delhi. I am excited to compete with vendors from across the country. At the same time, I can learn the practices and tactics to help improve my business back in Srinagar. Although this time we have got delicacies associated with Kashmir, next year we will also have kebabs and fried lotus stem that are popular evening snacks at Dal Lake,” said Muhammad Ashraf, a street food vendor from Srinagar, representing Himalayan Hawkers – a group professionals. The Kashmiri hawkers were facilitated to display their food by Authint Media. CEO of the company, Tawseef Lone said that such programmes bring professionalism among the stakeholders. He said that the event has come at a time when the wave of intolerance has gripped whole of India.
“This could be a natural booster where people from all the relgions could share the table and eat the food,” he said.
The event also seeks to help change the street food scenario in the country, apart from highlighting flavours of cuisines drawn from 26 states. Vendors are being given national-level exposure with NASVI roping in Indian Institute of Hotel Management to train them in safe, hygienic and nutritious cooking practices.
“The festival has evolved over time and our membership has increased considerably. With the help of festivals like these more vendors will step forward willingly due to the exposure they get. One of the prime reasons for holding this festival is to help hawkers inculcate healthy and clean cooking habits. The stalls will be scrutinised by food safety inspectors that will deter vendors from unhealthy cooking,” said Arbind Singh, national coordinator of NASVI.