Delhi is hosting various food festivals this winter. Time to treat your taste buds!
The word festival brings cheer and when you add food to it, you get the undivided attention of all gourmets. And a food truck festival in the capital is trying to do just that.
Skewers of meat and paneer being barbequed on hot coals while customers line up with a chill beer or mocktail is a normal scene at this three-day annual market. The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium has been transformed into small kiosks that smell of food and baked goods.
We started our food journey at Horn Ok Please with sushis and dimsums, which tried to stay authentic to its Japanese origins, while an Italian food truck served pastas and pizzas nearby and given Delhi’s love for food from this Mediterranean country, a long line of waiting people was certainly not a surprise.
The culture of food trucks is a norm in the US where young professionals step out of their offices to grab a bite for lunch and is catching up in India and has added colour and variety to the Indian food scene.
A food truck, Wheelys, offered coffee on wheels with a twist where one got a chance to brew their own coffee. You could choose a flavour and add your favourite topping like crushed oreo, vanilla scoop, or whipped cream. Owner Abhay Singh Luthra said that they have over seven crore combination of coffee and toppings on offer.
“In my experience, when it comes to food festivals, the audience usually tries to explore disparate cuisine and delicacies and that is why I think keeping your menu completely Indian does not work because it is easily available everywhere. It’s very difficult to judge the demands of the public which is why we keep trying out new thing,” said Pulek Agrawaal, who runs Flip, which specialises in a variety of cuisine. “I prefer using the ingredients, spices and even breads that are made inhouse,” he said.
The concept of bringing food from different parts of the country under one roof is not something unheard of. But the dishes laid out by vendors from more than 150 eateries across the city can’t go unnoticed. And the festival scored not just on account of its rich traditional and contemporary flavours, but also due to the pricing where some of them were priced as low as Rs 40 per plate.
And then there were those who were there for a cause. The Keshav Suri Foundation which aims to work towards the upliftment of the marginalised LGBTQ+ community, had painted their food truck in the rainbow colours. This caught the attention of the visitors and was a huge hit.
“This time we have Mexican dishes like, Crunchy fried avocado taco, Mexican sliders, Mexican chicken rice with brownie. I think food festivals are a good way of promoting and marketing your new ventures. We have also set up a pop up of Kitty Su, our nightclub, in addition to the food truck this time,” said Prerna Thakur, assistant manager, marketing and communication of The Lalit group.
This also a great trial space for fusion food. The brave can venture into uncharted territory like Chinese choley or a fusion like Idli italiano chaat that caught our eye but we shied away from this unexpected combination. However, you can try these at your own peril.
A drawback of festivals is that it offers only the tried and tested brands. A food blogger Anamika Karmakar said, “If I’m attending a food fest, my focus is on trying and exploring things that are new and not available in the market. Why would I be heading for something which I can get easily in the market. Obviously, I would be looking for disparate delicacies which I haven’t tasted before. Like I would be really interested to try something which is from Kolkata or from some other state, which I cannot get in Delhi. I think these food festivals need to change their concept in terms of getting cuisines across the globe and if not from across the globe then at least from various states of all the countries.”
Apart from the cons, the festival is a really great way to enjoy a warm Sunday afternoon and an even better way to spend your Saturday evening grabbing few beers and plenty of scrumptious grub while hanging out with friends.
Photo: Pankaj Kumar
Writer: Ayushi Sharma
Courtesy: The pioneer