From traditional Punjabi dhaba food to Italian pizzas — the food court at regional Saras fair seems to have turned Bathinda residents into big-time foodies.
While the traditional regional dances catch the nerve of people, the spices from several states, including Gujarat, Bihar, Rajasthan and Delhi, filled the aroma. The dishes from Bihar, including litti chokha and sattu, Gujarat’s bhel poori and pau bhaji; and Rajasthan’s rich cuisine remained the favourites. The peanut ‘ladoos’ and Haryavani desi ghee jalebis, get the taste buds rolling.
However, Delhi’s famous Chandni Chowk’s ‘gali wale pronthe’ too found a large number of customers. The people could be seen enjoying the taste of special the south Indian ‘thali’, which includes fresh vegetables, korama, rasam and masala papads.
“We have come all the way from interiors of Bihar to present the traditional dishes, rich in carbohydrates and protein. Though, the locals here like spicy food, but they were still coming in numbers to taste our dishes,” said Ram Nath Parshad, a stall owner.
Harkanwal Singh, 44, a local resident, said though these dishes were available in local eatery joints, yet the dishes available in the fair gave taste of traditional spices of the respective states.
Another resident Apoorvi Gupta, 25, said one doesn’t need to go to these states to taste their food only, when these dishes were available in Bathinda.
“Moreover, the stall owners present the dish in its original form. The owners gave details of stuffing and spices used before serving them,” she said.
Additional deputy commissioner Shena Aggarwal, who is nodal officer of the mela, said the basic aim of the fair was to bring food culture, craftsmen, handiworks and traditions of different states at one place.
“The enthusiasm among the locals could be gauged from the fact that more than one lakh people have visited the mela in the past one week,” she said.
Aggarwal added that stalls had done a business of over `75 lakh so far. Meanwhile, the Kashmiris, Gujarati and Sikkim works dominated the linens sections, while the artificial flower stalls were solely led by Nagaland. The jewellery section is shared by Rajasthani and Uttar Pradesh craftsmen and the carpenters from Saharanpur lead furniture section.