'British spoiled food culture of Indians'

Unique mela

Visitors throng the Millet Mela being held at Nanjaraja Bahadur choultry in Mysore on Saturday. DH photo

The first ever millet mela of the city received good response as hundreds of people thronged the venue. Along with range of millet-based food items, a myriad of traditional south Indian dishes made from millets turned out to be a favourite zone for the visitors. The mela hosts at least six types of millets and their scores of varieties. Besides, it has kept on display a range of organically developed food and food products.

The event is being organised by Sahaja Samrudha to promote organic foods and popularising millet and millet-based food.

The exhibition has foxtail millet, little millet, kodo millet, pearl millet, barn yard millet and red jowar. Along with raw cereals, the mela offers processed millet-based flakes, aata, vermicelli. Also, ready-foods such as papad, chakkuli, ladu, kajjaya, kolbale, biscuits are all attracting the foodies.

Moreover, a few women’s groups have set up stalls selling sweet pongal, bisibelebath, palao, kara baath, dosa and several other dishes — all based from millets like navane and savve.

The opening of the mela also got a traditional touch with a farmer couple growing millets from North Karnataka, Nagappa and Halamma offering pooja to a pile of cereals.

In his opening address, K C Raghu, founder of Pristine Organics, Bangalore, said the invasion of the Europeans, particularly British spoiled the food culture of Indians. They looked down at millets and other related food varieties, which were a rich source of nutrients as a food of poor. The modern-day food lacked nutrient supply and push people to all kinds of disorders like diabetes and blood pressure, he said.

The two-day mela has also brought the best varieites of organic food like red rice, bharma black rice, red avallaki, jeera sambar, tamarind, cloves, biscuits made of ragi and various millets.

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