A mela for 'avare' gourmet

A mela for 'avare' gourmet

Labour Minister N Bachegowda, Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari and actress Tara at the inuagration of avare mela on Thursday. DH photo

The annual Magadi Averebele Mela, which kicked off near Sajjan Rao Circle at V V Puram on Thursday is a culinary and visual treat for fans of the humble ‘hithakabele’. This year’s mela will go on for ten days till the 17th of January.

Fifty farmers from about 25 villages of Magadi Taluk are participating in this year’s mela, which is in its current avatar for the eighth year. Gopal, one of the farmers who is participating at this year’s mela said, “This is a tradition that has been going on for 35 years and is both convenient and beneficial. It is a good way to market our produce.” He added that it is a win-win situation at these melas as the volumes sold are greater, which also helps the customer to get it at a cheaper price.

A tiny store in the mela premises features over 63 varieties of snacks made from Hithakabele including the legendary Congress Mix and Hithakabele Uppitttu, and newer innovations ranging from dosas and vadas to even sweets like Pudding and Jamoons. Roasted Hithakabele is also available in a variety of flavours including cashew, mint, butter, pepper etc. The prices of the roasted Hithakabele this year ranges from Rs 180 a kg to Rs 320 a kg depending on the flavour.

Incidentally, the price of Averekaalu has been steadily falling over the past two weeks as the season reaches its peak. One litre of Avarekaalu, which was priced at Rs 80 a litre a couple of weeks ago has fallen to Rs 60 a litre.

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