National street food fest finds new venue

National street food fest finds new venue

Street food, which is low on price and high on taste, is bliss for all foodies. So when something like the National Street Food Festival (NSFF) is organised in the capital, Delhiites cannot not help but throng the venue to savour the lip-smacking delicacies. With street vendors from different states of the country displaying their best offerings, the recently-concluded festival was therefore a big success. However, this treat will no longer be restricted to the capital city and will soon reach faraway lands like Jammu and Kashmir and Assam.

“Vendors from Kashmir and Guwahati have expressed their wish to organise this festival in their states as well. We have been planning for the same and hope this edition begins a new chapter. We will be organising many regional street food festivals across India. Interestingly, some policy makers who visited the festival are advocating this initiative and willing to take this idea forward,” says Arbind Singh, organiser and national coordinator of National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI).

The festival has had three previous editions, but J&K was never a part of it. Nazir Ganaie, who is a journalist by profession, brought the J&K stall to NSFF this time. He believes that food is the one thing that connects people, and yearns to organise a similar event in his pristine land.

“When there when the issue of ‘intolerance’ is all around, I think food is the only thing which you can put on the table and share with people from across regions and religions. In the very first time, the response we are getting is huge. So, we thought of organising a similar festival in J&K, which will have an open invitation for all the vendors across the country. We cannot organise it right away as there is snow there, but may be in April or May next year,” he tells Metrolife.

However, Ganaie admits that executing such an event in a controversial state like J&K will be tough because of different reasons. “You may not see the same kind of crowd there, but as far as Kashmir goes it’s a wonderfully hospitable state. Whatever you want to do in Kashmir is itself a Herculean task. You don’t know what’s going to happen the next day. But people out there are big time foodies. This festival might be a beginning,” he says.

When it comes of the Northeastern state of Assam, Dilip Hazarika has been participating since the festival began in 2012. Acknowledging the support he got from Delhiites in these three years, Hazarika says he will be hosting the festival in the state in 2017.

“We have talks going on with NASVI. After J&K, the festival will travel to Guwahati. We will try to bring out the best of street food and vendors across the country. Apart from the different states participating, there will be stalls that will display the traditional food of Assam,” he says.

These upcoming food festivals are not just a way to introduce people to the hidden gems of India but can also help bridge the gap between the two corners of the country.

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