Sample doses of good health

Sample doses of good health

The City is a melting pot of cultures, where every Bengalurean celebrates and partakes all festivals together. 

One such celebration where is rushing to participate is the annual ‘Avarekai Mela’. The fair is being held at Sajjan Rao Circle, VV Puram. 

Though it was Mrs Geetha Sivakumar, the owner of Vasavi Condiments, who started this tradition to help ‘avarekai’ farmers from the area, it’s become a tradition that everyone follows now. Being the 15th edition of the ‘mela’, Bengalureans from near and far are making an attempt to come to the busy streets and have a look. 

Apart from buying ‘avarekai’ seeds from the farmers, the main attraction is the array of dishes prepared using it. Everything from snack items like ‘vada’ to main courses like ‘avarebele chitranna’ are prepared using avarekai. 

Soumya, a regular customer at the fair and a mother of two, says, “The main idea of this festival is also to educate the young children how this seasonal vegetable is good for their health. When there is fair like this, the children will also understand that it’s something else and try the healthy dish. The ‘avarekai’ is disguised in snack-like items such as ‘vada’, ‘jalebi’ and more to attract them. That’s one of the reasons why I love come here and bringing my kids along. We’re all happy at the end of the day.”

Visitors are bustling in and out throughout the day. The ‘mela’ starts from 11:30 am onwards and goes on till nightfall. 

As soon as one walks in, one is greeted with the aroma of dishes like ‘avarekalu saaru’, ‘avarekalu uppitu’, ‘akki roti’, ‘avarekalu dosa’, ‘holige’, ‘jamoon’, ‘chikki’ and more. The stalls also have flavoured snacks like garlic, pepper and pudina ‘hithakabele’. However, the ‘hithakavare halwa’ and ‘jalebi’ are making the rounds this year. To buy sweet items, people are walking in to Vasavi Condiments and selecting their favourites. There are also other stalls where vendors are selling the seeds for one to take home — peeled or whole. Harish and Meera, also regulars at the fair, are excited about this year. They says, “We live near by, so we make sure we come at least once for the fair. Everything looks great this year. We’re actually very excited to see how clean the area is. The ones removing the trash are making sure to do their best. But it would be great if they complete it before the crowd arrived.

However, one of the concerns that some have is the quality of the seeds.
Ganapathy, one of the visitors says, “Due to the heavy rain in October, the quality of the seeds that are coming in now are not up to the mark. We’ve been given the news that the ones coming in now are the hybrid versions of it. Having said that, I can’t seem to find any taste difference in the items they are making. I’m quite happy with this year’s turn out.” It’s best advised to visit on a weekday day time to avoid the rush. The fair is on till January 14. 

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