Time to spill the beans

'Avarekai mela'

Time to spill the beans

Walk in to VV Puram one of these days and the sight of stall owners frying ‘jalebis’, youngsters tucking in to ‘dosas’ and people buying savouries is bound to welcome you. The 17th edition of the ‘Avarekai Mela’ is on and Bengalureans from all parts of the city are thronging the venue, also popularly called ‘Food Street’ or ‘Khaau Gali’ by some.

Organised by Shri Vasavi Condiments, the fair has more than 200 sweets, savouries and other hot items on offer, all made from ‘avarekai’ in its two forms — ‘hithkabele’ (peeled) and ‘avarebele’ (unpeeled).

The ‘avarebele chikki’ and ‘bele holige’ are two of the fast-selling sweetmeats this year. In the savouries section, the ‘hithkabele’ snack in varied flavours like ‘chilli’, ‘pepper’, ‘pudina’, ‘garlic’ and ‘cashew’ is selling like hot cakes.

Sapna, a visitor with her kids, says, “I come here every year and each of the items is really nice. I am looking forward to buying some ‘holige’, ‘pepper hithkabele’ and ‘masala vada’.”

For Mahadev, a stall attendant, it’s a great experience to be participating in the fair. “Lots of people from varied regions are visiting us and it’s nice to answer their queries about the different items. It also means good business for us. While some are relishing the food here itself, others are getting things parcelled,” he says.

Many can also be seen visiting the fair after work and digging into the ‘avarebele dosa with hithkabele saaru’, ‘bonda’ and ‘vadas’. Bharath, who was visiting with his colleagues, says, “We have been enjoying dishes like ‘idli’, ‘holige’ and ‘manchurian’. The ‘honey jalebi’ is also one of our favourites here. What I like about the event is that they have maintained the quality over the years and it’s also value for money.”

Yoshika, Suchitra and Anusha, three friends who live nearby in Jayanagar, had a good time relishing the avarebele ‘pani puri’. “It’s our first time here and we’ve just started the ‘culinary sojourn’ of sorts. The preparations are very tasty and we are looking forward to having a fantastic time here.”

The ‘Avarekai Mela’ is on till January 15 from 10 am to 11 pm at VV Puram, Sajjan Rao Circle.

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