Savour the flavours

Buzzing markets

Savour the flavours
Ugadi’ is just a day away and market places across the city are teeming with colourful and exotic flowers and fresh fruits. Sweet stalls too have already started getting bulk orders.

The vendors at the flower markets in Malleswaram, K R Market and Russell Market have begun to stock fresh flowers, mango and neem leaves, that are an integral part of ‘Ugadi’.

Hallesh, a flower seller in Malleswaram Market, explains, “The prices of flowers, mango and neem leaves have risen because it has become difficult to source them from the villages. The prices of flowers will cost anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 300, depending on the quantity. We also need to store these flowers in such a way that they don’t get damaged. People have already started purchasing these,” he adds.

The sweet shops in the city too are abuzz with activity. ‘Obbattu’ is the main sweet  for ‘Ugadi’. There are several shops in V V Puram, Jayanagar and Basavanagudi that prepare and sell sweets, especially for the occasion. Sri Vasavi Vaisista Thindi on Thyagaraja Nagar Main Road, near Bull Temple Road, has specialised in making different varieties of ‘Obbattu’. Their sales have almost doubled during this time. Mahesh, the owner of the store, says, “For ‘Ugadi’, we make ‘Dry Fruit Obbattu’, coconut and ‘dal’-based ‘Obbattu’. We already have about around 1,000 orders. Each piece of ‘Obbattu’ is priced at Rs 20.”

He informs that the preparation of ‘Dry Fruit Obbattu’ takes longer because the process involved is complicated. “The dry fruits are first cleaned, soaked and dried. It is then chopped into small pieces and mixed in the batter. This method helps retain the flavour,” he says. The coconut and ‘dal’ ‘Obbattu’ are also made the same way. “We use ghee to prepare the ‘Obbattu’ and it is made in front of the customer. Nothing is prepared and kept for long,” he says.

The Banaras Sweet House on Avenue Road is also catering to bulk orders. Ashok Kumar Agarwal, the owner, says, “Most the sweets ordered during ‘Ugadi’ is meant to be given away as gifts. In addition to sweets like ‘Mysore Pak, ‘Dry Fruit Ladoo’, ‘Badam Halwa’ and ‘Chandrakala’, we also have savouries such as ‘Nippat’, ‘Benna Murukku’, ‘Avalakki’, roasted ‘Masala Kaju’ and ‘badam’-based milk. We have people taking away a combination of sweet and spicy condiments from here.”

When it comes to textiles, retailers say the sales peak in the days leading to the festival. Srinivas J R, managing director of Sudarshan Family Store in Malleswaram, says that he has stocked specially designed saris and ‘salwar’ suits for the festive season. “We have saris starting from Rs 300 to two lakh. There are ‘Kancheevaram’ saris and heavily-embroidered ones in addition to ready-to-wear saris which is popular with the youngsters.’’ He points out that he doesn’t believe in unnecessarily hiking the prices. “Making profits is not the only criteria, we would also like to earn the goodwill of our customers,” he adds.

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