The Fourth Eastern India Ethnic Food Festival, which was held at Ras Salmiya on 27 January, 2017, was a resounding success with hundreds of participants and visitors eagerly thronging the venue.
Over 60 dishes were prepared at home by 42 ladies and men, and were creatively on display according to the four categories of the competition. The families of the ladies helped them to decorate and arrange the food to be pleasing to onlookers.
While the Food Competition was the highlight of the event, there were food offerings from eastern India laid out at the stalls for the visitors to sample. A variety of games and spot quizzes loaded with gifts and prizes entertained all present while the judges were evaluating the competitors. Participants from the last year competition complimented the organizers for accepting their advice and introducing a new category for Street Food. They complimented Maurya Kala Parisar also for sponsoring events such as MindSpark: Dr. Rajendra Prasad Memorial Debate, Dinkar Hindi Poetry Awards and Maurya Manch which featured Anand Kumar of Super 30 fame as part of its 20th Anniversary celebrations.
A range of traditional dishes from Bihar, Jharkhand, Asom, Orissa, Bengal and UP were exhibited along with some new dishes which were a variation of two traditional dishes as a platter.
Shruti Katiyar, the event coordinator, commented, “You will not find these dishes in regular restaurants”. Nivedita Sinha, the co-coordinator added that “We had dishes like dhuska, litti-chokha, pedakia, malpua, and ghughni-chuda”.
Some of the special sweets entered into the competition were ‘Kaddu laddu’ and ‘Rasgulla Cake’ which was offered in the Innovation category. ‘Teekha Mutton’ a common food for non-vegetarians at Holi festival was presented in combination with another Holi delicacy ‘Pua’.After much deliberation, the overall winner declared was the traditional ‘Awadhi Chicken’.
Mr. Reaven D’souza, Editor in Chief of Times Kuwait was the chief guest and gave away the prizes to winners of the competition. A total of 12 prizes were given in four categories.
Vegetarian Dishes: 1st Prize Veg Pulao, Rohina Tanweer, 2nd Prize Moong Crunchy Poori, Preeti Nitin, 3rd Prize Dahi Vada, Shweta Kumari
Non Vegeterian Dishes: 1st Murg Nawabi Butter Cheese, Garlic Naan & Rice, Neelika Raza Khan, 2nd Bihari Chicken Boti, Rahila Anwar, 3rd Raan E Khas, Sana Abdul Hamid
Dessert: 1st: Gujiya, Suchitra Deo, 2nd: Besan Ladoo, Shruti Katiyar, 3rd: Lauki ke Ladoo, Shweta Shruti
Street Food: 1st: Katori Chaat , Radhika Mishra, 2nd: Khasta Puri and Bhaji, Nazia 3rd: Chhole Chaat, Pinky Sinha
All participants were also presented with mementos.
Now in its fourth iteration, MKP’s annual Ethnic Food Festival has been growing in popularity with every passing year. People from Eastern India, who appreciate their native cooking, in addition to food enthusiasts from other regions utilize the event to show off their cooking skills. This event is different from time and format bound ‘on the spot cooking competitions’.
Restaurants and food menus in Kuwait are generally short on cuisines from eastern regions of India; commenting on this, the General Secretary of Maurya Kala Parisar, Abhay Kashyap said that the event provided a window of opportunity for families to present special dishes from the region and also for the general public to taste and appreciate cuisines from Eastern India.
The judges’ panel comprised of Chaya Thakkar, Meenaxi Lad, Kanchan Nigam, Maulshri Saxena, Dr. Shaziya Zafar, Ms. Devina, M/s Sunil Sonsi, Chandra Shekhar Verma, Anurag Shrivastava, Anup Shrivastava, Harish Saxena, and Kapil Gupta, are all connoisseurs and food enthusiasts.
Mughal Mahal Restaurants and LIC International sponsored the event. Vivek Sinha, Treasurer, Maurya Kala Parisar thanked them for devoting time and effort to support the event. He also thanked the large and discerning crowd of over 200 who thronged the venue to experience this special program.
Organizing Team for the event included Shruti Katiyar, Nivedita Sinha, Sujata Kashyap, Abhay Kashyap, Uday Prakash, Ramesh Kumar, Vivek Sinha, Afroz Alam, Afsar Khan, A/Hamid Naqwa, Syed Shabih, Zafar Siddiqi, Mr Nitin Prabhakar, Supriya Sinha, S. Sivkumar, Mr Mihnaj Khan, Sana Naqwa, Sujeet Kumar, Mithilesh Kumar, Devesh Kumar, Manoj Mishra and many active MKP members and children.
Maurya Kala Parisar (MKP), fondly known as Maurya, is active in Kuwait since 1995. The association registered with Indian Embassy in Kuwait is dedicated to promotion of arts, culture and social service among Indian community in Kuwait. The organization gets its name from the Maurya Dynasty of Patliputra of ancient India.