The 3rd East Indian Ethnic Food Festival was organized by Maurya Kala Parisar on Friday, 25 March at Ras Salmiya. A record number of entries, over 70 dishes prepared by 42 contestants were on display at the food competition, which was the highlight of the event. The Ambassador of India to Kuwait H.E. Sunil Jain and his wife Gargi Jain complimented the organizers for presenting year after year such unique events. Mr. Jain was particularly happy that this edition highlighted a new category on health food.
There was an assortment traditional dishes from Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Orissa, and Bengal and UP. Shruti Katiyar, the event coordinator, said, “You will not find these dishes in regular restaurants.” Reiterating Mrs. Nivedita Sinha, the co-coordinator said, “We had Dhuska, Litti-Chokha, Pedakia, Malpua, Bihari Kabab, and Ghughni-Chuda.” A very special sweet participating in the competition was ‘Kaddu Laddu’.
In its third year, the event has been hugely success since its inception and has attracted participation from people appreciative of their native cooking seek such events to recreate their recipes. Abhay Kashyap MKP General Secretary, said that the event provided a welcome opportunity for cooks to try to create very special dishes and for the general public to taste and appreciate them.
Indian Ambassador Jain accompanied by his wife awarded prizes to the winners. He especially praised the work done by Maurya Kala Parisar for bringing a unique variety of events to the community in Kuwait. In the recent years, Maurya Kala Parisar has organized events like MindSpark: Dr. Rajendra Prasad Memorial Debate, Dinkar Hindi Poetry Awards, and Maurya Manch. A major accomplishment has been the presentation of Mr. Anand Kumar of Super 30 on the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the association last January.
The taste of authentic East Indian ethnic food allowed a large crowd to sample dishes at many stalls. The participants enthusiastically allowed their dishes to be sampled by eager visitors. In a festive atmosphere, ladies mingled and discussed the process of managing the stalls and the food.
Games and quizzes with prizes kept the audience engaged while the judges evaluated the entries for the food contest.
Sana Abdul Hamid, who had prepared the ‘Rani Changezi Awadhi Chicken’, was declared the overall winner of the bumper prize of 24ct gold coins. In addition, a total of 11 prizes were given in four categories.
Vegetarian Category Prizes:
First — Preeti, crunchy Urad Vada in yogurt
Second —Kritika Dubey, Yam Masala Curry
Third — Rashmi, Dahi Vada
Non Vegetarian Category Prizes:
First — Sana Abdul Hamid, Rani Changezi (Awadhi Chicken)
Second — Kainat Siddiqui, Dilpasand Murg Naan With Rice
Third — Kanchan Nigam, Teekha Mutton Manpasanda with special Pua
Dessert category prizes:
First —Priyanka Kanwar, black rice pudding with mango coconut
Second — Dipali Basak, Suji Pitha
Third —Shruti Katiyar, Besan Barfi
Open-Innovation (Fusion or Health) Category:
First — Sana Abdul Hamid, Sada Bahar Gulkand Apple Mawa Barfi
Second —A. S. Geetha, Millets
Other participants nominated to the presentation round included were Alka, Archana, Bharti Jha, Mr. Devesh Kumar, Mr. Inderjeet, Madhu Srivastava, Nausheen Parwaze, Neelika Raza Khan, Neeta Maheshwari, Nivedita Sinha, Pallavi Singh, Pinky Sinha, Ms. Pompy, Pratibha Jha, Priya, Puja Mishra, Rakhi Kumar, Sangeeta Sharma, Shipra, Shweta Shruti, Supriya Singh, Supriya Sinha, Swati Birla, Tripthi, Snehlata Anugral, Kalpana Shikhar, Asha Mishra, Mr. Ramesh Kumar, Mr. Uday Prakash, Ms. Rekha, and Mr. Rajeev Dubey.
Their preparations were equally tasty and innovative hence they were recognized for their achievements.
Different panel of judges evaluated each of the categories, each panel comprised of one professional chef and two discerning foodies from the community. The honored judges were Neelima Srivastav, Vivek Srivastav, Mukesh Shastri, Ankit Kumar, Hemant Yadav, Dr. Niranjan Kumar, Kareena Kumar, Deepika, Shaikh Ahmad, A K Singh, Vani Agrawal and Gautam Rajput.
Mughal Mahal Restaurants and LIC International were the sponsors of this popular event. Vivek Sinha, MKP Treasurer, thanked them for devoting time and effort to support the event. He also thanked the large and discerning crowd of over 200 who thronged at the venue to experience this special program.
Maurya Kala Parisar (MKP), fondly known as Maurya, has been active in Kuwait since 1995. The association registered with the Indian Embassy in Kuwait is dedicated to the promotion of arts, culture and social service among the Indian community in Kuwait. The organization gets its name from the great Maurya dynasty of Patliputra of ancient India, which had kings like Ashoka, Chandragupt and Sher Shah Suri. On its 20th anniversary celebration last January, the association presented a grand show known as ‘Maurya Manch’, still fresh in the collective memory of Indian community in Kuwait.