G20 International Food Festival in Delhi draws hundreds

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New Delhi: Aromas of golden jalebis dipped in sugar syrup, tikkis frying in oil and kung pao chicken being tossed in a wok waft through Talkatora Stadium here, drawing food lovers to their favourite cuisines at the G20 International Food Festival.

“This is where the scent of chhole bhature is coming from,” 13-year-old Himanshu tells his mother after meticulously searching the venue for his favourite dish.

The two-day G20 International Food Festival, themed “Taste the World”, was inaugurated by Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri at 11:30 am on Saturday.

Four G20 countries — China, Turkey, Japan and Mexico — are participating in the festival.

Also on offer are cuisines from 14 Indian states and union territories — Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Delhi, Bihar, Punjab, Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Manipur and Meghalaya.

More than 11 hotels, including Taj Palace, Taj Mahal, The Connaught, Taj Ambassadors, Le Meridian, ITC Maurya and The Park, are offering their signature food items.

A large crowd was seen at the Tihar jail bakery stall where a range of products from biscuits to savoury snacks and jalebis kept the visitors coming.

“All these products are prepared by prisoners of Tihar jail and that is why there is so much excitement among the people. People are coming back for jalebis again and again,” said Ashutosh, one of the workers at the stall.

For 45-year-old Vikram, the food festival gave him a chance to try the food from Hotel Taj Palace.

“This is the first time I am having food from Hotel Taj Palace. It is a little more expensive than other stalls but it is a good experience,” he said.

At the Japanese stall, teriyaki chicken was the speciality of the day.

“It is fried chicken which is served with special sauces. Sushi with teriyaki chicken filling is also on the menu. Another dish being served today is dashimaki tamago (Japanese rolled omelette),” said Amrit, the stall manager.

A chef is busy rustling up authentic Chinese delicacies at a stall set up by a Saket-based restaurant owned by an Indian man and his Chinese wife.

“My wife is Chinese and I am Indian. We were approached by the Chinese embassy and our chef is also Chinese. We are offering our specialities here like kung pao chicken and fried long beans,” said Abhishek, the restaurant owner.

The Ministry of Agriculture has also set up stalls at the festival on the theme of ‘International Year of Millets’.

Several small businesses that set up stalls at the festival were elated with the good response to their millet products.

“We started this company two years back but suddenly our business is picking up. It is because of the promotion of millets by PM Modi. People are learning about the benefits of millets and this is helping us,” said Manisha Srivastava, whose company sells snacks made from different kinds of millets.

Hundreds of people were seen relishing their favourite delicacies at the food festival.

The public has responded well and helped make this food festival a success, said an official of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), which has organised the event.

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( With inputs from )

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