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Where festive ‘cuisine tourism’ is offered on a platter

Special Correspondent

Rural and royal food items are sure hits at the ongoing carnival

— PHOTO: V. GANESAN

Connoisseur’S DELIGHT: Ragi porridge and cakes, the poor farmer’s daily food, found many takers at the ongoing ‘cuisine tourism’ carnival on Island Grounds on Thursday.

CHENNAI: If you are one of those who often give in to the urge to experiment with your taste buds, then the ongoing ‘cuisine tourism’ carnival at the Island Grounds is the best place to be as hundreds of families discovered on Thursday.

An indicator of the popularity of the exhibition, being organised by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), was the opening of the gates almost 15 minutes before schedule. The exhibition will be held till October 12 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The organisers said that over 2,000 tickets were sold just within an hour of the opening. For the visitors, the fare at the food court was tongue tickling. At the stalls a range of food items from roti and sabzis to the combination of a delicious banana dosa with spicy pudina chutney are available.

The stalls have exotic items on offer – food of the royal households and of the poor farmer.

Branded spices, pickles, papads, a variety of non-vegetarian items and cakes saw many takers. Officials of the Tourism department said that the fair was being organised to provide entertainment and an opportunity for the people to eat out at a reasonable price.

The entertainment aspects of the carnival include joy rides in a chariot and video games. The Tourism department has also proposed to bring in paragliding after Wednesday.

Hardcore city residents were excited about the rural cuisine that included ragi porridge with lemon pickle and jaggery-dry ginger juice. A variety of non-vegetarian dishes, set out separately, are also available.

A visitor from Adambakkam, who brought her family along, wanted to take home the porridge.

The stall owners had not anticipated this. After some hesitation, the woman decided to carry the porridge home in the paper cups in which it was served.

Rajasthani homemakers Sumithra Sethiya and Neetha Rathore, brought up in Chennai, are offering a glimpse of the royal cuisine of Rajasthan.

“We brought the spices from Mumbai. We have used 15 different kinds of spices to prepare our dishes,” Ms. Rathore said. “The food is cooked here and served,” Ms. Sethiya said.

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