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Food for thought

Jains in Mangalore come together to bond and discuss issues concerning the community. The Jain Food Festival is only a happy excuse to meet

Photo: R. eswarraj

PARTY TIME Food is a great way to bond

It was a meeting of common interests and also checking out on community welfare that brought them together. Of course, not to give less credence to the aim of pampering taste-buds that topped the agenda. Every year the Jain Milan, a committee compris ing Jain families residing in Mangalore, organises the Jain Food Festival with a view to bring together all members of the Jain community.

The gathering brought together eminent doctors, businessmen, bankers and a sea of Mangalore’s crème de la crème of the Jain society. The food festival is considered more as a platform for the community to congregate and have a good time together, along with relishing the wide assortment of ethnic savouries.

“Every year the committee brings together all the Jain families of Mangalore by arranging a get together. It makes for an interesting platform to meet and discuss community welfare, which further encourages bonding among us. We also have a lavish spread of tasty traditional snacks to boost our jovial mood,” says Vidyadhar, President of the committee.

The committee assigns the preparation of one type of traditional food to each family. Over 51 types of traditional home-cooked food and thought-provoking debates and discussions strengthens the community ties among the members. With typical Jain delicacies of south Canara, the food festival also featured lip-smacking dishes of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and north Canara. The authentic south Canara Jain specialties like patrode, ragi manni, appa, mandige (made of maida, sugar, dried coconut, puffed rice and khuskhus), neer-dosa, and samosa and chutney were consumed with relish and fanfare.

People made a beeline for some of the delicacies from the north Canara platter such as khara rotti, bakala bhath, jolada rotti with spicy curry, and wheat laddoo. Karaji kai, a Maharashtrian Jain specialty, beckoned all foodies. The succulent sweet banana fry, the tender dhokla with chutney made of dates and the theplas further made the day a gastronome’s delight. With their colourful, glittering attire and sweet mannerisms, the Rajasthanis won the applause of the members for their tasty preparations of bafla bati (made of wheat flour), dal, churma and fruit custard. The relentless happy chatter and the excellent food made a great combination.

AMRITA NAYAK

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