Like last year I made it to the Avarekai Mela to pig out on some of the out-of-the-world treats that are offered at this food fest. The fair seems to have become more popular this year because the crowds were definitely bigger. The organizers on their part seemed to have anticipated the rush and had employed more cooks and there were more stalls. The air was filled with aromas of the different foods being cooked and crowd banter. Ready-to-eat Avarekai delicacies like Avarekai mixture, Pedas and Mysore Pak were being sold inside the premises of Vasavi Condiments, the organizers of the Avarekai Mela.
On the outside there were a lot of other vendors selling Avarekai (flat beans), Kadalekai (groundnuts), water melons, vegetables, toys, water and more. Some of the vendors I spotted last year were missing instead there were new faces like this lady who was selling puffed wheat and rice and a man with a doll selling a kind of candy.
This year, the Mela seems to have attracted a lot of media attention too and some of the cooks were very photo-friendly like this cherubic cook who was laying out one Obuttu (Holige) after another with a large smile on his face.
Jalebis and Kodubale seemed to be the most popular with long queues in front of the stalls selling them.
After a round of photography I decided to savour some of the delicacies. The taste of the Khalli Dosa that I had eaten at last year’s mela still lingered in my mouth and I went for it this time too. As expected, the Dosa and the accompaniment were a delight. I wasn’t sure what to have next thanks to the endless list of items on the menu. After much thought, I ordered an Akki Roti. The Akki Roti was quite thin and crisp with Avarekai embedded here and there and was easy to finish off. I ended my culinary journey with a tub of yummy Upittu.
A very noticeable addition to the mela this year was a Pani Puri seller. After three plates of grub I wasn’t in a mood for Pani Puris. Maybe I’ll have a go at them next year but only after a plate of lip-smacking Khalli Dosa, my all-time favourite!
The fair is on till the 14th of January.
Sri Vasavi Condiments
Opposite VB Bakery
Sajjan Rao Circle
V V Puram