Igniting Social Change With Food: Part 1



Posted on: 4 November 2018

This is first part of the One Earth Food series that will present a preview of the delicious and exciting vegan foods ranging from street foods to gourmet desserts at the fest held at Juhu Ground, Opp Chandan Cinema on 2 December 2018. So stay tuned, as this is just the beginning…

To gorge on the amazing range of vegan foods, register Free on ahimsafest.org. But first, a roundup about the relevance of food, fairs and food-n-fairs….

Food festivals are the staple in Mumbai, and every year we hear about new festivals being launched out of the woodwork. They are melting points of the local culture that brings diverse people together. And at the epi-centre of a festival, is not the people, not the entertainment, or the market… but the food. It is the only acceptable public activity where you take a bite, to experience something cerebral, that can trigger forgotten memories or create new ones. These are stories in history where conflicting soldiers have declared truce to partake of food and drinks. This is not to say that food is a cure-all for conflict. History has also witnessed conflicts over foodstuffs. Greeks and Turks have fought over coffee, while every Middle East country claims ownership over the hummus, and of course the Salt March of India, another historic struggle for free access to local salt.

Back to present day, a festival is universal community building effort, where people can learn about local food history, explore food security and meet producers. And that is what One Earth Festival 2018 is all about. Here is where renowned pioneers and environmentalists who have walked the talk, will share experiences about food, where every dish has a story that can introduce you to new worlds, and also rip open stories hidden from us through the generations.

What’s On The Vegan Menu

The festival is driven by the passion for dairy-free food culture, and seeks to promote the compassion through food locally and nationally. The organizers have gathered some of the leading chefs, nutritionists and entrepreneurs to create memorable experiences around vegan food for visitors.

 Imagine Café (3P)

Their credo is to offer vegan food that’s good for the environment, is cruelty-free and delicious. Their focus has been to make the vegan food indulgent, so their menu features a range of foods cooked with delicious vegan cheese or made of cheese. The team believes that the inclusion of these indulgent foods will help make the process of turning vegan and staying vegan a whole lot easier. Drop by their stall for their cheese-based offerings that are Jain, oil and preservative free. Try their raw Caprese Salad made with tomatoes, topped with delicious cashew-based mozzarella slices, perfumed with basil and infused with balsamic vinegar. Also on offer are crusty Quiches made of bell peppers, “unkeema” (soy granules) and vegan cheese and cheese sauce baked in a buttery, flaky pastry crust. And for those who lust for cheese can ask for their in-house cashew Mozzarella Cheesesticks, crumb-fried to golden perfection.

 Juss by Sindhful (P)

Juss by Sindhful will offer authentic Sindhi cuisine customized for vegans. Co-Founder Sannat Ahuja says, “The masalas or spices we use have been passed down to us from our great-grandmothers since before independence. It’s a special recipe that we still pound at home fresh, before it reaches our restaurant kitchens every morning. Most of the recipes on their menu have taken months to develop. Look out for their Bheeyan Ji Tikki made of lotus stems, Sindhi Curry Chawal with Aloo Tuk, spicy Daranji Curry With Peas Pulav and bite sized Pakwan Chaat served on nachos.

 Tales Over Tails

The café is founded by two sisters Vaishali and Madhuri in Pune after they turned vegan in January this year. For the fest they will present guilt-free mock meats and tempting cheesy snacks. Madhuri says, “We wanted to contribute to veganism and hence decided to open a vegan cafe where vegans don’t have to crosscheck the ingredients served in their dishes”. During the fest, you can look forward to enjoying the delicious taste and texture of meat with their vegan Chycken Satay; Phish Fingers, which is a crispy-soft fishy dish that is not-so-fishy combined with mouth-watering tartar sauce. And finally their Jalapeno Poppers, a cheesy and spicy combo of little jalapeno poppers to pop your taste buds served with special veggie cheesy dip!

Health Me Please (16G)

Founded by Nidhi Ramchandani, as a fitness enthusiast she is meticulous about quality, right from sourcing the ingredients, to growing her micro-greens, and is a sucker for all things fresh, natural and real. All HMP products are gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan. Her raw energy balls made of spinach, pumpkin seeds and dates, are a super choice to stock up and make flavourful snacks to carry around and eat right during hunger pangs. Watch out for her refreshing Beet Blush smoothie, which is beet, chia and rose in almond milk. Also try out ‘Real Good Smoothie, made of avocado, raw cacao, figs blended smoothly with banana and almond milk and white chai seeds.

Bombay to Barcelona

This café is Amin Sheikh’s proof and model of how dreams can come true. And his autobiographical book ‘Life Is Life; I Am Because Of You’ is an intrepid account of his journey from surviving the Mumbai streets to becoming a successful globetrotting entrepreneur. Says Amin, “The library-cafe is just a platform to employ other kids and help them capitalise on their skill sets, before they are ready to face the world.” He has taken years to develop its infrastructure, while creating opportunities for their dedicated team. The café is expected to serve the popular city staple foods like poha and sabudana khichadi.

Stay tuned for Part 2, coming very soon.

Register (free) on ahimsafest.org to gorge on tempting foods ranging from street foods to gourmet desserts, and a lot more! Entrance free, but registration compulsory.  

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