Winter is setting in and so is the mood for one of city’s most popular food festivals – the Sattvik Traditional Food Festival. And this year, the fest will begin on December 23, announced the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI). The 15th edition of the three-day festival will be organized at AES ground behind Doordarshan TV Tower.

The festival will not only have more than 150 stalls, this time expect more traditional fare made of raagi, kodri, millet and bajri as it is mandatory for each stall to have two dishes made from traditional grains. Like every year, the organisers will ensure that no typical food items — available at roadside stalls — are sold at the festival. Apart from tickling the taste-buds, Sattvik will also have a creative and innovation corner for children as well as stalls selling organic food.

“Each stall is allowed to sell maximum 6 food items. Of these, at least two recipes must have traditional grains like raagi, kodri, millet and bajri. The move will ensure that innovative recipes made of traditional but forgotten grains find a place on the platter,” said SRISTI secretary Ramesh Patel. He said, like last time, Ministry of Women and Child Welfare will set up 50 stalls to sell their products.

An average of 180 stalls are expected from various pockets of most States in the country. “Apart from food stalls, we will also have a corner for students. Here we will have all props that will allow students to think about creative and innovative designs, and also come up with proto-types. This time, we have made arrangements in a way that afamily can spend at least 3-4 hours on the ground – trying out new dishes and learning new things. We want students to learn about benefits of traditional food,” he added. This year, tribal stalls will also be set up to give them a platform to sell traditional items.

The SRISTI team is also gearing up to demonstrate live popular recipes at the stalls. This will be shown either on the organisation’s webpage and/ or on Facebook. The move is being made to tap digital medium to increase its reach. Foodie haven Sattvik was started 14 years ago by SRISTI to promote conservation of agro- biodiversity and creation of demand for nutritional crops, which are rarely or less cultivated now.

This festival tries to bring forgotten, traditional recipes, lesser known grains, vegetables and minor millets from underdeveloped areas to the urban populace, helping them to adopt healthier food habits and lifestyle. The traditional food fest used to be held on the grounds of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad till 2015. Last year, it shifted to the AES Ground in Bodakdev.

SRISTI gave limited space to set up stalls, congested parking and frequent traffic jams as reasons for ending its 13- year association with the premier BSchool. However, those associated with the festival said the shift of venue is an exercise in branding. Over the years, the festival has gained a lot of popularity but people often associate it with IIMA rather than SRISTI so the venue was shifted to bring the focus back on brand SRISTI, an insider said. Last year, nearly 75,000 people visited the food festival.

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