It is not a fad. There is not a drop of green juice in sight, and we are not even talking quiona salads here. A sattvik diet is what most of us grew up on — before we turned into calorie-crunching gym rats.

Like well-known nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar describes it on Twitter, “Sattvik food is simple, sensible and seasonal.”

Ragi has been cooked in most Indian homes in some form or the other, as have other whole grains such as sorghum and millet. Seasonal fruits and vegetables has always been preferred over the imported variety. Samreedhi Goel, a Mumbai-based nutritionist and fitness expert, says, “Sattvik means pure, and the diet is, hence, filled with unprocessed, unadulterated and unrefined food. It is also a lacto-vegetarian diet — which ensures that none of the tastes (salty, sugary, pungent, bitter, spicy and astringent) are overemphasized — and improves energy levels.”

Ramesh Patel, secretary of Sristi — the organization that hosts the festival every year — says, “Indian adivasis are healthy because their diet is sattvik. It has none of the processed and refined foods that people eat in the cities — and it has been our mission to popularize grains and foods that they eat, including millets, jowar, ragi, and those whose fibre content is high.”

“Those who attend the festival shouldn’t expect to eat khichu, bhajiyas and dhoklas here,” says Patel, referring to some popular Gujarati snacks. Instead, expect a menu that will include the known, and the completely unknown — from Bajra rotis to aloe vera flower stir fry. To finish up, there’s cactus ice-cream too.

The Sattvik Food Festival is an attempt to reintroduce a food movement, which is not dependent on rice, wheat and refined flour for a staple diet. It  is a 3-day event being held at the IIM campus from January 9 – January 11. A turnout of 75,000 foodies is expected at the festival, which will include 84 stalls that will showcase over 400 different dishes from across the country.

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