The Tasting India Symposium: Organic Food for a Sustainable Future
Tasting organic Himachali blackberries from Desi Utpad, at the Tasting India Symposium
The health and wellness sector has recently seen a huge surge in popularity. A major component of wellness is to consume organic and homegrown food. Keeping this in mind, food entrepreneur Sanjoo Malhotra and writer Sourish Bhattacharya, recently organized a unique annual event- the “Tasting India Symposium: Farm to Table”. Through this, they aim to promote “India’s diverse culinary heritage, food destinations and agricultural produce”.
A panel of eminent personalities
The second edition of the Symposium was held on December 14-15, 2017 at the India International Center. Many eminent personalities were invited to speak on the theme, “Making India the Next Global Culinary Superpower”. On the first day, the panel consisted of Madhur Jaffrey, Global Ambassador of Indian Cuisine; Satyajeet Rajan, Director General (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism; and Sunil Alagh, Brand Strategist and TV Commentator. The second day’s panel had Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Honourable Union Minister for Women & Child Development, Government of India; Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog; Krishna Byre Gowda, Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka; and Dr. Pushpesh Pant, Culinary Historian, TV Show Host and Padma Shri Awardee.
With the Slurrp Farm Team Members. From L-R: Vaishali Lakhanpal; Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik
I was invited by Slurrp Farm, an organic food brand for children, to attend their session on the second day (read more about Slurrp Farm by clicking here). They released a White Paper on “Reclaiming India’s Ancient Superfoods: The Journey of Millets from Coarse Grains to Nutri-Cereals”. Millets are their preferred raw material, being naturally organic in nature. Another reason to promote millets as a super-food is to encourage better livelihood for millet farmers from South India.
In addition to moderating the session, Slurrp Farm had teamed up with health food restaurant, AnnaMaya from the Andaz Hotel, for a truly delicious lunch spread. Chef Vipul of AnnaMaya created culinary magic with millets. The fabulous menu included Millet Biryani cooked in the Awadhi Dum style, a Spicy Mango Curry with Kodo Millet, Creamy Millets with Braised Garden Vegetables and Slurrp Farm Millet Dosas. The meal was absolutely delectable. For a natural food rookie like me, it was an eye-opener! Now I know that healthy food doesn’t have to be tasteless.
Enjoying the delicious lunch. Clockwise from L: Millet Dum Biyani; Spicy Mango Curry with Kodo Millet; Kale and Feta Cheese Salad, Chickpeas with Millets; Millet Kebabs
The Gandhi King Plaza at IIC was an ideal venue, with the winter sun being the perfect companion to insightful talk and tasty food. Pan-Indian vendors of organic and natural produce displayed their wares. Some of the noteworthy ones included I Say Organic, Paushtaa, Millets for Health (an initiative of the Karnataka Government), Slurrp Farm, Desi Utpad (from Himachal Pradesh), Orphie Artisan Bakery, and Original Indian Table.
Beauty in food. From L-R: Fresh organic leafy greens; Kokshkom flower used as natural food colour
The event was well-organized, apart from a last-minute change of schedule. The chefs readily interacted with the attendees, as did the vendors. Though sale of products was prohibited, it was wonderful to discover many new brands. I look forward to bringing more organic, natural produce on my table.
Event Rating: 4/5