News & Reviews

FUN-N-FOOD CARNIVAL AT DI Author:Debargho Sarkar & Amit Ukil   Posted On:2018-02-07


Carousing on cuisine and more!  

The weather was in transition. Winter was on the wane, and summer was knocking at our doors. What better affable conditions could one ask for to hold a festival in the open, on green lawns and under blue skies And so it was that the DI held its annual Fun-n-Food Carnival last Sunday (February 4), an event that had a twist this year.

Since mid-day, members and guests thronged the 23 food stalls, 33 non–food stalls and 5 games stalls placed under and around a huge shamiana, colourfully decorated and well laid out in the space available on the lawn and the courtyard. The festival of buy and sell, of eating and gaming was ably emceed by Leslie D’Gama (who was quite noticeable in a red T), Christabel and Shaheen, all of whom kept the 400-strong crowd that included about 220 guests up-to-date on the happenings.

Right from the start, the food stalls were an absolute hit. Folks made a beeline for the cuisine of their choice, having made plans thanks to the pre-advertisements of the event. And what a vast array of choices! From appetizers to main course to desserts – a variety of delicacies to satiate the hungry tide! There were stalls with kebabs, parathas, momos, dimsums, dhoklas, chana batata, burgers, dahi vada, sandwiches, hotdogs, mutton and chicken biryani, followed by delectable desserts like Lamington cake, chocolate mousse tarts and freshly-baked Oreo cookies, kheer kachouri, among other mouth-watering offerings. It was not just the taste, but the fact that most of the items were home-made that made it all the more attractive.  

The stall selling delicious Burmese Khowsuey and Goan vindaloo was a clear favourite of the gathering, and by 2pm, the Khowsuey was sold out, followed soon after by the pork vindaloo. Brinelle Tims, the stall manager and author of the goodies, said quite a few people had taken packages to eat at leisure at home. She could only offer this reporter Khowsuey sauce as a consolation, and of course the promise to make more the next time!

Momos on wheels, a stall offering up to 15 different varieties of momos, received a hearty thumbs-up from foodies of all ages. The Yellow Straw, Kolkata’s first juice bar chain, had an array of fusion juices specially developed to offer a balance of essential nutrients and vitamins that of course combined with taste.

Saldanha Bakery, one of the city’s oldest bakeries, sold out within two hours of setting stall, leaving many craving for the likes of its walnut cake. Perhaps the youngest chef at the carnival was Veer Kundalia who at 12 had made some scrumptious cupcakes of different flavours that found place in many tummies that day! Pastries, pudding, brownies, phirni, rashbhara, Gokul pithe ... yummy homemade cuisine catering to global palates were all available, making us wish our stomachs and appetites had room for more!

Among the non-food stalls was “ibreast Exam”, which was one of the most socially relevant at the festival. It showcased the innovative, zero-radiation, hand-held, non-invasive, painless breast screening device for cancer. India has the third highest rate of cancer among women and 60% of such cases are usually detected late. Developed by UE LifeSciences, this device was recently featured on TED Talks with Shah Rukh Khan and appreciated by the Prime Minister as well.

Then there was Sutton Seeds, who promoted nature by gifting seeds to all those interested in growing plants at home, a stall selling unique recycled lamps made from discarded bottles and containers, and one selling nutritional supplements, including fish oil and organic items. Adding colour to the festive occasion were garments stalls selling T-shirts, shorts and other apparel, Nic Nac selling a variety of costume jewellery, and a stall with a variety of innovative school stationery.

The children had a fun time too, once their hunger pangs had been met. Stalls with games of skill and luck beckoned, from hit the cans, pot the coin and roulette to 7 Up/7 Down and toss the ring. One stall had targets that had to be achieved in half a minute, called “30 Seconds to Fame”. The games were devised by the Sohangpurwala and Rangwala families and comprised potting marbles, reading colours, saying the alphabet, matching pairs – all in 30 seconds each.  If you won, the fame of course lasted 20 seconds but gave the kids a sense of achievement!

Shouts and shrieks of laughter and happiness filled the air in the Neil O’Brien Playzone, where a Games Arena had been set up. It had a trampoline, a bouncing Mickey for toddlers and golf putting and basketball for the teens, as well as a tattoo corner. It turned out to be so popular that the kids pleaded with the operators not to go as evening fell and the carnival wound up.

“We had a lovely time…our palates were pacified and our kids enjoyed,” said a guest, summing up the afternoon and evening. The carnival had surely turned out to be a carousal in cuisine and cavorting. Till the next time!

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