Five-day food festival Ahare Bangla begins in state
‘Ahare Bangla’ - the biggest food festival in the country - began in Kolkata on Friday evening with thousands of people pouring in on its first day.
The festival was inaugurated by Subrata Mukherjee, the state panchayat and rural development minister. Ministers including power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, disaster management minister Javed Khan and Swapan Debnath, the minister-of-state (independent charge) Animal Resource Development Department was present in the inaugural programme.
In its second year itself, the festival has become famous internationally as four countries are participating in the festival this year. Countries including China, Bhutan, Russia and Bangladesh are participating in the festival and offering the best cuisines of their respective countries.
The most attractive part of the festival is the “International Festival” that has been set in the fourth hall in Milan Mela ground. Hundreds of people were found standing in queue in the first evening itself in the pavilion to taste the food of those countries.
Moreover, there are all total 103 stalls in the festival and people can taste 500 different types of food in the country’s biggest food festival.
The visitors have also appreciated the move of the state government in keeping different themes for the next four days. The festival that began on Friday will continue till October 25 and will remain open from 12 noon to 9 pm every day. The theme for the initial two days is based on the Bengali cuisine. Saturday’s theme is Bengali Veg Recipe and Colonial Effect on Bengal Cuisine will be the theme food on October 23. Eggs and Fish are the theme for October 24 and 25.
Debnath said that the festival is one of the pet projects of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Thousands of people here come to enjoy different cuisines. At the same time, thousands of people from different parts of the state are getting engaged and getting a good business. Moreover, they are getting a platform to interact with so many people which is opening new avenues for their businesses.
There is a capacity of 2,500 people to have food at a time in the festival. The people were also found gathering at the outlets from where they can buy food ingredients. Another interesting part of the festival is the “dheki” that has been installed here. The people were found buying rice that was being husked out using the dheki, which is the traditional husking machine of Bengal. Children were also found watching how the “dhekis” are being used for husking of rice.