Street food vendors join Bihar Diwas Mahotsav
New Delhi, 15 March:
National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) in association with well known voluntary organization Nidan on Friday rolled out yet another street food delight in Delhi with a group of twenty street food vendors from different regions of Bihar started dishing out their cuisines here in Delhi at Dilli Haat. This street food blast would continue till 22 March. NASVI would also send a strong contingent of 150 street food vendors from 14 states to Patna to join the Spring Street Food Festival from 22 to 24 March.
The street food blasts are happening on the occasion of Bihar Diwas Mahotsav under which the Bihar State Tourism Department is organizing a range of events in Delhi and Patna. Impressed by the splendor and huge success of the Street Food Festival organized by NASVI in the national capital in last December, the Bihar Tourism has invited NASVI to join the Bihar Diwas celebrations through enabling street food vendors putting up their stalls at famous Dilli Haat in Delhi and historic Gandhi Maidan in Patna.
At Dilli Haat in Delhi, the foodies would relish diverse taste and aroma of a range of street foods from Silav ka Khaja, Litti Chokha, Garlic Soaked Mutton Rice and Jalebi Rabri to hitherto unknown the lips smacking Murkhi, Chicken Taash Kabab, Chicken Kabab, and Chicken Stu & Rice. The charm of the palate would be irresistible and the sumptuous delight would transport Delhi based food lovers to a different land tantalizing and satisfying their taste buds.
Advocating for a strong street food promotion campaign, NASVI national coordinator Arbind Singh said, “Street food is a treasure house of local culinary traditions and is increasingly playing an important role as an enhancer and force multiplier of tourism sector. Asian street food is considered as the best in the world. But, we, in India, still lag behind many other Asian countries, The need is to protect and promote the street food vending and integrate it with economy and tourism”. .
Mr. Singh said, “Street food vendors are disadvantaged because there is usually no support from formal institutions to improve their businesses or protect them from external influences. The usual response at policy level is very poor. They often have no legal status, resulting in victimisation by the police, public health institutions and local government authorities.”
“We have always tried to champion the causes of the street food vendors and help them assert with their acumen and brilliance of profession. For us, promoting street food and cementing the identity of street food vendors is closely linked with preserving and promoting the social- cultural diversity of place and region”, Mr. Singh added.
The group of an odd 20 street food vendors representing four different regions of Bihar on Thursday reached Delhi with loads of stuff including ingredients and utensils. Vikas Kumar Gupta is one of them. He has put up stall for Shilav Ka Khaja. Mr. Vikas is a street food vendor from Shilav, a tiny place from 100 Kms from Patna in Nalanda district of Bihar. In his childhood, Vikas joined his father’s business and today he looks after a family of six with the income earned by street food vending. Though he sells Jalebi, Imarthi and other Indian sweets, his niche is in the Khaja. Khaja is made of pure ghee and maida. The reputation of his Khaja is such that it is known as the Khaja of the land, i.e, Silaw. Vikas keeps a very reasonable price of his Khaja with no compromise with its taste and quality.
Another street food vendor is Ashok Gupta from Patna. He has been vending on the street of Patna for last 6 years. He is managing a family of eight, with the income from vending alone. His forte is in preparing special litti chokha, garlic soaked mutton rice and rabri jalebi. The rabri jalebi is made of maida, ghee, milk and sugar. The litti is made of atta, channasattu, masala, sunflower oil and pickle, served with three varieties of chokha of potato, brinjal and tomato. He also makes lips smacking sumptuous garlic soaked mutton rice.
Another attraction is Murkhi. Krishna Prasad, of Motihari district of Bihar, would serve it. In fact, the dish Murkhi is named after a place Murkhi in Bihar. He says, “Whenever any high profile person passes by his place, she or he prefers to stop to have a slice of Murkhi. Murkhi is a sweet made of pure buffalo milk. “
Another food vendor Ranjit Kumar is serving lots of non-vegetarian items including Mutton Handi Rice, Mutton Kabab, Mutton Stu & Rice, Chicken Taash Kabab, Chicken Kabab, and Chicken Stu & Rice. Ranjit hails from West Champaran district of Bihar, approximately 250 kms from Patna. Four members of his family are engaged in street food enterprise. Years ago his family shifted to Patna in search of livelihood. He runs his food joint near Vikas Bhawan in Patna famed as Champaran Mutton House. While preparing non-vegetarian items, he makes brilliant concoction of garam masala, javithri masala, kashmiri mirch and kasthuri methi.