Monday, 15 August 2011

Udupi's veg delicacies make it to Toronto

MANGALORE: Did you know that there are 108 varieties of vegetarian Udupi delicacies? If you think the numbers are wrong, a visit to Toronto in the second week of April would be a good idea, where all the 108 varieties of Udupi delicacies will be available under one roof!

With a view to creating awareness of the Udupi vegetarian food, exhibit variety of sweets, snacks and food people of Toronto, a very elaborate 'Udupi Food Festival' has been organized by Sri Krishna Vrundavana, the new Udupi Temple and community centre near Niagara Falls, Toronto, for a week, starting from August 14 and ending on Krishna Janmasthami day.

The Sri Krishna Vrundavana was inaugurated by Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji of Udupi Sri Puthige Mutt in April 7 this year. The seer is already in Toronto to oversee the food fest preparations.

Some of the unique, rare and exquisite sweets and snacks such as Kodubale, Sukurunde, Happala, Attrasa, Pattrode, Gatti, Appa Ode, Laddu, Chakkuli, Holige, Jhangri etc, will be prepared and offered to Guru Raghavendra and Lord Sri Krishna. Yes, the fare will be authentic as three special cooks have already reached Toronto.

Puthige Mutt secretary Prasanna Acharya told TOI that the staff cooks from the mutt, Ram Mohan, Jayaram and Prasad, have already reached Toronto. These three master cooks have been on the rolls of Puthige Mutt since two decades.

Acharya said there were many dishes which are not prepared in hotels, barring the mutt like Vrathada adage, vrathada saaru, more than 20 varieties tambuli (vegetable preparation mixed with butter milk) like cucumber, ginger, pappad etc, will all be made available at the food fest.

Acharya said a Vedic Vidyapeeth will also be opened in the Niagara Falls area to help train priests, both for students from North America as well as India. "The Seer is in the process of getting the requisite permissions from the Canadian authorities," added Acharya.

My take

India boasts of a wide range of cuisine which offer innumerable vegetarian and vegan delicacies. Udupi is an exclusive vegetarian cuisine which also includes a range of vegan dishes. Most of the delicacies mentioned in the article seem to be vegan. 

Last year the Art of Living Foundation attempted to break Guinness Book world record by cooking highest number (5000) of vegetarian food items. I and am sure fellow vegetarians, vegans and animal rights activist are glad to read about spiritual foundations/temple’s effort to promote vegetarianism.

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