If you’re a vegan and are looking for fellow vegans in Bangalore or are wondering what veganism is about, the vegan fair — VGF this Sunday may be a good place to get started.
An event being put together by husband-wife Milesh Kumar and Susmitha Subbaraju, it will feature various vegan foods and non-food products for sale. For those who got on to the bus late, vegans are people who do not consume or use animal-based/derived products.
“Most of us vegetarian south Indians are quite naturally vegan,” Susmitha is quick to point out, “unless you add ghee or curd to the food”. So it’s so much more easier to turn vegan. Vegans don’t consume dairy, and Susmitha is bent upon proving that soy milk is not the only alternative. She’s been vegan almost 10 years now and makes interesting alternatives for herself at home like cashew cheese and vegan ice-cream. “There’s nothing lacking in my diet because I’m vegan. In fact, instead of drinking one kind of milk, I can drink 10 kinds of mylk!” Mylk is the common spelling for “vegan milk”, which is plant-based. At the VGF event, Susmitha will also be doing a short demo about making mylk out of nuts and seeds. On sale at the 10 modest stalls will be cakes and cookies, pastas, Indian food like bisibele bhaat, peanut-curd rice, vegan desserts, pastas, breads, local grain-based foods, packaged vegan speciality sauces and condiments, and vegan beverages. There will be pastries made with almond flour (instead of maida), jaggery (instead of refined sugar), flower-based muffins. “Most people love the idea of curd-rice made of peanut curd and how much it tastes like regular curd rice. The whole idea is to have as much variety as possible. Also to promote awareness about veganism and provide the opportunity for people to taste vegan dishes first hand. And to find out that vegan food is just as tasty, if not tastier, than the non vegan versions that people may be used to. It can be everyday food, and exotic too.” There will be a mix of what is seen as “healthy” as well as indulgent food, she promises.
A few vegan-themed, non-food items like jewellery, art, vegan soaps and lip balms will also be on offer. “I make jewellery with vegan slogans. And as a vegan I don’t use leather, wool, or silk in my jewellery. Pearls, again, are not vegan, so we use alternatives like Swarovski crystal glass pearls.” Some of the art work by Anu Gummaraju of 220 will include kitchen art and vegan slogan posters.
Susmitha talks of her own vegan journey and how it started when her husband turned vegan first when he got curious about veganism; he heard of it from friend Sandesh. Milesh, a software engineer, wanted to try being vegan, and started reading up about cruelty to animals in the dairy industry. “We went vegan for ethical reasons, and then started realising the health benefits,” she adds. Susmitha also consults for restaurants who want to start a vegan menu.
Susmitha says that at Sunday’s event, in order to reduce waste, you will be given arecanut leaf plates, which you should ideally hold on to for all the food you want to taste. Take your own bags/boxes if you want to shop and carry stuff back home. Coupons will be issued, and unused coupons refunded.
The event will be held on November 24 at #28, Penthouse, ‘Citi Centre’, Church Street, 3rd floor of the same building as GK Vale and ADCB Bank, from noon to 7 p.m. Entry is free. For details call Milesh on 9945219924.