Food

Village Ticket: Selfies with cattle

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Smack in the middle of a bustling city, Village Ticket recreated the ambience of a village festival, complete with bullock cart rides, tentkotta and regional delicacies

The campus of MGR Janaki College in RA Puram was transformed into a village, transporting visitors to the heartland of Tamil Nadu, with children and adults alike enjoying maattu vandi and kudhirai vandi rides, playing traditional village games, and witnessing a wide range of live folk song and dance performances such as poikaal kudhirai, mayil attam and kaavadi.

The highlight of the four-day event which was held from July 26 to 29, were the food stalls where cooks from all over the State served dishes representing the 32 districts of Tamil Nadu.

Organised by Brand Avathar in association with Grand Catering Company, the event celebrated the farmer, the traditional food of Tamil Nadu and the sense of nostalgia associated with it.

Village Ticket: Selfies with cattle

Hemachandran of Brand Avathar said that the idea was mooted almost a year ago and meticulous planning had gone into creating the ambience of the festival with cattle ranches, village houses, pottery demonstration, cultural performances and food stalls.

Village Ticket: Selfies with cattle

Village Ticket: Selfies with cattle

A giant Ayyanar statue set the mood for visitors who entered the festival arena. Selfies with cattle, especially the jallikattu bull, and rides in bullock carts were popular. A tentkotta (touring talkies) was playing the MGR hit, Kaavalkaran.

“The idea was to bring in all aspects associated with a village thiruvizha. Apart from rangaratinam, folk dance, touring talkies, bullock cart rides and songs, food is an integral part of any village festival,” says Jayashree Thilak, founder, Grand Catering Company.

She identified cooks from other regions and invited them to set up stalls. Snacks, traditional millet-based food, sweets, beverages and various regional delicacies, both vegetarian and non vegetarian, such as jigarthanda, lemon soda, popsicles, kali, and parotta were sold in the 20 stalls at the venue. “To lend some nativity and nostaliga, we set up a maligai kadai, a Mani Iyer hotel, kattusadham, nattu marundu kadai, tea kadai, Muniyandi Vilas and Military Hotel,” says Thilak.

Village Ticket: Selfies with cattle

Yet another highlight was the the Kari Virundhu” — 32 non-vegetarian dishes and the Kalyana Virundhu, a vegetarain wedding feast served on a two- and-a-half feet long banana leaf.

“We specialise in elai sappad, so we came up with this idea of an elaborate meal representative of four regions of Tamil Nadu. What made this a unique experience was that the cooks travelled with their own stone-ground spices,” Thilak explains.

Village Ticket: Selfies with cattle

The Village Ticket will be an annual event which will be organised in Chennai and other cities as well. “The response was overwhelming for the maiden edition, and we want people to come with their families and experience a sense of nostalgia and talk about village festivals to the current generation,” says Thilak.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 8:22:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/village-ticket-2018/article24560773.ece

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