Every year Mysuru dons a regal look during Dussehra. It is one of the grandest celebrations of the Sharad Navratri in India. The Mysore Palace looks surreal with extraordinary decoration. Every corner of this city oozes grandeur. Besides its extravagant decorations and festivities, food is a significant crowd puller. If you visit Mysuru or Mysore during Dasara, which is called locally, head to its Food Festival. The Dasara Aahara Mela has grown to be a significant component of the Dasara celebrations in Mysuru throughout time.

Also Read: Making Mysore Pak: An Accidental Invention From The Kitchens Of The Mysore Palace

The Scouts and Guides Grounds is hosting the Aahara Mela beginning on September 26 and running through October 6. There are around 174 food stalls among the two arenas, in addition to the tribal category. The culinary industry's top names have set up stalls. Over 100 vendors with different dishes will be located at the Scouts and Guides Grounds alone.

Rich greens from the forest

Bamboo rice payasam, Image Source: healthyliving.natureloc

The biggest attraction this year is leaves collected from the woods. These greens are a good source of vitamins, fibre, and minerals. The tribal cuisine section has been established by the Prakurthi Aadivasi Foundation Trust. Since 2014, this Trust has taken part in the Dasara. It showcases a lavish buffet of foods fashioned with green leaves in 2022. Magade soppu, jagadi soppu, aale soppu, thumbe soppu, and ganike soppu are a few of them. Each dish will cost Rs. 50 at the Aahara Mela, and these leaves are cultivated naturally in the jungles. Other highlights include ragi rotti with muthuga leaves, bamboo rice payasam, makali root tea, cooked forest tubers and roots blended with forest honey.

Naati Koli Bamboo Biryani

Bamboo chicken biryani, Image Source: tripadvisor.com

Naati Koli Bamboo Biriyani (desi chicken) is another draw this year. In cities, this meal is infrequent. A biriyani made from jungle birds is a common dish in the wild. However, the Forest Department forbids the hunting of jungle birds. To prepare the traditional Biriyani, native tribes got the desi birds they had raised. The masalas used here are harvested from the forests and ground using handmade instruments.

Hyper-local, Indian and global grubs

One can taste foods from the country's various regions, such as delicacies from the coast, Kerala, the Konkan, Punjab, Rajasthan, and north India. There are separate sections for pure vegetarian spreads. Culinary specialities from Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad, and Kerala, along with the authentic food of Coastal Karnataka, Malnad, Dakshina and Uttara Kannada, and Kodagu, are significant attractions. A segment is dedicated to continental grubs too.  Davangere Benne Dosa and Bangarpet Pani-Puri are two of the local cuisine's highlights. 

What more?

There are also fancy-dress competitions for children using fired products and vegetables. Several cookery contents are there to test the participants' culinary skills. A fascinating snack eating competition has segments such as Mallige idli eating for 8-13 years, dosa eating open to 14-30 years, banana gulping contest for 31-50 years and the famous sweet, Mysore Pak feasting contest for 20-40 years.