Although January is an excellent time to be pretty much anywhere in India and enjoy the place, i’m a bit biased about Bengaluru as an epicurean nomad who will go anywhere for great food. Let me give you 3 excellent reasons why every year, the first place i think of at the start of the year is… Bengaluru!
1. Avarekei Mela
When & Where: 1st & 2nd week of January, VV Puram (Thindi Beedi)
Come January, and Bengaluru celebrates the ‘avere bele’ (also known as avarekai) festival where everything is made from avere bele beans, which are a winter specialty in Karnataka.
Big thanks to my friend Sankara of Be On The Road for introducing me to this fest and the ‘foodie lane’ of Bengaluru i never knew about! — Thindi Bheedi, VV Puram.
We tried a bunch of avare bele dishes including dosas, vadas, payasam & finished each course with a hollige (think puran poli).
The entire premise of this festival is to relish the winter gift of the land – the seasonal avere bele beans.
While most stalls dish up traditional dishes made with the beans, you can also expect some fusion food like avare bele ice-cream and although i didn’t try it myself – i even found a avare bele pizza recipe via Explocity!
Don’t just take my word for it – mark your calendar and don’t miss this annual extravaganza of authentic local food if you’re in Bengaluru in early January!
When & Where: 2nd / 3rd week of January, St.John’s Auditorium, Koramangala
2020 Update: This year, MTR is focusing on Telugu foods with a 2-day Telugu Ruchulu event in Bengaluru, at the Banjara Function Hall on 18th & 19th Jan.
I discovered this food festival via Facebook Events – perhaps the best events discovery avenue out there. Bringing together authentic rural foods from all over Karnataka, i was already sold on the concept of MTR Karunadu Swada before visiting it. The verdict after visiting? I wished i had 2 extra stomachs to do justice to the amazingness 🙂
Always someone to embrace hyperlocal cuisine, I discovered SO MUCH about Karnataka’s rich culinary heritage that it made me wonder – why don’t we get to eat all this variety in the commercial restaurants? Perhaps that’s why such festivals are needed more than ever. Here’s a short video i made while enjoying the fest…
When & Where: 2nd / 3rd week of January, Palace Grounds
An excellent government initiative to promote organics & millets, the aptly named Organics & Millets International Fair is truly a celebration of India’s agricultural and culinary diversity!
Bringing farmers, consumers and traders under one roof, it’s an unmissable expo if you’re someone like me – appreciating the gifts of the soil and enjoying local dishes made from nutritious, seasonal produce which is always healthier and better than any packaged food you could ever grab your hands on.
As a traveller who is happy to go the distance just for the love of good food, these 3 discoveries make me always dream about being in Bengaluru in the month of January every year!
Leading an experimental life as a digital nomad, I started traveling in 2007 while choosing to shuttle between Goa and Mumbai as 'home'. An epic life-changing trip to South America an year later gave birth to this blog, Exotic Gringo.