Food festival that takes you beyond the curry

By Our Reporter
Sandeep Pandit

Spice Angel Masterchef contestant Sandeep Pandit will also be giving a cooking demo at the Indian Festival Melbourne on 27-28 July

Back again at Queen Victoria Market, the Indian Festival Melbourne is full of winter foods, dance and music. And this time there’s a little extra spice as Spice Angel Masterchef contestant Sandeep Pandit will also be present.

Festival Director Himanshi Munshaw Luhar says, “The event has been going from strength to strength each year. This year we are very pleased to welcome MasterChef contestant Sandeep Pandit to share his story and do a cooking demonstration with us.”

Luhar says most people stop exploring Indian cuisine after butter chicken and naan, and this event offers the opportunity to showcase foods from Delhi, Kolkata, Streets of Mumbai and Kerala. “The food and culture in India change every 100 kms so there really is more to Indian food than a korma,” he says.

Pandit will do his cooking demo at noon on Sunday as well as share his story.

“India is a land of diverse regions and cultures, each with its own cuisine and with a magnificent history. Indian cuisine is truly a global cuisine, because over the last few 1,000 years it has had influences from across the world and civilisations. The spices are used in different ways to create complex flavours,” says Pandit. “The word ‘curry’ is an oversimplification of a method of cooking and use of spices. An Indian dish is more about the ingredient, region and style of preparation than just a ‘curry’. Besides the usual ‘curry’ affair, Indian food has so much more to offer. I look forward to joining in the celebrations at the Indian Festival at Queen Victoria Market,” he says.

Well known eateries like Two Fat Indians will serve up some saag and roti, Babaji’s Kitchen will introduce a chestnut dosa to the festival and Original Chai Co. will bring Masala Chai. Introducing some new flavours to the festival are Burger Shurger—Indian inspired burgers, bao’s and momo’s, Desi Chatka Street Food and Masala Creations with charcoal grilled kebabs. Menu partners Mr. Yum will be featuring a digital menu for the event.

With an extensive line-up of free entertainment from Bollywood dancing to Bhangra and live music by The Fifths, Masala Bhangra and their Indian inspired workout will begin the day. Bollywood dancing by The Naach Box will follow suit after which there will be classical performances by local artists list Divya Rao and Asha Subramanian. The entertainment line-up also includes dance school students from Bindas Bollywood and Expression Dance Studio and lots of workshops.

QVM A-Shed will come alive with Bollywood music as the festival continues into the night on Saturday till 9pm with a live band The Fifths and a DJ to dance to your heart’s content.

There will be cooking demos by Katoomba Foods.

If that is not enough you can take your experience further by entering to win a tour through India and eat your way through the Golden Triangle. The prize includes a 7-day holiday giveaway by sponsor Raine and Horne Project Marketing staying and 4-star accommodation and being driven around in your own private vehicle.

Fast Facts
  • When: Saturday, 27 July 10am to 9pm; Sunday, 28 July 10am to 4pm
  • Where: A Shed, Entry from Peel Street, Queen Victoria Market
Festival Entertainment Line-Up
Saturday 27 July
  • 11am: Masala Bhangra
  • 12pm: Expression—Dance Studio
  • 1pm: The Naach Box
  • 2pm: Nritya bhoomi Bharatanatyam Dance School
  • 2.30pm: Katoomba Foods Cookign Demo
  • 3pm: Bindaas Bollywood Dance Company
  • 4pm: The Naach Box
  • 5pm: Melbourne Moves—m square Dance Academy
  • 6pm: The Fifths
  • 7pm: The Fifths Cont.
  • 8pm: DJ Harsha Shree taking the party until close
Sunday, 28 July
  • 10am: Masala Bhangra
  • 11am: The Naach Box
  • 12pm: MasterChef 2019 Contestant Sandeep Pandit Live on stage for cooking demo
  • 12.45pm: Melbourne Moves—m square Dance Academy
  • 1pm: The Naach Box
  • 2pm: Ranjhe Bhangra
  • 2.30pm: Katoomba Foods Cooking Demo
  • 3pm: Consonance Entertainment

Festival hashtag: #indianfestmel


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