I wanted to go to the Bangla Mela aka Bengal Santhe at Ulsoor, as soon as I got to know about it, a few days ago. The Santhe is, apparently, an annual affair in the city, organised by the Bengali Association, Bangalore, but I hadn’t heard of it before. We made it to the event today, and I am glad we did.
Thanks to the event, I got to know so much about Bengal, a state I have always been intrigued about, but, largely, been unaware about. I also realised how pitiful my knowledge is about Bengali food, a fact that I am not very happy about, considering the huge diversity the cuisine boasts of. Anyways, I am hoping this event will be the start to a learning process – learning about, and sampling, the lovely vegetarian dishes that the state of Bengal has to offer. I came away from the Santhe in a very thoughtful mood, clutching a bag of Bengali foodie souvenirs close to my chest. I can’t wait to cook with the products I bought, and hope they will lead me on some amazing foodie discoveries.
The Santhe was quite small, smaller than we had expected it to be, and very uncommercial, much to our happiness. Prices were reasonable, and we were happy to find some authentic Bengali goodies there, including sarees, Govindobhog rice, panch phoron, dress materials, jewellery, show pieces and much more. We felt the food stalls could have been a tad better organised, though – there was a whole lot of chaos buying food, and the vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes were all jumbled up. Honestly, though, better organisation of the food stalls was the only thing I would like to see changed about the Santhe. The rest was just perfect.
I picked up some lovely hand-made crotchet shoes for Amma and some beautiful hand-made hairbands and clips for Bubboo. I picked up a few very Bengali ingredients I know nothing about, but with which I would love to experiment in my kitchen. We also brought home a little parcel of some Bengali sweets that looked interesting.
I am sure we will be going to this Santhe every year henceforth. Meanwhile, I will try my best to learn more about this beautiful state that I have always wanted to visit, but have never.
Does the event sound interesting to you? Go here to know more about the Santhe.
If you are in Bangalore, do visit this festa. This year, it is a two-day event, ending tomorrow, August 21, 2016, at the Bengali Association, Ulsoor. Entry is free.