Brussels food festival dives into world of Indian cuisine

Summary

Every week, Flanders Today surveys the world of local cuisine to fill you in on the best recipes, culinary events and special eateries. This week: the Indian Food Festival

Katrien Lindemans on Flemish food and drink

Mention India to someone and the first things that will probably spring to mind are its vibrant colours and great cuisine. It’s hardly a surprise then that news of the first Indian Food Festival in Brussels was greeted with great excitement. So far 11,000 people (and counting) have already confirmed their attendance through the event’s Facebook page.

The Indian Food Festival, which will take place at the Jubelpark in Brussels on 15 and 16 August, is being organised by Indian Confluence, a local non-profit organisation dedicated to showcasing Indian culture and helping improve quality of life in rural India. The upcoming festival is the first time they’re staging an event for the general public.

What should you expect? Lots of food, of course. Think samosas, bhajis, curries and vegetarian delights as well as stalls offering typical Indian street food, home-cooked meals and restaurant food. Brussels restaurants Annapurna and Anarkali are just two of the many participating eateries, and Indian television chef Sanjay Thumma will also be on hand to lead a couple of cooking workshops. With 500,000 Facebook followers, Thumma has been an inspiration to many budding cooks, both in India and abroad. Visit his website to find out what to expect. 

A festival, of course, wouldn’t be a festival without music and entertainment. The event’s line-up focuses on traditional Indian dance and music – from traditional Bharatanatyam dance to martial Khattak, and from Bhangra to stunning Bollywood performances. The organisers themselves will perform songs, too, with their own band, the Confluence All Stars.

Stalls will also sell Indian clothes and handicraft, and why not visit the Mehendi stall for a henna tattoo on your hands or legs? There will be yoga workshops too, and you could scarcely imagine a better backdrop for a yoga session than the beautiful Jubelpark. (Just recently, 3,500 people participated in a yoga class at Ter Kamerenbos as part of International Yoga Day).

The money raised at the festival will go toward a project that aims to improve living conditions in rural India and focuses on education, sanitation, nutrition and other basic needs. The organisers have partnered with a village in Andhra Pradesh in the southern part of the country for this. You’ll be able to watch videos and obtain more information about this initiative during the festival.

15 & 16 August, 12.00-22.00 at Jubelpark, Brussels; free entrance
Photo courtesy vahrehvah.com

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