Abudhabi: The inaugural three-day Gulf Kerala Festival organised by Malayala Manorama will begin at the Abu Dhabi Malayali Samajam from Thursday. The festival will be begin at the Etisalat Academy in Dubai from April 16.
Thirty Kudumbasree workers from Kerala arrived here to take part in the food festival. They will serve ethnic food dishes of Kerala and main attraction of the festival is that food items will be cooked with unadulterated masala concoction brought specially from Kerala.
The managing committee and women members of Malayali Samajam is helping the Kudumbasree workers for preparing dishes in the Gulf food festival. The food festival which will be inaugurated at 4 pm On Thursday will end at 11 pm on Saturday.
Traditional dishes from Malabar, Kochi, Travancore regions will be available during the festival and it is sure to whet the palate of non- resident Keralites living in the Gulf.
Kudumbasree movement, which was conceived to improve the lot women folk living in Kerala neighbourhoods, has grown to become a big movement, in fact the biggest in Asia. This is for the first time in the 16-year-old history of the Kudumbasree movement that its members are organising a festival outside the country.
One of the reasons for organising the Gulf Kerala Food Festival is to popularise the traditional and ethnic food dishes of Kerala which are either forgotten or are no longer popular among the present generation. The Kudumbasree workers will try to serve these food items in its originality to the non-resident Keralites during the festival.
Selected cooks from Cafe Kudumbasree—which made a mark in Kerala in a short span of time by serving delicious and traditional Kerala dishes—will be dishing out their special items at Gulf Food festival. The Gulf Food Festival will present a good opportunity for non-resident Keralites to taste the traditional food of Kerala, which they have not been able to do in the Gulf. The spices and masala connotations have been brought specially from Kerala to retain the ethnicity.
The Kudumbasree workers are determined to make the first ever traditional food festival of Kerala in Gulf a big success. The food festival will also open avenues for non-resident Keralites especially women to learn traditional cooking from the Kudumbasree workers. The cooking classes will be held free of cost at the venue and this will empower Kerala women in Gulf to be part of future food festivals. The Kudumbasree will seek help from women organisations in Gulf for attracting more participants to this endeavour.
Though Kudumbasree has organised many ethnic food festivals in Kerala and outside the State, the workers claim that the Gulf Food Festival will be different and will be a big success compared to other festivals undertaken by the organisation.
Back home in Kerala, Kudumbasree cafes have regular clientele and it is because of the availability and quality of ethnic food served, neatness and above all, the pleasing hospitality of the staff that make people visit these cafes again.
The Kudumbasree workers will be trying to serve good quality traditional food at reasonable prices to non-resident Keralites. The Kudumbasree aims to conduct at least 50 such festivals in Gulf in the next two years and hope to earn around Rs 60 crore from it. The first Gulf sojourn of Kudumbasree workers is aimed at dishing out a lavish traditional Kerala spread to non-resident Keralites in Gulf and at the same time looking to slowly expanding business to other countries that have a sizable population of Keralites.
Kumdumbasree also made its presence felt in the India International Trade Fare held every year in Delhi. Kudumbasree won the gold medal in the food festival organised as part of the trade fare. The Cafe Kudumbasree stall In the Kerala Trade Frade, organised by PRD department in Mumbai, was a big hit. The stall was able to do business of Rs 15 lakh within a short period of time.
The hardworking and determination of workers are behind the success of Kudumbasree, which will be making its maiden entry into UAE, which has the large population of Keralites.
Malayala Manorama has been organising food festivals in association with Kudumbasree for the last few years and the workers are hopeful that their magic will work in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Twenty eight Cafe Kudumbasree workers, who have shown their mettle in cooking in the different food festivals organised in different parts of Kerala, and two chief cooks will be forking out a whole new world of tastes to thousands of Keralites living in UAE.
The years of experience gained by organising food festival, commitment and above all inborn talent to cook have made Kudumbasree workers a breed apart. Malayali families and bachelors are waiting eagerly to relish the traditional food served at the festival.
The Gulf Kerala Fest at Abu Dhabi Malayali Samjam will begin at 4 pm on Thursday and end at 11 pm and on Friday and Saturday, the festival will begin at 11 am and end at 11 pm. In Dubai Etisalat Academy, the fest would begin on April 16 (Thursday) at 4 pm and will go on till 11 pm and on April 17 and 18, the festival will begin at 11 am and end at 11 pm.