Organics Millets International Trade Fair 2018-Culinary Sessions

The Organics and Millets International Trade Fair 2018 (OMITF2018) took place from Jan 19th-21st, 2018 at the Bangalore Palace, Main Entrance.

This post gives you the highlights of the Culinary sessions that took place at Khanavali – The Food Court on all the 3 days of the fair.


The following summary and posters of all the events that took place, have been mostly adapted from the records of the Ramiah Faculty of Hospitality Mangagement and Catering Technology, with their consent.


Culinary sessions at OMITF2018 –

Traditional wisdom recognised the benefits of India’s plethora of indigenous crops, yet the world is searching for gen-next super foods and healthy natural alternatives. Karnataka is at the forefront of promoting healthier and sustainable food choices like organic and millet foods.

As part of the Organics and Millets 2018, International Trade Fair that took place from 19 th to 21 st, January 2018, the Nutrition and Nutraceutical Research Centre, Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences (RUAS) in association with The Karnataka State Department of Agriculture (KSDA), Government of Karnataka,  organized a ‘Food and Nutrition Forum’ at the food court, ‘Khanavalli’, which included informative panel discussions and cooking demonstrations.

All the nutrition experts were members of the Indian Dietetic Association, Bangalore Chapter.

KSDA and RUAS in association with South India Chefs Association (SICA) organized #ProMillets– The Millet Product Display Challenge for Professional Chefs and Young Chefs. In addition, Mount Carmel College organized a Millet Display Challenge -General Category, which was judged by experts from SICA.

The Panel discussions and demos by well known chefs, spanned 3 days and covered topics of relevance to the Organic and Millet theme.

Enjoy the session wise glimpses as we unfold them for you.

Day 1 – The first day, Fri 19th Jan, saw some interesting sessions that included an introduction to millets and a talk on the scope of millets in Brewing, an event that naturally had a packed audience.

Session-1 from 1.45 – 2pm – Eat Smart, Grow Smart, Live Smart-Introduction of millets

Session-2 from 2- 3 pm –  The Scope of Millets in Brewing.


The panel discussion was moderated by  Ms. Priya Arjun, Head, F and B Service and NNRC, Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences and the panel members included Mr. Narayan Manepalli-CEO,Beerworks Restaurants and Microbrewery Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Rohit Parvani-Head Brewer, The Biere Club, Mr. Karthik Singh-Brewer at Brewsky, Ms.Amrita Hazra-Hasra, Lab IISER, Mr. Nakul Bhonsale-Director, Great State Ale Works Pune and Mr. John Eapen-Food and Beverage Critic and Beer Blogger.


Gist – Leading microbreweries in Bangalore are already using Ragi in brewing beer. The Craft Brewers Association of India is open to introducing a combination of other malted millets into their brews with the support of the Government of Karnataka and with the assistance of research conducted by Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences and Ms Amritha Hazra, who has done a lot of research on various malts.

Session – 3 from 3.30 – 5.30 pm – Namma Nati Katha, was a narration of nostalgic folk tales interspersed with a demo on traditional foods of Karnataka and a talk on fine arts of Karnataka.

Expert story teller Mr. Vikram Shridhara wove stories around the dishes and took the audience through a culinary journey of Karnataka, along with Master Chef Shaziya Khan, who prepared Girmit, Kundapur Chicken and Payasam, as Mr. Krishna Bhatt, an artist from Tarangini Studio wove into the conversation with his talk on block printing, as he displayed samples of his work.  


Session – 4 from 5.30 – 6.30 pm – The Movement of Organic Food – The Past, Present and Future.

The panel discussion was moderated by Chef Ravi Tej Nath, Food Entrepreneur. The experts on the panel were Mr. Sridhar Iriventi, Founder Director, Go Bharathi, Ms Sheela Krishnaswamy, President, Indian Dietetic Association and Dr Vinay Bharadway, VP and RD, Grow Fit.

The eminent panel members were of the opinion that rates of organic foods would decrease with the increase in demand and that consumer awareness regarding the benefits of using organic foods should increase.

Day 2, Sat Jan 20th, saw more of these informative talks and panel discussions that went on from morning to late evening and had packed audiences who were actively involved in questioning and seeking information.


Session -1 – 10.30 am – 11.30 am, Nutritional Dimensions of Millets – Management of Non-Communicable Diseases – A Panel Discussion


Moderated by: Dr.K.Bhaskaracharya-Deputy Director/Scientist, National Institute of Nutrition


Expert Panelists –

1. Dr. Anil Kumar.T, HOD Dept of Medicine, Ramaiah Medical College

2. Dr.K.N. Chidambaramurthy –Principal Scientist, Central Research Lab, Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital

3. Ms. Joanna Kane Potaka- Director of External Relationships & Strategic Marketing, ICRISAT

4. Mr. Sridhar Iriventi, Founder Director, Go Bharathi,

Gist – Millets are important in managing the non-communicable diseases like cancer, diabetes and weight management as they contain polyphenols, gluten free and rich in nutrients.

Millets are immune boosters.

Millets are helpful for pregnant women to manage iron deficiency as they are rich in Folic Acid.

Karnataka is the third in consumption of millets in the nation, however statistics show that there is scope for much more.

Millets are not accepted by consumers because of non-awareness of cooking methods.

Research should involve Chefs and awareness should be created among consumers.

Millet flour can replace the maida to prepare some bakery items.

Nowadays people are suffering from obesity which can be managed effectively by introducing millets in the daily diet.

The audience also shared their experience that millets can be used to in dietary management of cancer patients. One of the house wife shared that she has introduced millets as part of their daily diet and had good results in terms of health benefits.

Experts concluded the session with a note that millets are good for people of any age and can be included in daily diet to control certain diseases and play an important role to maintain good health.


Session – 2 – 11.30 am – 1 pm, Solutions for Managing Lifestyle Disorders – Chefs Demo

Chef Arvind Prasad, Executive Pastry and Director of Education, White Caps International School of Pastry along with

Nutritionist – Ms.Vijetha Vijesh, Diet and Nutrition Expert, Health and Wellness Counsellor.


Chef Prasad demonstrated the pre-preparation and baking of Ragi Banana Bread, while Ms.Vijesh explained the nutritive value and health benefits.


Session- 3, 2.30 pm – 3.30 pm, Grow Smart – Food and Child Nutrition


Moderated by Ms Priya Arjun, Head, F and B Service and NNRC, Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences

Experts panelists –

  1. Mr. Vinay Kumar – Director,Akshaya Patra Foundation
  2. Ms. Kaif Salma – Child Nutrition
  3. Dr. Sunandini Sharma – Director of Quality Control, Monkey Box FoodTech Pvt Ltd.
  4. Ms. Meghana Narayana – Co Founder, Slurrp Farm
  5. Dr. Anitha Seetha – Sr. Scientist-Nutrition, ICRISAT


Gist – Child nutrition is gaining importance and we should nurture the future generation Millets are important to manage the nutrient disorders in children but should be introduced into the diet gradually and may not be accepted easily in the beginning. They could be used in a combination with rice and wheat.

India has a high incidence of protein deficiency and anaemia.

Exciting dishes like muffins and cookies could go into lunch boxes and parents could be introduced to millets through their children.

Millets promote child nutrition and healthy growth as they are a bundle of nutrients.

Sprouted millets are great sources of nutrients.

Millets are being introduced into the midday meal scheme of Akshaya Patra.

These are next gen smart foods.

Session – 4, 3.30 pm – 5.30 pm, Healthy Snacking and Weight Management

Chefs Demo- Chef Vikas Seth, Chef and Culinary Director, Embassy Leisure and Entertainment Projects

Ms. Rekha Rekha Prabhu – Consultant Nutritionist, Freelance Yoga Therapist

Ms.Wanitha Ashok- Bangalore’s Fitness Queen

Dishes prepared-

  1. Ragi Nachos with Green Peas Guacamole
  2. Beetroot Taco with Coriander Chicken and Tomato Salsa

Session – 5, 5.30 pm – 6.30 pm, Emerging trends – Farm to Fork

Chef- Ramaswamy Selvaraju, Executive Chef, Vivanta by Taj

Nutritionist- Ms Sangeetha Narayana Swamy, Partner and Nutritionist, Nutrifills


Dishes prepared-

Smoked Chicken Salad with Fried Sorghum Pops

Ravioli with pearl millet, foxtail millet accompanied by sundried tomatoes, broccoli and pesto Pan Seared Chicken with Sorghum Risotto and Red Wine Sauce.


Day 3, Sun, Jan 21st, had the concluding sessions that including the following.  


Session 1, 10.30 am – 12 pm – Heirloom recipes from South India, Stories woven around the dishes – Chef’s Demo

Mr.Sudarshan Sampath, from South Ruchis Square

Nutritionist – Dr. Geetha Santhosh, President, Bangalore Chapter, IDA

Dishes prepared –

Steamed Kadabu

Ragi soup
Millet Dosa with Pumpkin

Kadamba with Field Beans and Groundnuts


Session 2, 12 pm – 3 pm – Chef’s demo – Fusion food with millets

Chef Chirag Makhwana, Sous Chef, Toast and Tonic

Nutritionist – Ms. Suvarna Himashetty, Dietician and Certified Health Coach

Dishes Prepared-

Chocolate Brownie with Almond

Kibbeh (croquettes) made with Foxtail Millets


For more pictures see My Facebook – OMITF2018-culinary sessions (coming soon)


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