For those who want to learn more about Indian food, the 17th annual Festival of India, "Taal: Rhythm of India" to be held Friday, Saturday, and Aug. 6 at the Hindu Temple and Heritage Hall of Toledo at 4336 King Rd. in Sylvania, promises to offer regional tastes of the country.
The program features vibrant Indian traditions, delicious food, lively music, graceful and energetic dances, colorful costumes, and religious ceremonies.
Last year 2,000 people attended and six restaurants, including four from the Detroit area, assisted with food preparation, according to Dr. Jay Jindal of Toledo. "The food was sold in a food court area and included many different specialties," he says. "It was the first time we had multiple food vendors and it was very successful."
This year four vendors will feature regional Indian foods from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Dishes that day will include foods from south India, including lemon rice, the sweet dessert jelebi, and the spicy dumpling called pakoras made by Deepam India of Toledo, according to owner Revathi Chillapalli. She will also sell samosas, the fried appetizer filled with curry of potato, peas, and spices.
"Samosas come from all over India," says Mrs. Chillapalli, who makes these weekly at her Indian deli and food market.
Also representing south Indian food is the dosa, described as crepe-like and made from rice and lentil flours - it is often eaten as a snack - and idli, a steamed rice cake made with white lentils and chutney. Ruchi of Southfield, Mich., will make these for the festival.
From northern India, chola bhatura, a deep-fried roti bread served with a chick pea mixture with tomato sauce and spices, will be prepared by Sandeep Caterer of Michigan. The vendor will also serve vegetarian hakka noodles, paneer tikka, and vegetarian biryani.
For a taste of western India, Ashoka Restaurant of Canton, Mich., will provide chaat (a snack item of little chips mixed with potato, onion, tomato, and more) and Bhel Puri (puffed rice mixed with chick pea flour sticks mixed with onion, tomato, green chilies, and cilantro).
During the festival on Saturday, there will be Temple tours, food stalls, and desserts and drinks (mango lassi, hot tea, and Indian sweets). The shopping area will include Indian movies, music, costumes, and jewelry. There will also be children's activities with face painting and henna.
Tandoor Cuisine of India of Toledo will cater a dinner on Friday. Indian Jewel of Toledo will cater lunch on Aug. 6.
For information, directions, and parking information, visit www.hindutempleoftoledo.org.
The 2006 Ohio State Fair runs Wednesday through Aug. 13 at the Ohio Expo Center at 17th Avenue and I-71 in Columbus. During the fair, the 19th annual Heartland Cuisine event will have food demonstrations at 1, 3, and 5 p.m. daily in the Ohio Food Pavilion, close to the 11th Avenue entrance to the fair. The demonstrations feature the state's agricultural and food products.
Throughout the fair, more than 35 demonstrations will be given in the food categories of apple, beef, dairy, fish, lamb, pork, poultry, soy, and specialties.
This year I will demonstrate Quiche Lorraine at 3 p.m. Wednesday on behalf of the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council Mid East, using Ohio eggs, milk, and cheese products.
Other demonstrations will include: Thursday at 3 p.m., Tom Jackson with Deep-Fried Turkey; Friday at 11 a.m., Jim Taylor of Columbus State Community College with Apple Strudel; Saturday at 1 p.m., Kelly Greene-Thornton of WFIN radio with Broccoli-Cheddar Cheese Soup, and Aug. 10 at 5 p.m., Connie Cahill with Hot Chicken Sandwiches.
Admission to the Ohio State Fair is $7-$8. Information: www.ohiostatefair.com or call 888-OHO-EXPO.
Jones Dairy Farm of Wisconsin has named an Ottawa, Ohio, restaurant a finalist in its nationwide search for America's Best Restaurant Families.
The Schnipke Family established their restaurant in 1975 when Richard and Paulette Schnipke opened the Red Pig Inn in Ottawa. Sons Ryan and Paul and daughter Renee now work in the business.
The restaurant's name originated from the idea that the restaurant would specialize in everything barbecue, such as pork sandwiches, ribs, and pork chops.
The original Red Pig Inn at 1470 North Perry St. (St. Rt. 65) in Ottawa has grown to five dining rooms with seating for 350. A second location opened last January at 2215 Tiffin Ave. in Findlay.
The winners of the search were announced in New York by Mr. Jones and Marc Silverstein, co-host of the Food Network's The Best Of program, at an awards reception.
Other finalists are the Klopcic Family of Fort Atkinson, Wis., owners of the Fireside Dinner Theatre; the Seaser Family of Fort Collins, Colo., founders of The Egg & I Restaurants, and the Thanas Family of Chicago, owners of Lou Mitchell's Restaurant.