The USP of ‘Forgotten Foods’ restaurant in Bengaluru is experimenting with different millet recipes, including those for pizza, sweets and even ice-creams to promote a good food movement among Bengalureans and revive traditional recipes. The management of this restaurant gives saplings to people free of cost to promote greenery in Bengaluru. The Forgotten Foods restaurant is part of the Green Path Organic outlet and linked to the Organic farm “Sukrushi”. Y Maheswara Reddy tells us more about this green concept….
Enter the Green Path Organic State outlet, situated around 100 meters away from the bustling Mantri Square at Malleshwaram in Bengaluru, and you will feel like you are at a difference being at a different place in Namma City known as a concrete jungle. The Green Path Organic outlet was built in 2016 with the objective of attracting mainstream population, especially youth who are becoming junk food fans to real wholesome organic food products.
The 2500 sq ft Green Path Organic State outlet has an organic store, detox café and a restaurant called ‘Forgotten Foods’. The restaurant, a platform set up to promote a good food movement and to revive our traditional recipes and millets, has the potential to make you, if you are from rural area and settled in Bengaluru for a quite long time, feel nostalgic about the good quality food you used to have during your childhood.
The detox cafe serves some interesting smoothies, probiotic drinks and snacks, and it goes without saying that they are all healthy. The furnishing and the flooring of the cafe are made from waste wood but provides wonderful aesthetics along with the hanging plants and colorful decor.
People, after having a sumptuous lunch or dinner, can visit the organic store and buy organically grown vegetables, millets and cosmetics and also sweets. There is a facility to organize small functions at the banquet hall that can accommodate around 150 people.Man behind Green movement
H R Jayaram, a lawyer-turned organic agriculturist is the man behind the Green Path Foundation. It is rare a lawyer with a lucrative practice becoming an agriculturist. Jayaram was very busy lawyer in Bengaluru and used to earn a lot of money but his passion was farming. “As an advocate, I used to earn a lot of money but I was not happy. Many people think that I am crazy. I gave up my lucrative practice in law and bought 20 acres of land near Nelamangala. Later I added 20 more acres. Meanwhile, I opened an organic store at RMV extension and recently opened Green Path Organic Store in Malleshwaram,’’ says Jayaram with a smile.
What made Jayaram become an agriculturist instead of continuing his lucrative law practice?
“I hail from Hunasanahalli situated on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. During my childhood, I used to wake up early morning to help my father. I used to feed the cows before going to school. I studied law because I wanted to fight against a few social evils and assist people to resist exploitation. However, my passion for farming made me to buy agriculture land near Nelamangala. People generally buy a house in Bengaluru but I was so passionate about farming that I decided to pursue it. Initially, government officials especially from the agriculture department came forward to help me because they thought it necessary to help an advocate who wanted to become an agriculturist. They advised me touse fertilizers to get more yield from crops. I began chemical farming and continued for about a year. But my agriculture experience was different. We had our own fertilizers and seeds and the land was pristine. I started researching and interacting with farmers. I happened to read ‘The One-Straw Revolution’ that eventually helped me understand the importance of organic farming,’’ narrates Jayaram.He has succeeded in converting the barren land that was bought in 1998 into a flourishing organic farm with great biodiversity.The farm named as ‘Sukrushi’, has a variety of food crops ranging from areca nut, coconut, guava, lime, neem and many other varieties and trees such as silver oak and mahogany. Sukrushi farm has also become home to many birds and animals. “The crops at Sukrushi farm are grown organically using rainwater harvesting. There are three lakes at Sukrushi farm which serve rainwater harvesting. We follow a multi-crop system and do not use any kind of pesticide or insecticides. We believe that nature has its own way of protecting its creations,’’ he said.
He said that he had adopted scientific methods such as rainwater harvesting, bunding, live fencing along with mulching of farm waste. “It not only enhances the moisture levels of the soil but also produces quality microbes for its nature enrichment,’’ he said.The Mission statement of his farm Sukrushi reads: ‘to create easily replicable models of sustainable living through organic farming and a good food movement in order to inspire more people to adopt an eco-conscious lifestyle’.
Jayaram’sVision? “To celebrate the fullness of life by honoring and preserving the natural ecology of Mother Earth as well as mankind - as part of one universe”.Forgotten Foods
The restaurant ‘Forgotten Foods’ hosts a diverse menu with food cooked with organic vegetables, fruits and ingredients and no refined products used. They use only natural sweeteners, colours and flavours in dishes. He opines there is a need to make organic products available in Bengaluru to ensure people of Bengaluru experience fruits of organic farming. The aim of Forgotten Foods is to free food of maida, refined oil and refined sugar. “We offer pizza made with millets and vegetables. The pizza base is made of millets. Vegetables are supplied from the Sukrushi farm or sourced from certified organic farmers. Pizzas are cooked in a stone oven,’’ he said.
Apart from organizing seminars to create awareness among the public on the benefits of organic food and the need to opt for organic farming, Jayaram is contemplating to start a catering service to supply organic food in and around Malleshwaram. “It will help those who could not visit our restaurant – Forgotten Foods – due to a few reasons. It will be a great help for senior citizens who want to have organic food. We will deliver organic food at their door steps at a reasonable price,’’ he explains.
A green idea that needs all the nurturing to sprout its shoots across the state.