Siridhanya Thali hints good food is good health.

2020 A.D  : which is the staple food of India? Answer : Rice and Wheat

3000 B.C  : which is the staple food of India? Answer : Millets

Civilizations and advancement in life has changed the human lifestyle. Due to this, many of the important practices are scarcely witnessed. One such practice is the consumption of millets. Millets are available in India from Neolithic Era. Even Indian Vedas had mentioned about millets. Team FoodCulture(TFC) in its second exploration attempted to show the age old practice to people and revive it.


SiriDhanya Thali

FoodCulture made a visit to Siridhanya darshini(Hotel Hallimane) in Vijayapura, Karnataka. Mr.Mallikarjun, a former software techie quit his job and started Hallimane to provide traditional and healthy food(made from siri dhanya) to the people.

Before we go into details let us know what exactly are these millets?

Millets are group of cereals other than wheat, rice, maize & barley. These are classified as positive and neutral millets. These are rich in protein and fiber.

Positive Millets

Neutral Millets

Let us explore siridhanya food and know its importance and health benefits as well.

By the time we reached hallimane, it was less crowded and could barely see people. Either due to pandemic or the typical millet food. But we were surprised with the footfall happened later on the day. More families peeped in to have lunch. The fascinating part of Hallimane is they practice traditional system of people sitting on floor and food served in banana leaf.

Mallikarjun took us to woman empowered kitchen, where we witnessed the making of siridhanya thali. Siridhanya thali in simple words is regular thali comprising of roti, curries, papad, salad, soup, curd etc made using the organic millets and vegetables. Our banana leaf is filled with Shenga Chutney(peanut chutney), Nimbu uppinakayi(lemon pickle), Navane payasa(Foxtail payasa), Siridhanya thalipeeth, korale Soup(Browntop millet), Pundi Palya(Sorrel leaves), Bendi palya(Ladies finger), Hurali kalu(horsegram), Kosambari(Salad), Navane bisibelebath(Foxtail bisibelebath), Oodhalu mosaranna(Barnyard millet curd), Ragi roti(Finger Millet), Ragi pakoda and Papad.

It's time to dive in to taste the food and know the benefits.Thali is designed in such a way that all the millets are transformed to soup, starters, curries, roti, keeping rice and wheat aside. Be it korale soup, Navane bisibelebath, navane payasa, siridhanya thalipeeth and other dishes are made using millets instead of regular ingredients. 

Top-left: Copper vessel; Top-Right: Thalipeeth on right; Bottom: Organic Millet Thali of Hallimane

We took enough time to complete our lunch and our tummies filled with millets. Then comes the dessert part in the form of Ragi lassi, navane shakarpalya sweet,shenga holige,oodhula badusha, ragi cake, korale cake, ragi laadu, hesarkalu laadu,saame laadu,navane laadu, arika laadu, korale gulab jamun.

Laados and cakes made of Organic Millets. 

Later we had a small chat with Mallikarjun to know in detail from his words.

TheFoodCulture(TFC): What exactly is Hallimane and how it started?

Mallikarjun:  I would like to divide my life as before and after hallimane. Before starting hallimane, I was a software employee with 15years of experience. My homeland(Vijayapura) is a semi-arid region where rain fall is less. So this region mainly cultivates non commercial crops and the millets are missing here. Millets have many health benefits over the modern food and it gave me an idea to start cultivating millets in my own land in an organic way. Millets are considered to be rich in Protein and Fiber than the regular rice and wheat. Due to the change in life style, people adopted to have rice and wheat. I felt a homestyle hotel will be a good medium to bring millet food to people. So I have quit my job and started Hallimane to serve people with organic millet food.

TFC: How is the journey so far?

Mallikarjun: Initial days(in 2016) were very tough. Due to lack of awareness on health benefits from millets, people didn’t show much interest towards this age old food practice. We reached people through melas, events and showcased our products made of millets. Gradually people started accepting this food. Pandemic played a major role in making people realise the importanc of healthy and organic food. Now people are inclined towards healthy food and we are happy about that.

TFC: What’s your future plans on Hallimane?

Mallikarjun: Hallimane is not just a hotel. Hallimane started as a project to bring awareness about millets, its benefits and revive the food tradition followed in the past. Eventually that makes people healthier and also benefits the farmers from semi-arid region in millets production. Therefore, we plan to expand hallimane to serve organic food to more people

Some important points regarding millets:

  •  Millets are resistant towards any climatic conditions, hence the cultivation does not require huge water supply. 
  • Nearly 40% of the food produced in India is wasted  every year. Millets are source of food, which can be used even after 10 years, thus providing food security, and playing an important role on avoiding food wastage. 
  • Millet is fibrous in content, has magnesium, Niacin (Vitamin B3), is gluten-free and has a high protein content. They provide low and high nutrient options as well.
  • Millets contain amylose, which helps in sustainably release sugar to our blood and enable to work for long duration. Millets are a rich source of phosphorus which is an important mineral for energy production and is an essential component of ATP – the energy store of the body.  

With this our exploration came to end. While leaving we are tempted with their breakfast menu, especially palak puri. So we made a plan to stay over night and leave next day after breakfast.

DAY 2:

Top: Siridhanya breakfast (Dosa, Uthappam, Idly) Bottom: Palak Puri 

We reached Hallimane and are ready to have our breakfast in Hallimane style. Breakfast menu had all the regular dishes but made of ragi and navane expect puri which had palak in addition. We had ragi dosa, navane dosa, ragi idly, navane idly and palak puri. The taste of millets can be felt in every dish available at Hallimane. But that didn’t deroute the items taste from how its supposed to be. They also prepare millet snacks. All the credit to Mallikarjun and his staff for all their efforts to revive the age old traditional food.

FoodCulture wishes Hallimane to expand its operations and offer siridhanya food to more number of people.

Hope this article gave you the experience of Siridhanya food and also the importance of our minute traditional practices and their benefits.

See you in next Cuisine/Thali.

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