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The Dal Festival

Sunday 25 March 2018

The first British Dal Festival comes to Bristol in March 2018

The British Dal Festival will celebrate the magic of dal and similar pulse dishes from around the world and will run in Bristol from 19th to 25th March 2018.

The Festival is an initiative of the British Edible Pulse Association (BEPA)’s Pulse Promotion Group. The British Dal Festival will be a free event taking place across the city of Bristol and include a Dal Trail around the city’s restaurants and eateries. Venues will serve signature dals of many varieties with a champion dal awarded at the end of the week.

Award-winning community organisation 91 Ways will work with diverse Bristol communities to source many different variations of dal and the history and food memories attached to them to celebrate their appeal and significance for a variety of countries and cultures. The project will result in an online library of dal recipes.

Food growing organisation Incredible Edible with local volunteers will plant lentils, peas and beans in Bristol’s St James Barton roundabout (The Bearpit). Jenny Chandler, author of Pulse and United Nations European Pulse Ambassador in 2016, will create an educational pack for schools to be distributed nationally through organisations including FACE and LEAF. Jenny says:

“Cooking dal is magical; a couple of handfuls of pulses cooked up with nothing more than water and a few spices delivers one of the most comforting, nutritious and economical dishes on earth.

The British Dal Festival is a chance to share and celebrate recipes from all our communities, spreading the love for an affordable, healthy, sustainable and, above all, delicious dish.”

Bristol Farmers’ Market will invite local chefs to demonstrate how to cook different dal dishes and food producers, including British pulse pioneers Hodmedod, will sell pulses.

The Festival will culminate in a grand finale at Paintworks on Sunday March 25th with street food, market stalls, children’s activities, a demonstration kitchen, and music to celebrate the diversity, versatility and deliciousness of pulses.

Nick Saltmarsh, co-founder of Hodmedod and BEPA member says:

“The British Dal Festival will celebrate simple but sublime dals of peas, beans and lentils, alongside sister pulse dishes from Britain’s mushy peas to Mexico’s refried beans.

“Described by the United Nations as “nutritious seeds for a sustainable future”, pulses are good for the environment, farming and our health and nutrition – as well as providing the basis for delicious meals around the world. British farmers produce many excellent pulses, including fava beans and marrowfat, yellow and blue-green peas.”