Trends And Fads In World Of Food

January 29, 2022 9:23 pm

The twin impact of the pandemic and heightened awareness of climate change in the past couple of years has led to several new and renewed food trends. It remains to be seen how many of these will become enduring trends, and how many are just fads that will wither away. Here are a few trends […]

Of Food Books, Cookbooks, And Recipe Books

January 15, 2022 11:26 am

In this column, I often fulminate against recipes. I believe that recipes have as much of a charm as a doctor’s prescription, minus the bad handwriting. Recipes instruct you to add one teaspoon of this, and two cups of that, and fry this for five minutes, and voila you have an exact replica of what […]

Ratatouille – From France To The World Via Hollywood

January 1, 2022 8:46 am

In this column, I have often talked about how food travels and transforms. How cultures clash and then meld, and new cuisines emerge through the assimilation of the ingredients and cooking techniques of different cultures. The best cuisines of the world are those that have arisen out of this merging and blending. This fact was […]

When My Professor Hat And My Food Hat Collide

December 18, 2021 10:48 pm

I write here about food. My other interest is education. I am a professor when I am not cooking. Wearing my professor hat, I often ponder over what is wrong with our education system, and how we can reinvent the world of education. My cooking hat and my professor hat often collide. I then start […]

My Food Is Better Than Yours

November 20, 2021 1:20 pm

Food is politics. Throughout human history, food has been used as a means to signal power and position in society. Food has been caught up in the identity of caste, class, religion, ethnicity, and nationality. Sections of society always use food to differentiate themselves from other sections of society. The rich eat some food, the […]

Fusion Confusion

November 6, 2021 7:15 am

Food does not flourish in a vacuum. It is an integral part of culture and identity. And when food travels, the context, and the culture around it, needs to travel too. Otherwise, food becomes just an isolated transplant from one place to another, without the stories and rituals that surround it in its country of […]

You Are What You Eat

October 23, 2021 2:04 pm

An aphorism by the 19th Century French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin has entered popular culture, ‘Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es’; that is,‘Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are’. In English, we often tone down the exuberance and floweriness of the French language; […]

Indian Thali Is Drama In Every Bite

October 21, 2021 1:07 pm

If you are this far into my series of columns, you know that I savour every bite of my food. I pick apart the colours, textures, tastes, smells, and sounds in every bite, and mindfully immerse myself in the party in my mouth. But the Western style of serving food makes it difficult to enjoy […]

Table for One? Yes, Please.

October 21, 2021 1:12 pm

The words ‘eating alone’ conjure up images of a loner, an anti-social soul, a sad person. Do not judge. Yes, sometimes the solo eater might be all of these, and I know some such sad loners (see, I am judging now). But there is a time for social eating, and there is a time for […]

Launch a petition to ban the word ‘foodie’: Ravi Miglani

October 21, 2021 1:07 pm

I hereby launch a petition. Ban the word ‘foodie’. This neologism did not exist until the early 1980s. It first appears in restaurant reviews by Gael Greene, the food critic at New York Magazine. And even after its unfortunate invention, it made only small ripples for a couple of decades, when someone wanted to talk […]

“Fast food is overrated. Slow food wins the race”

October 21, 2021 1:09 pm

Define cooking. You start with some base ingredients – say, vegetables, dal, rice, meat. Into these base ingredients go some additives – say, oil, salt, spices, condiments. The defining transformation happens when heat is applied to the ingredients and the additives. So, cooking is a simple combination of three factors: the base ingredient, the additives, and […]

There is no such thing as authentic food

October 21, 2021 1:11 pm

Some people say food is life. Well, I say, food is more important than life. Food transcends life. With something so important, no wonder people get inordinately passionate, viscerally emotional, and violently possessive about their food. What really is their food? This brings me to the authenticity wars. I know at least two nations who would rather […]

“Cliché to say we eat with our eyes; we eat with our brains”

July 31, 2021 1:50 pm

While we think we just engage the sense of taste when eating, we often engage all five senses. We eat with our brains. This concept has a fancy name: Multisensory Perception of Flavour. What happens on the tastebuds is only a small part of this multisensory experience we call taste. We feed the mind and not […]

Burn the recipe and cook with your heart

October 21, 2021 1:10 pm

People often say, cooking is an art, not a science; cook from the heart, not the head. Having proclaimed that, the said people promptly open a recipe book, or watch a recipe video, and slavishly start following instructions – add one teaspoon of this, 20 grams of that, one cup of the other. Why do […]