Categorical Information Service
Meals kinds an integral a part of our cultural heritage. Actually, it performs an vital position in forging communities. “Meals is the best method to get to know the tradition of a neighborhood,” shares journalist-turned-food historian, Pritha Sen who has labored considerably to protect recipes and archive tales round them which will in any other case have been misplaced.
Sen has additionally labored to introduce genuine Bengali delicacies to a world viewers by way of her broad understanding of the historical past of regional cuisines and eye for element. After a number of profitable stints with quite a few eating places and lodge chains—comparable to Mustard Eating places, ITC Inns, and so forth.,—the Gurugram-resident is at the moment in Singapore, the place she is working with the workforce of Yantra, an award-winning Indian fine-dining restaurant in Tanglin Mall, on a model new menu that gives genuine homegrown recipes from the Indian subcontinent.
On her venture at Yantra
Yantra has been torn down and is being renovated. It will likely be reopening in a brand new avatar, with a model new menu. I’m doing the meals menu, a connoisseur travelogue by way of the house kitchens of India. My menu incorporates native elements and connects the regional dots between South and Southeast Asia. It’s a problem as a result of I’ve damaged out of my consolation zone of cuisines from undivided Bengal and dealing with regional and micro-regional cuisines from throughout India and residential kitchens and household recipes provide a mind-boggling repertoire. The menu is a set of genuine homegrown recipes. It’s a first for Singapore as it’s for me.
On how her expertise in journalism helped her foray into meals analysis
I like telling tales with my meals. Journalism has actually helped me, for the dearth of a greater phrase, pitch as a result of you need to first entice your viewers to your meals. I work with the type of meals that’s fading from our reminiscence and isn’t very fashionable… meals that we’ve got left behind. On this complete rush, we’ve got began forgetting the meals that takes us again to our roots. With a view to draw folks into that type of meals, a very good story awakens their curiosity. One other factor I learnt is analysis and learn how to discover sources. When I’m researching a sure dish, I’ve to seek out the precise sources and the precise one that can inform me the way it works and learn how to make it.
On preserving oral historical past
I depend on oral historical past. The core of my work has been round microenterprise and sustainable livelihoods. Staying with folks in distant areas, speaking to them, understanding them as a result of while you go right into a neighborhood you need to perceive the tradition of the neighborhood and meals is the best method to get to them. I’d sit within the kitchen, watch them work, ask them questions after they gave me one thing to style, specific pleasure, and that creates a bond.
On residence cooks
Dwelling cooks play a giant position in bringing again the meals of our roots however in addition they can do injury. Not each residence chef can actually cook dinner and sometimes, they don’t realise that. When you find yourself giving out that meals to individuals who don’t know your delicacies, you’re creating the primary impressions of your meals and tradition. It’s good however harmful and the latter is rising by the day with the mushrooming of residence cooks.