Hey! This is Vibhuti Kanitkar from Pune, currently studying in Srishti School Of Art Design and Technology in Bangalore. I am a second year foundation course student inclined towards the idea of taking up visual communication for my specialisation. I enjoy and appreciate good food and consider this art project a unique and great opportunity to make my love for food and design meet and work together!
With both parents in the Armed forces (military) I grew up an army brat like everyone likes to call me. Having to travel in different parts of the country and actually living there has made me accustomed to a lot of variety of tastes and appreciate different kinds of food. Also the army has a section of soldiers who are trained in cooking for the other soldiers as well as the parties called badakhanas . So there is always a fixed style of food that we got to eat in the army life. The food in army is basically made out of the ration that’s allotted by the Indian army all over the country. These foods comprise of everything from condensed milk to fresh milk ready to make jell-o and custard packets breads eggs vegetables and chicken. A lot of it being made out of tined food there is a particular taste to the food. Most parties have cocktails and drinks with a platter of snacks prior to the dinner. The snacks served are generally fried innovative inventions like cheese toasts, hara-bara kebab, cheese balls, fish fingers, potato fries and tandoori tikkas. The dinner also has a pattern. If its English there will be a cutlet dinner rolls butter a baked dish generally with potatoes and one white or brown sauce chicken dish. If it’s an Indian platter, there will be an Indian dal (legume) an assortment of Indian breads and a paneer (cottage cheese) dish or a mix vegetable and then and chicken or a mutton dish. There is also a Chinese platter. Dinner is always followed with sweets. Even the presentation of how the table is set up to how the food is served is all very disciplined.
Away from this I am from the city of Pune. Our ethnic Maharashtra meal is a simple dal, rice a vegetable and chapatti. However both my grandmothers cook them extremely differently and I love both styles. My maternal grandmother loves cooking her food full of spices and flavors. It is very spicy and has a coconut grounded past base with chilies lime or tamarind and a little sugar. On the contrary my paternal grandmother uses more jaggery than sugar has milder flavors less chilies and whole ground coconut instead of a paste while cooking her dishes.
Coming to family cooking time, my mom, brother and me love cooking. My father loves to help out but stays out of it for the benefit of all those who are going to eat it. When we get down to cooking its always a special meal. My favorite thing to do with mom is when we both cook together experimenting on our own in reproducing a dish or a meal we both ate and really liked. In short I love food. I love cooking it and even more eating it. I consider food as an ultimate art piece as it intrigues the sense of smell, taste, sight, touch and sometimes even hearing
Being a foodie and trying out every new place recommended by a friend being my hobby, my list of favorites dishes is rather a long one. But if I had to pick out three that I really like they’d have to be something special. So here goes.
The first one that I’ll like to put into my tri-misu would be Butter-chicken.Butter-chicken being one dish that I have tried in every city I have moved to. The basic ingredients and method of cooking it being the same it is fascinating to see how the little flavoring’s differ from city to city in the south they make it sweeter while in the north its much more heavy. Its one of the most common Indian chicken dish and I love how every place you try it at you know it’s the same but yet different!
The next on the list is an Afghani dish that my mother experimented after eating an Afghani meal. Its called Baujan it basic ingredient or vegetable being a brinjal it take a long time to prepare and is a baked dish made in tomato pure and an Afghani local type of cheese that my mom replaced with processed cheese. It tastes brilliant and the best part I have know I have no idea I am eating an brinjal (eggplant)!
The last is a tosses macaroni-walnut salad in honey mint sauce. It’s easy and fast to make very healthy including its dressing that made out of curd. I love the crunchy walnuts and fresh lettuce that juxtapose the boiled macaroni. The sweet and minty taste of the curd dressing is like the perfect flavoring for it. What’s best about it is that it tastes great and is healthy as well. A rare combination in the food department!
This is basically a salad experiment that my mom made. Its basic ingredients are some fresh lettuce, chopped cubes of cucumber and boiled macaroni. For the garnishing we use yoghurt and mix salt, honey, pepper, and fresh mint finely ground. After the yoghurt mayo is mixed well it only needs to be added to the salad. One can also add some cut cubes of apple or grapes to the salad depending on your taste. Its easy and fast to make.
FoodLab Bangalore – is a 3 week workshop the Center for Genomic Gastronomy conducted with sophomores from the Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology in the fall of 2011. Students will examine innovation and conservation in South Asian food cultures, building on recent research of the Center (utopian cuisines, mutagenic meals) and working towards the next edition of the Planetary Sculpture Supper Club to be held in Bangalore on Nov. 12th.
Follow the conversation all week here on our Blog, join in the comments and use the twitter hashtag #foodlabbangalore to keep up to date.