Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lust for spicy food : spicy indian food

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Lust for food :
When you watch somebody finely chop and stir-fry vegetables, toss the
noodles and garnish a dish, doesn't it stir your senses? We all lust
for good food. Perhaps that's the reason everyone, from a 10-year-old
to an 80-year-old grandmother, is tuning into food shows on television
for recipes and anecdotes. If Indian television is turning foodie,
this must say something about its audience. Or why else was MasterChef
India, a cooking reality show aired on the 9pm primetime slot with
actor Akshay Kumar being the face of the show? Three new 24X7 food
channels are waiting in the wings to be launched in India this year.
Says celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who is also launching a food
channel, "It's a fine art. We have an emotional relationship with
food. People love listening to food stories." Fascination for food is
the new cultural highpoint. According to Krishnendu Ray, an assistant
professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University, "This
is a sign that people are talking and thinking more about food. When
we watch people cooking, it becomes a public discussion and part of
culture." Food matters. Now, everyone wants to learn the art of
cooking. Says psychiatrist Deepak Raheja, "It triggers our senses.
It's central to human identity and watching such shows fulfils our
basic desire. Exotic food has always served as a form of cultural
capital, and cooking programmes help you acquire it." Perhaps that's
how food television is changing India. Even as urban India gets
addicted to eating out, there seems no greater delight than sitting on
the couch in your home and getting the taste of 'cultural nostalgia'
where the anchor takes you visiting the cooks who made biryani for t h
e Nawabs of Hyderabad . Vinod Dua's been a television journalist for s
o m e 35-odd years now, but his show Zaika India Ka has given him a
new identity, "I quite agree with George Bernard Shaw when he said,
'There is no sincerer love than the love for food'. It was this
passion of mine that led to discovering some great food on the streets
of India. I wanted to discover India's 'Zaika' or flavour that we've
grown up with. Food is a people thing, India connects through good
food." When Marut Sikka donned the apron and lit the kitchen fire on
primetime television, little did he know it would make him a hero. His
show Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Tikkas showcases recipes from India.
"Food is a basic instinct, it always works — we eat to live. It's
something we continue to create in our homes. Everyone wants to know
how to create that exotic dish. The Indian palette has really changed,
there are so many influences on our daily diet." In her book Watching
What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows, author
Kathleen Collins points out that cooking shows began as a recipe
sharing platform but are now indicators of evolving cultural and
culinary tastes. "Cooking shows have changed us and changed with us."
Says Monica Narula, NDTV's food head of programming, "We're witnessing
a boom in food-related experiences. Food has been the untapped
potential in the entertainment segment. The new stars of television
are those hosting food shows. Recently, I was amazed when a
12-year-old walked upto Ritu Dalmia and complimented her cooking show.
Even a political journalist like Vinod Dua is the new hero with his
show, as a food anthropologist. Even though Rocky Singh and Mayur
Sharma are not chefs, their show has 'repositioned' them as foodies."
What makes people get out of the kitchen and onto the couch? It's also
the experience. We're not just fascinated by a pretty Nigella Lawson
smacking cream from her lips, but even macho personalities like Rocky
Singh and Mayur Sharma who give a masculine flavour to food with their
show, Highway on the Plate. Says anchor Rocky Singh, "Food is a
personalised experience. We provide that intimacy as we discover
different flavours of food across India. When we started the food show
we wanted to explore different aspects of food, the experience of
different aromas as we travel across the countryside. The reaction has
been amazing — from kids to adults, we connect through food. I've
always been a foodie, but when we're not doing food shows, we're
corporate trainers. The investment in food by Indians has always been
phenomenal, they're extremely curious about good food." Food, it
seems, is just turning into a spectator sport. The dish just turned
out right! Article sourced from :-

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