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While exploring the colourful past of papads and the role they played in Indian history, Vikram Doctor spoke to author Saaz Aggarwal who in her book Sindh: Stories From A Vanished Homeland talks about how after partition, the Sindhi community found purpose in preparing papads.
Finger millet is known to reduce the risk of diabetes and gastrointestinal tract disorders and as an excellent source of calcium and fibre; it also helps to lower cholesterol levels in your blood. This leads to less plaque formation, prevents blood vessel blockage, and reduces your risk of heart attacks. So, it's safe to say that Ragi represents the people it nourishes: Earthy, resilient and nutritious.
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As time went on, colonialism began to run its course and cheese making spread far and wide across Europe - it was not unusual for a region to produce its own, unique type of cheese. In Asia, however, cheese never really garnered the same popularity and acceptance. Even today, Asian cuisine does not involve the use of too much cheese, if at all. No one knows the real reason for this.
Wine and religion, two unlikely comrades, have fraternised to form Nashik's newfound, unorthodox charm. Taking a detour from the typical "exotic mysticism" that most of India offers, Nashik, known for its Kumbh Melas, has transformed itself into the unlikely, yet celebrated, wine capital of India.
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Indian LitFests Anuvab's sick of the barrage of LitFests, and how pretentious they are. Kunaal was invited to speak at a Business School but says he has nothing to contribute because he has no real, i...
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Today, heart transplants have become routine, but the procedure is fraught with logistical nightmares and requires precise teamwork and coordination. This episode of The Intersection goes behind the frenzy, bringing you the real-life story of how a heart was transported from Indore to Mumbai, saving the life of a 16-year-old girl.
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What would be India's national dish? More importantly, can a country like ours, with its sundry eating habits, even have a dish that would represent all? Most of us would think that it's a tough ask. But, if you study our varied cuisines closely, you will find that there is one preparation that unites all our diverse food cultures. And this is Khichdi.
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Who's the most important person at an Indian wedding? The bride? The groom? The parents? None of them. It's the uncle, the self-appointed head of all things wedding-related.
Sesame's appearance belies its rich history and deep links to our culture. But, it is one of those foods that surprise you and make you see them in new light once you discover the story behind them.
For many Gujaratis, winter marks the end of a long, long wait for Undhiyu, a seasonal dish that derives its name from the way it is traditionally cooked - upside down, under the ground.
"We Indians are really good at feasting," says Vikram Doctor in this episode of The Real Food Podcast. The last few months for most of us in India are full of festivals and grand occasions. And, from...
Christmas definitely is not just a Christian festival anymore. As Vikram Doctor puts it perfectly, "When Christians brought Christmas to India, we lost no time in making it a very Indian festival."
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Consider this - the WHO says that "no threshold [of small particulate concentration] has been identified below which no damage to health is observed" and so, they've instead stated a guideline that aims to achieve the lowest possible PM concentration - this is 10 micrograms per cubic metre for PM 2.5. Delhi's is 15 times that much!
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Anuvab & Kunaal discuss the high pollution levels in Delhi and the government's recent odd-even formula. Merit aside, it is the logistics they are worried about - what if a traffic cop can't read the last digit on a number plate because of all the smog?
Is it possible to walk in a better, more energy-efficient manner? Samanth and Padma find out the answers in this episode of The Intersection. They also explore how we ended up walking on two legs in the first place.
Anuvab Pal and Kunaal Roy Kapur talk about wading through sewage and why this underlines the importance of education, the intolerance of inanimate objects, a desi James Bond with a network of NRI "spies", and voyeurism post the Paris attacks.
Modern cafe culture in India is booming. The explosion of coffee chains and the enthusiasm with which new outlets are greeted here are well-documented. Yet, from the frappes, cappuccinos, and, of course, flavoured cold coffees, the one variant that seems to be missing is the South Indian filter coffee.
For the past 25 years, the Ig Nobel Prize, organised by the magazine, Annals of Improbable Research, has been honouring many seemingly silly scientific achievements.
In this episode, Anuvab & Kunaal discuss the controversial award wapsi protests. Their point is simple - "When a writer returns cash, it's a serious situation."
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This episode of The Intersection investigates the evolution of army food in India since the Second World War, and finds out how food research and science have come together to create a nutritious diet that takes into consideration operational logistics as well as food preferences and habits.
From loud conversations on the phone to calling out to a clueless friend in the dark, our lack of cinema etiquette is legendary. The Our Last Week duo, however, are not having any more of it. Kunaal and Anuvab have a couple of very effective ideas to get people to stop talking during a movie - these may or may not involve death.
Fasting - whether the reasons are medical, spiritual or even political - goes back centuries. Some fasts are absolute, where you can't eat, sometimes even drink, anything, while some type of fasts restrict what ingredients you can consume. For a practice that is so closely connected with food, its ingredients and their cooking, it might be surprising that fasting is generally not associated with the culinary world. But is it really so disconnected from the world of food?
IT terminologies meet erotica in this short clip from Our Last Week's new episode, where Anuvab Pal and Kunaal Roy Kapur take a stand against Big Data. But, the bigger question really is - how do you punch an algorithm?
This episode of The Intersection brings the story of Sejal Worah, World Wildlife Foundation India's programme director, a woman who single-handedly revived the ecosystem of Mussoorie's Flag Hill. There's a lot of determination and some of childhood nostalgia (she grew up in the vicinity of Flag Hill) in her story of how she saved an entire hill. But the key takeaway is how nature can often heal itself.
The science of nutrition is, and always has been, a confounding mess. Are carbohydrates good or bad? Do you really need to banish fat from your diet? Can salt actually cause irreparable harm? The answer to these questions changes every few years. Add to this the plethora of diets that keep coming in and going out of fashion every few months, and you're left confused about what really is healthy. However, the one trend that has been consistent is the organic food movement.
Court is in the news, and is on Anuvab & Kunaal's minds. While appreciating the authenticity and realism showcased in the film, they have a major conundrum to solve: How do you make a film of such calibre. The answer, Kunaal says, is not to hire a casting director. Here's why...
In this episode of The Real Food Podcast, Vikram Doctor finds out about the history of honey in India and its many, many flavours that we really should be proud of.
Whether or not time was present before the Big Bang, it exists in our universe - we have simply invented a way to measure it, which is through seconds, hours and years. So, the question that then arises is who sets the time? This episode of The Intersection takes you to the National Physics Laboratory in New Delhi, to find out just that.
"The murder? Eh, I don't watch these things, such sensational yellow journalism... wait, they found the guy who sold him the briefcase? What are you saying?! Shut up!" After a week of giving into their voyeuristic tendencies and closely following the Sheena Bora murder case, Anuvab & Kunaal have some great insights on the media and its coverage of the murder.
The versatile and healthy idli is ubiquitous and has achieved widespread popularity. But, and some might find this surprising, it was nothing more than a regional specialty up until the '70s and even '80s, when it was confined largely to south Indian households. How did it manage to cross geographical boundaries and become an everyday staple across India? Vikram Doctor finds out in this episode of The Real Food Podcast.
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and the human stupidity..." - that's how a popular quote by Albert Einstein starts. He forgot about one other infinite thing: pi, which is as important as the universe and as irrational as human stupidity. This episode of The Intersection takes a look into the many different aspects of pi and explains why this number is so important.
In this episode of The Real Food Podcast, Vikram Doctor takes you on a journey across India, telling you about the mind-boggling variety of pickles that we make and what sets our pickles apart.