Landour was once called the 'Little America of the Hills'. This small hill station in Uttarakhand, dotted with winding paths, pine trees and colourful birds, became a summer retreat for the British in the 1820s. The place at the altitude of 7,500 feet above the sea is uniquely cosmopolitan and, located in north India, has been home to various communities from around the world, as a result of which their food was an intermingling of European and American cuisines that gave it a distinct anglo-Indian aroma.
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.
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."
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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.
That we love tea is not something that needs to be underlined. Then why do we ignore the finer offerings of tea plantations in Darjeeling? Vikram Doctor investigates in this episode of The Real Food Podcast.
In this episode of The Real Food Podcast, Vikram Doctor chronicles Old Monk's colonial origins and its popularity during the 80s and 90s, and examines what needs to be done to revive this enduring brand.
The reason that the indigenous varieties of India are disappearing from the market is purely commercial. With the help of Dan Koeppel, a columnist and the author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World, Vikram traces the evolution of the banana from a simple tropical fruit to an industrial product in the West, and finds out how this may help understand what is happening in India.