A Note From The Editor: Bonding Over Food
Indian food transcends language, caste or religion and has won the world over
As a child, I first noticed complete strangers forming friendships on train journeys—inevitably they were over food! A Gujarati aunty lovingly offering her farsan; idli–vada, wrapped in banana leaves, being passed around by a Tamilian family; sandwiches and chips shared on the way to Darjeeling by an Anglo-Indian granny—this warm rapport transcended language, caste or religion. Making lasting connections on the journey was just a big bonus.
The lunch room in our cosmopolitan convent school was also a microcosm of India, where the aroma of Parsi, Anglo-Indian, Chinese, Bohri, Bengali or Punjabi khana drew us together in a close bond.
Indian food has won over the world. But given that we are such a vast nation, with culinary tastes changing within the same district, it is impossible for each of us to be acquainted with the food from every state, leave alone taste them. We, at RD, decided to explore and celebrate our rich gastronomic diversity and heritage in this anniversary issue.
We started with a well-researched longlist that was vetted by an eminent jury panel. The critics’ choice is the basis of ‘India on a Platter: Every State’s Best Food’. The shortlisted food choices, from each state, were put out for an open survey to determine the popular choices.
Our sincere thanks to all our jury members, especially celebrated food expert Pushpesh Pant, for making this report possible. If there are any shortcomings, the responsibility is entirely ours.
We hope you will enjoy the delightful stories of how some of these delicacies were born, and also be inspired to try out some of them.