Food guide goes rural

Food guide goes rural


Food guide goes rural

With his vessels in tow, Bal sets out to taste the flavours and aromas of village platters. The roads are rough, the sights and sounds rustic. While he dabbles with new, authentic ways of cooking, the viewer is taken through a blur of village landscape, houses and the very soul of India.

Calling the show a “fun watch”, Aditya Bal not only gives the viewer a guided tour of the towns he visits, he also joins in a little banter and talk with villagers and farmers. Watch as he is welcomed into homes and given the key to some age-old secret recipes. And since a country like India can also be discovered through its cuisine, the last two seasons took Aditya all over — to Manali, pub city Bangalore, and the coastal town of Puducherry. There he dabbled with various cuisine such as French, Kumaoni, and also managed to recreate the dishes in his kitchen, of course with a few tweaks here and there.

Ask him about his favourite episode and he quickly adds, “The one where I managed  to get my mother, brother and father to work their magic on food; an experience I thoroughly enjoyed hosting and being a part of.” After a successful career as a model spanning eight years and travelling far and wide, Aditya stumbled upon cooking by chance a few years later. He is a self-taught chef, with two years of experience, working in restaurants and honing his skills in continental cuisine and the intricacies of the business. A travel buff, Aditya looks for adventure and secret ingredients in his quest to find the true flavours of India. Excerpts of an interview with the host:

What is it about cooking that draws you?

I can turn obsessive when it comes to cooking. I love baking and slow cooking. It’s my mission in life to create fine food.

The show has completed three seasons. Any insights from the experience?

India has a wide range of street food. Each state offers a unique variety — some dishes are spicy, some are sweet. Small roadside eateries and carts is where I draw great inspiration from. They might be nondescript and even rundown, but to me they are the real champs. I also admire the effort of those who provide meals to millions of hard working Indians everyday, at a price that’s affordable. They even manage to give you a second serving at no extra cost sometimes.

Do you see yourself involved in cooking ten years from now?

Of course. I promise a great dining experience when I open my own restaurant. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and I feel that there is so much to see and learn from the culinary world; it’s never-ending.

How has the experience of shooting the third season been?

Everywhere we went, it was fiercely hot. But I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of riding my ‘kitchen on wheels’, knocking on doors and being able to share and learn all about local cuisine. In Goa, we visited the restaurant Viva Panjim, which is run by Linda D’souza who is an award-winning, Goan-Portuguese cuisine chef. The team also got a chance to take in the sights and smells of rural Goa. Personally, I was thrilled to experiment with the traditional recipe ‘Bhangra’. Did you know that it is cooked using smoked hay?

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