Every individual has their own style, values, beliefs and choices. However, the one thing we all have in common is the love of food. India as a country is a pandora’s box of diversity and variety and the same is reflected in its food. Spicy, sweet, savoury and bitter, Indian cuisine touches all profiles and offers complex combinations to choose from. You need to see these documentaries if you wish to learn more about Indian cuisine.
Raja, Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniya
The grandeur and luxury surrounding Indian Maharajas has always been of interest to the masses. While the architecture of palaces and the opulent lifestyle has invited generous curiosity, the aspect that most attracts attention are the lavish feasts. Released in December 2015, Raja, Rasoi aur Anya Kahaniya is a docu-series takes us into the kitchens of Indian royals, exploring the various combinations of recipes and their historical journeys. The show unfolds how dishes were discovered and what significance and influence they hold in history. The series covers different parts of India and unearths the complexity of Indian cuisine.
Available on Netflix and Hotstar, the series is in Hindi and has 2 seasons (Season one featured one hour episodes, while two featured episodes of 30 minutes).
If traditional food documentaries bore you, Cooked is the perfect docu-series for you. Adapted from the 2013 book of the same name, written by Micheal Pollan, the four-episode series released in 2016 covers the importance of cooking and why the world needs to be working towards learning the skill. It attempts to drive people away from the current trend of packaged and ready-to-go meals. The journey is taken through the four elements: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. In the second episode, Water, Pollan explores the kitchens of India to learn the importance of pot cooking. The episode walks you through not only the fundamentals and variety of Indian cuisine, but also the nutritional values in the ingredients. You will see discussions of the consequences of indulging in highly processed food as well. Available on Netflix as a limited series, the show is produced by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney.
Twist of Taste
Celebrity chef Vikas Khanna stole hearts on screen when he joined as a judge on Masterchef India. Ever since, the chef has been in the public eye, even starring in his documentary series on Fox Traveller called Twist of Taste. The docu-series has been running for 5 seasons, each one focusing on a particular aspect of Indian cuisine. The show has become quite popular on the network. The chef gets to ground level and explore local flavours and delicacies and is also seen shopping for locally-sourced ingredients. The local cuisine is then blended into his more modern style of cooking. Khanna also uncovers the history of the dishes in various cities across the country.
Itihaas ki Thali se
While food enthusiasts might be attracted to the more serious content revolving culinary journeys, Itihaas ki Thali se brings humour to the table which appeals to a wider audience. With interesting, energetic music and inserts of animated segments, the show explores the history of culinary staples. Each episode focuses on a single dish and its historical roots and influence to the modern versions of the meal. The vivid voice of the narrator makes the episode interesting to even kids. The narration is in Hindi and the show features on The EPIC channel. Humour is artistically woven through the intensive informational content which makes the show easy to watch and yet educational.
A country of layered history, India has evolved with the dramatic changes in its socio-political history. And this evolution has also come about in its food. As a result, various traditional dishes have developed into completely new delicacies, losing the original taste and recipe. Lost Recipes featuring chef Aditya Bal rediscovers these forgotten dishes and the history behind them. Dishes such as Houk Sun-Curry, Mutanjan-Sweet Chicken Pulao and Bevina Hoovina Payasa are featured on this series. The show has two seasons and is released on The Epic Channel. Each episode explores the recipes of a certain area in the country.