DISCIPLINE CULINARY ARTS
CURATED BY Rahul Akerkar
CURATORIAL ADVISOR Thomas Zacharias
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Old GMC, Panjim
The theme of Chef Thomas's workshop is the #IndianFoodMovement. It encapsulates his efforts towards changing perceptions and understanding and appreciating Indian regional cuisines. It delves into our deep-rooted culinary traditions and diverse indigenous ingredients. The aim is to get Indians excited about Indian food once again by reconnecting them with their roots through regional food and local and seasonal ingredients.
The dish he will be presenting will be the Umber Papdi Chaat highlighting the wild local fig called Umber, taking cue from his recent Taste of the Wild initiative at The Bombay Canteen. After over four years of celebrating regional Indian cuisines and showcasing local produce at The Bombay Canteen, this menu was a way to go deeper and highlight our indigenous wild produce this time—vegetables, seeds and other ingredients which aren’t cultivated yet grow wild in our forests and marshlands. In order to achieve this, he connected with the Sahyadri tribals, Maharashtra’s veteran forest 'farmers' whose expansive knowledge and the wild produce they consume remain largely unrecognised. The forest is becoming amongst the last remaining sources to obtain the highly nutritious and delicious foods central to the tribal community identity. Umber, also known as Dumar or Cluster fig is sourced from the forests in the Sahyadri hills, and is traditionally consumed by the tribal communities as it enhances immunity, prevents anemia and cramps and helps with heart ailments.
The idea behind showcasing this dish from the Wild Foods menu at The Bombay Canteen is to celebrate this incredible history to not only help create greater awareness of the rich and diverse culinary heritage of our forests but also kickstart a whole new conversation around wild foods by introducing them to people attending the workshop.