A History of Indian Food - Interview with Sejal Sukhadwala
Since starting this podcast over two years now, I’ve covered many many topics from the ancient world. But I’ve never ventured in great detail in India’s past, to examine her vast, rich cuisine and history into any detail. Of course we know the ancient Greeks and Romans had trade networks in land and on sea that stretched to the Indian subcontinent, and there was a complex and interconnected commerce of spices, of many expensive ingredients used in the ancient Greek and Roman cuisine. Chiefly pepper, black and long pepper, but also cinnamon and ginger and various others. Some of the world's earliest civilizations rose and fell in the Indian subcontinent long before the Greeks wrote and spread the homeric epics. But what do we know of the Indian culinary history? What do we know of their foods and ancient recipes? Did the complex mix of religions over the millenia and especially with Hinduism and later on Buddhism played a significant role in the diet of the people?
Have many things survived? What's the lineage that connects the past inhabitants of this vast land to the present day? Many of our staples today and some of the most popular vegetables and fruits have their origins in India. Cucumbers and aubergines are two prime examples. Sugar from sugarcane first is mentioned in ancient India of 1000BCE as we’ve seen in the episode of the podcast with Dr Neil Buttery a couple of months ago…
Well I’m very happy to say that I have a very esteemed guest on today’s episode to talk to us about many aspects of the complex and often misunderstood cuisine! Today’s episode will be a sort of introduction to the world of Indian cooking and I hope in the near future to explore a lot more in depth and detail the fragrant sweet and savoury character of the food from ancient times till the modern age of spice trade with the English, Portuguese and Dutch…
Sejal's book "The Philosophy of Curry" is out on British Library. You can buy a copy here:
You can find her on twitter: @SejalSukhadwala
and on Instagram @sejalsukhadwala
Remember that if you shop online at Maltby and Greek you get 15% discount with the code "delicious"
Thanks for listening!
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