Podcasts Special Features

History of Food in India on A Taste of the Past

Episode: 178

From dal to samosas, paneer to vindaloo, dosa to naan, today’s A Taste of the Past is delving into the history of the food in India. Host Linda Pelaccio welcomes guest Colleen Taylor Sen, a culinary historian and writer who has specialized in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, to the show to dissect this country’s rich culinary traditions. The cuisine differs from north to south, yet what is it that makes Indian food recognizably Indian, and how did it get that way? To answer those questions, Colleen and her recently released book “Feasts and Fasts: History of Food in India” examine the diet of the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years, describing the country’s cuisine in the context of its religious, moral, social, and philosophical development. After the break, Colleen talks about India’s beliefs in food as medicine as it pertains to Ayurveda plus much more. This program was brought to you by Underground Meats.

“One vegetable that’s played a key role in Indian cuisine is the eggplant…in my research I kept coming across the eggplant, probably because of its ability to absorb flavors.” [4:05]

“Very few Indians are vegans, so dairy products are always a part of people’s diets.” [14:10]

“Someone could write book after book on Indian sweets!” [26:20]

Colleen Taylor Sen on A Taste of the Past

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