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Cooking the books

india Updated: Sep 01, 2010 23:09 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Don't know your puli pithe from a pochampally? Or are you the type who has given up on ever finding the solution for ending global hunger and are more interested in the delicate art of making absolutely sure that your food is well fed instead? Or even the kind who couldn't be bothered about the anomalous expansion of water but would stand by with a thermometer to test the temperature of your poached eggs? Well then, forget engineering courses and new-age development degrees, and save that student loan for the soon-to-be-set-up culinary institute at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), which is getting ready to offer degrees, a doctorate even, in regional cuisines of the country and beyond. The courses are intended not just as a lifeline to dying cooking styles and cuisines across the country, but also to tie in with the booming hospitality and tourism sectors, as well as expand into serious research on social and cultural anthropology.

Think about it, this could well be the beginning of an academic crusade against all the Chinjabi joints, in all the world, which have been serving up that gastronomic travesty called Chicken Manchurian to the hungry masses. No more. For surely the soya sauce-drenched sight of mounds of chowmein by the roadside are sacrilege in an age of now-you-see-them-now-you-don't molecular portions of unpronounceable delights.

Feeding your food before you eat it is the new way forward for sure, with questions like whether that Kobe beef steak on your plate comes from a cow who's downed the customary pint and had a good sake massage before it is served up for your pleasure demanding urgent answers. After stone and iron, we are now in the age of food that demands that all chickens must roam unshackled, what with free range eggs being all the rage with the discerning masses. Still, we think it is a good idea. Something you can chew on perhaps.