I can distinctly remember when my attitude to food underwent a radical overhaul. It was at a team dinner at Bern, Switzerland when I had a dish of pineapple rice. Nothing fancy, just rice served with a pineapple sauce, but the overall experience – flavour, plating – completely blew my mind. That was the day when I shifted away from being the person who solely ‘ate to live‘ to being a person who ‘enjoys a good culinary experience‘.
The second major shift happened when I went to live abroad. While I had learned to cook basic stuff while in India, it was the necessity of having to cook to survive that led me to the realisation that I actually like cooking!
And this love of cooking has continued since, even though, these days, I do not cook as often as I would like. However, circumstances last week dictated that I had to don the role of home cook again. And I relished (pun intended) the experience.
It was a little over a year ago that I learnt about ‘Whole Food Plant Based‘ diet. The core philosophy of this diet is that the lesser the amount of processing in the food you eat, the better for you. The fundamental belief is that “You are what you eat” and, therefore, the cause of illnesses is primarily poor diet. I have been applying some of these principles in my diet over the past 18 months and do believe that it works.
Anyway, so when I went back into the kitchen last week, I decided to apply, as far as possible, these principles in my cooking. I ended up making a few traditional Indian dishes – Rajma masala, Chana masala, Aloo Baingan sabzi, etc. All without using any oil and judicious use of salt and spices. I found the results tasty, not to mention, healthy! But I will have to test it with guests to get some unbiased opinions!