1. The sheer variety that is available
Take a trip to your local fruit and vegetable market, and the colours and scents of the fresh produce is magical and sure to get you all fired “Whether it is meat, cheese, vegetables, fruits or honey, we have everything in India. It’s all about tapping into them and talking about it.” says Vicky.click to tweet He adds “I have explored 32 different markets in eight Indian cities and am amazed at the seasonal produced during different seasons.”
2. Eat local, eat freshEating local, seasonal produce isn’t just healthier, it also helps the ecology cycle. “Farmers don’t have to prematurely pluck the fruits or vegetables to ship the produce, as it will continue to ripen along the way,” explains Vicky. This is how most fruits which come from different parts of the world are transported to India.
3. It all starts in the marketStuck with planning the menu for your next party? Why not get some inspiration from your local market? “Whether you cook in a restaurant or at home, menu planning should begin in the market and not sitting in the kitchen,” says Vicky. “Open your mind to working with seasonal produce. Local ingredients are the way ahead.”
4. Seasonal produce = delicious, traditional dishes
Who needs fancy-shmancy fare when you can have soul food? Undiyu, colourful gajar ka halwa, sarson ka saag, tangy and spicy rasam – all these yummy traditional dishes made with the freshest vegetables (and a whole lot of love!) are sure to banish the winter chill. And how do you figure which veggies are seasonal? Vicky has a simple tip — go to your local vegetable market. Whichever vegetable is in heaps in front of the vendor is seasonal. “Whether you cook in a restaurant or at home, menu planning should begin in the market and not sitting in the kitchen,” says Vicky. “Open your mind to working with seasonal produce.”
5. Infuse, don’t confuse
Home cooking is an entirely different school of thought, says Vicky. He discusses his meeting with the celebrated chef Massimo Bottura and how he reiterated, “The cuisine of any country is very sacred and valuable. If you can cook as well as your grandmother or even better, then you have the right to modernise those recipes or call them contemporary.” says Vicky.click to tweet “There are certain ethics, features and flavours that you can’t play with, unless you’ve mastered it. So it’s good to infuse, not confuse.”