Well, there has been quite a shift in the focus of our project for this semester. JetSet has disbanded, but there is a lot more ahead. Isha and I decided that we wanted to work together on the next project, so we began to brainstorm. We debated ideas from a workout plan, a college application organizer, a way to clean up glitter (the herpes of the art world), or a mass device charger. We both happen to be Indian, so we began to explore options we have both faced in India such as: a scanner to eat street food safely, a sealant to keep bad jewelry from causing infections, a special clothing design that keeps the wearer cool, redesign a mosquito net. None of these options seemed totally practical, but then we both realized that we’re interested in nutrition, vegetarianism, and Indian cooking, we created our plan.
I am most familiar with South Indian cuisine which features lots of rice, fish, coconut and spices like cardamom. Isha has more experience with Gudjrati, primarily vegetarian food that is spicy, sweet and salty at the same time. With our varied backgrounds, we decided to make a vegetarian, Indian cookbook with a focus on the composition of regional meals and the science behind their health benefits. And we were all set to find recipes and subject our families and friends to the results when we added someone else to our team: Oceane.
Oceane is not Indian, can’t really cook and has spice tolerance so low that cracked pepper causes problems, so she didn’t exactly seem like the logical addition to our team. But then we realized that our cookbook is going to be for people with little to no experience with Indian cooking, varied skill levels in the kitchen and with different tastes, and we would have to learn to cater to so many different people. Given all of this information, Oceane then seemed like an excellent choice with the mentality “If Oceane can do it, anyone can!” (Slogan pending approval).
So now we are moving forward with our new idea. Last class we worked through most of the planning phase, where we made a lovely and organized calendar with tasks per day, and fleshed out the idea of our cookbook. We’re still thinking about what we want to include in the final version so please feel free to voice your opinion in the comments!
- Recipe organized by regions of India
- Short historical feature on each region or on specific dishes
- Blurb on health benefits of different ingredients in the glossary
- Sections for “Oceane’s Opinion and Feedback”
- Space for Anjali and Isha’s personal connections to certain dishes
- Background which explains why different ingredients work together to create a balanced meal
- How recipes can be adapted to a western kitchen with more common substitutes
I am really excited to begin this new chapter (get it, it’s a book joke) to explore something that I am personally interested in and create something educational and hopefully, delicious.