Tourism ministry's new mission: Documenting Indian recipes

New Delhi, Sep 19: The tourism ministry on Friday said it has ambitious plans to preserve India's rich culinary traditions.

The plans include archiving and documenting age-old traditional Indian recipes, creating a research centre where molecular gastronomy will be discussed, and establishing culinary training centres where practical information will be imparted.

This project took its flight when the foundation stone for setting up the first Indian Culinary Institute was laid on Sep 2 and on the same day Culinary Survey of India was launched to identify and document recipes.

"Many Indian cuisines have died and many recipes have disappeared. To prevent this, we thought of archiving recipes from different parts of India, using this survey," tourism ministry secretary Parvez Dewan told IANS.

"We have made sure that these recipes are told in a different way and additional information related to them is given to people. Like what utensils to use to cook them in or which mode of fire should be used to cook it," he added.

Dewan was elaborating on the latest initiatives taken by the ministry of tourism during the new government's first 100 days in office.

Dewan is hopeful that the survey should be completed in five years, unlike the Linguistic Survey of India that took 13 years.

Dewan was equally enthused about culinary training schools in various regions of India. He admitted these institutes won't be following the "traditional mode of studying, but would be more practical based".

"So far we have chosen Noida in Uttar Pradesh, Panchkula in Haryana, Salt Lake in Kolkata to open these institutes. In the west, we are still in talks," he said.

"The ministry won't wait for institutes to build first, we will start working in hired buildings initially so that the process is not delayed," he added.

According to Dewan, these schools will impart B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees and the aim is to make these institutes into world-class setups.

"I am extremely interested in molecular gastronomy and this technique isn't much used by Indians. The idea is to teach our students what international techniques are used in cooking and implement these," he said.

"At the same time, the recipes that would be documented during the survey would be used for practical purposes in these institutes," he added.


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