Synagogues and warriors – aren’t often words you come across on a cooking show. Which is why Season 2 of Lost Recipes (2015) hosted by celebrity chef Aditya Bal stands out from culinary content on TV.
The second season of the show that recently began airing on Epic Channel, follows the chef and author of The Chakh Le India: Cookbook, as he takes his kitchen to unlikely places like getting a lesson or two from the tribals of Chhattisgarh! Excerpts from an interview.
How is this season different from the last one?
This time, we go about exploring more remote areas and communities, we have a greater focus on recipes and we have tried to recreate the feeling of travelling back to the times in which these recipes were cooked.
Take us through the highlights of Season Two.
Meeting members of the Shekhawati clan of warriors, wow! Learning how the Bherwals of Uttaranchal survive up in the high mountains. Cooking inside the premises of the oldest synagogue in Pune. Cooking, learning and interacting with the tribals of Chhattisgarh, as well as Orissa.
Could you map us through your route?
We started our journey in north Karnataka at Hampi. We covered coastal as well as tribal Andhra and Orissa – from the deserts of Rajasthan to the mountains of Uttarakhand, from the Konkan coast of Maharashtra to the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. The shoot took approximately a month, broken into schedules.
What research went into finding these lost recipes?
The process involves first identifying communities and cultures that we want to cover. Then we connect with an person or people belonging to these communities. Then we discuss our concept and objective with them, and then go on to finalise potential recipes that we can get them to showcase on the show. Only then, we fix shoot dates.
We heard that there was a 1000-year-old recipe in the last season...
Some of the recipes we covered go back a couple of millennia for sure. The tribal recipes must be at least that old. We also covered some very ancient recipes in Hampi as well as the mountains of Uttaranchal.
Any behind-the-scenes stories that come to mind?
During our shoot in Uttaranchal, our director tore a ligament in her ankle. I shall never forget the sight of her being carried up and down a mountainside in a makeshift contraption. She bravely shot the entire episode in her state before getting the necessary treatment.