HYDERABAD: Dakshin Diaries, hosted and presented by ‘Singing Chef’ Rakesh Raghunathan promises to put the spotlight on everything interesting about South India. Chef Rakesh, who was perhaps born with a passion to retain all things South, takes viewers through a journey so rich that it is difficult to envisage it without him. The show on LF on Thursday and Friday at 8.30 pm (from March 21) explores everything that has as yet rarely been spoken about. It revolves around the one thing that makes it relevant – the people.
Be it the people making the temple ‘prasadam’ and adding their extra faith to it, the people rapping about current issues and trying to make a difference or even the housewives and grandmothers who, for centuries, have cooked with their own recipes with just a pinch of salt or just a hint of turmeric while making the best cooked dishes in the world.Dakshin Diaries, as the name suggests, is a record of experiences that revolve around garnering a sense of familiarity to the unknown.
Each episode starts with a spiritual passage in a new city, a new temple and a new ‘Madapally’ (royal temple kitchen). Here the heritage of the city is explored whilst speaking about traditions that uphold the beliefs with which the locals live together.
Each episode transitions into speaking about musicians, art, culture and more. Chef Rakesh meets people from various walks of life each offering something exceptional. An auto-driver who has given a talk at TEDx and provides free Wi-Fi to all his customers since he realizes the importance it may have especially for his expat riders.
A Mylapore Mystical Magical Food Walk with the budding generation to break certain stereotypes. Meeting Dabba Chetty the owner of a traditional medicinal store over a century old selling various herbs, ingredients and medicines some of which one may have never heard of. A visit to ‘SoFar’ which is an underground music concert community that welcomes music collaborations between the locals and expats and also where Chef Rakesh joins in for a session.
From touching the ‘Golden Lizard’, searching for Saurashtrian weavers in Kanchipuram, trying to get tickets for a Rajnikanth movie,learning the recipe for the bestselling halwa by a North Indian in Kumbakonam, cooking from recipe books left by Serfoji the Maratha ruler, Dakshin Diaries has it all, and more.
Commenting on his experience with the show, Rakesh says, “As someone who has looked at food historically and enjoyed the journey where I have travelled across South of India, I have been able to meet interesting people, document recipes, culinary practices, cooking techniques and local legends.”