Title: India On My Platter
Author: Saransh Goila
Publisher: OM Books International
How long it took me to read: 4 hours
About the Book and Author: Backpacking through the country, young chef Saransh Goila sets off on a culinary trail through India, wherein he discovers the various nuances of local cuisine. From rural villages to barren deserts to freezing mountains, he unfolds the flavour of his destination by meeting local villagers or erstwhile royalty and picking up a tip or two to use in his kitchen. Wherever he goes, he makes sure to visit the famous eateries of that place. Through him, the reader can vividly smell the spices and taste the dishes that are described. The recipes given also present ways on using locally found ingredients. From having steaming Murthal ke paranthes to savouring tasty street food in hometown Delhi, from cooking on a boat in Varanasi to cooking dishes using a bamboo hollow in Assam, Goila does it all and presents his adventures in a lucid, flowing narrative peppered with humorous anecdotes.
At 28, Saransh Goila is an Indian chef, a TV show host, author and a food consultant. He is also popular for his online food and travel show, The Spice Traveller and Health Challenge, where he makes favourite Indian dishes healthier. Saransh became a food enthusiast quite early, making his first jalebi for his family at the age of 12. This interest in food made him pursue his Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Hotel Management, Aurangabad.
His first taste of television success was when he won the FoodFood Maha Challenge in the year 2011, hosted by celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor and film actress, Madhuri Dixit. He set a record in the Limca Book of Records, 2014, for ‘the longest road journey by a chef,’ when he hosted India’s biggest food travelogue show, Roti, Rasta aur India. He’s a passionate traveller and has dedicated himself to promote regional Indian food across the globe.
My Thoughts: When this book arrived from OM Books, I was eager to see how this is more of a novel than a hardcover book. While reading the first few pages, I felt the pattern exactly the way I write in my travel journals… That is the specialty about it – it is truly relatable! To anyone and everyone who loves food and has slightest interest in books (or is planning to start reading while travelling) then this is the book I would recommend to them. The book covers an exciting 20,000 kms of road journey across India (the map of which is in beginning of the book- I studied it very carefully before I began to get the idea of what lies ahead). India On My Platter covers mostly North India in details, I myself have done and experienced most of it over all the years (during summer vacation gateways mostly). I loved the account, however, I was a little disappointed since I was really looking forward to a lot more action happening in South & North-east India to live from Saransh’s experiences. I also felt that major chunks of details were missing, which I am sure I have to catch up with the show (on which this entire book is based on) to be able to experience it all.
Nevertheless, the book sure is a treat for all who would want to live through stories on travel journey of food, irrespective of where they belong from.
My Favourite parts in the book: If I start putting down all the favourite parts in the book, I might aswell be re-writing almost the entire book here! However, one of the quotes that I am highly inspired by is:
“You need to marinate yourself long enough before you hit the tandoor”
Going to stay on my Bookshelf? Yes !! I reached the last page with a smile. This book made me fall in love with roads more than ever. The stories Saransh tells before a recipe leaves a permanent impression on mind.
I am looking forward to more & heading right away to catch up with anything and everything I find on YouTube!
For a true dilli-wala, you gonna love Day 98. It mentions -only the best- Gande Nale ke Dahi Bhalle Papdi. The ones I swear by to lift up my mood! Hi 5 to Saransh for that!
Can’t wait to try out new recipes from this book and share with you all!