60: What we can learn from India’s approach to vegetables | Sowmiya Venkatesan, founder of Kechil Kitchen

43m | Nov 22, 2021

Sowmiya Venkatesan: “In chicken rice, chicken is the primary flavour. Your rice has the chicken flavour, your chicken has the chicken flavour, and the stock has the chicken flavour, because it is a celebration of the chicken. Whereas in India, the first thing you’d do for any meat dish is dumb down the meatiness of the meat. Whether it is a fish, mutton, or chicken, the first thing that they would do is marinate it. They would add lemon or spices so that fish doesn’t smell fishy, a chicken doesn’t taste like chicken – so it is a completely different approach from a cuisine perspective. Therefore, I understand and appreciate how difficult it can be [for Singaporeans to go vegetarian] because here, the primary flavour, is the meat. So if [one is] asked to make a dish without the meat, then [he or she does not] know what to do.”


Sowmiya Venkatesan, founder of Kechil Kitchen, shares about the nuances in Indian cooking, plus: *Roti prata in Singapore vs paratha in India* *Things that people misunderstand about Indian cuisine* *How living in Singapore has impacted her approach to Indian cooking* *Tempering in Indian cuisine* *Cooking fats of India* *The concept of meat substitutes, or the lack thereof, in India* *Soya chaap, chunks, nuggets, and granules* *The recent shift in attitudes towards vegetarianism* *Envisaging delicious vegetarian dishes* *Concentrating umami* *Black salt* *Vegetable desserts of India* *Why Singaporeans find vegetable cookery so tricky*


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