My favourite food story

My favourite food story

Vaishali Samant,playback singer and music director,recalls her experimental daal-bread at Edinburgh

I was at Edinburgh (Scotland) for a music festival. Like me,there were several artistes who had come from different parts of the world. The festival venue was like a mela; there were stalls everywhere,just like in India. When I went looking for food though,I had a tough time,because I am a complete vegetarian who does not even eat eggs. There though,they consider eggs vegetarian. Sure enough,when I went to one of the stalls and asked for a vegetarian sandwich,it had egg in it. Requesting the man at the stall to replace it,I asked,“You have any veggies?” He said he didn’t have anything I could eat,so I had to continue searching. Almost an hour passed,and then five people came up to me and told me I could use the festival kitchen to make something that I could eat.

The kitchen turned out to be a cute little kiosk. Stepping in to look for something to cook,I found some pulses and decided to make daal. Finding some sauces in the shelf,I added it to the pulses. I still don’t know what sauces I ended up using that day; it certainly wasn’t ketchup. Then I found some pumpkin-like thing,some tiny tomatoes,cauliflower and after a lot of digging around,I even found a packet of Indian garam masala. I cooked what I could in a pressure cooker and by the time it was all ready,it was around 7.30 in the evening. It was so cold there,but the food was hot,and to me it just like a five-star experience. There was no roti,but someone found pizza bread,so we ate the daal and vegetables with that. I will always remember this experience because,more than me,the five foreigners who had invited me to the kitchen were excited about the food.

They had it with bread,and some of them ate it with burgers. Then my crew came,following the scent of food,and they joined us as well. Of course,after that experience,the organisers made sure there was some Indian food for the rest of the festival. I didn’t mind cooking there. It felt like a jamming session,except,instead of music,we were experimenting with food.

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