Historian Alka Pande, in a new book, embarks on a rediscovery of the romance of indigenous foods of India that risk being lost because of greater exposure to international cuisine and heightened "diet-consciousness.""Mukhwas: A book on Indian Food Through the Ages" is a personal attempt at untangling various strands of India's rich food and culture based on the premise that food is one of the great unifying topics in India.The book was launched Tuesday by French ambassador to India Francois Richier. Pande shared secrets of indigenous food wisdom."We have stopped using buckwheat, bajra and so many other things that you will rediscover in this book," Pande told IANS, adding that her attempt was "romancing of food, politics of food and process of rediscovering things we have given up on."She regretted the figure consciousness of youth, saying, "We have a diet-conscious audience, into zero-size figure, with no understanding of food that flourished in the bylanes of our country."Pande said hers was more than a coffee table book and would be an eye opener for food lovers in the country."You will read about food for every season. So this is a cultural celebration of sorts for a country that enjoys festivals as much as feasting," she said.Pande has studied history and art history and served as a cultural theorist and teacher.
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