The DVD of Feast India is available now from the SBS Shop.
Feast India is a lush, colourful and fascinating glimpse into Indian culture, food and customs, presented by English-born chef, Barry Vera.
Barry savours the surprising delights of simple street food and the amazing variety of tantalizing regional cuisine.He immerses himself in the diverse cultural influences that make each area of India so distinct.
From a Sikh temple kitchen in Delhi, where up to 70,000 meals are served each day, to life in a tribal desert village in Rajasthan, from vibrant markets and spice bazaars, to a traditional village wedding, a headycardamom auction, to the chaotic buzz of Mumbai’s beach carnivals, and the eerie silence of a salt mine and of course, much, much, more.
Beautifully shot and informatively written, it is a generous and spicy slice of Indian life.
A message from Your Host - Barry Vera
India for me is a vast, brilliantly colourful, incredibly diverse, and intensely beautiful country.
When it was initially discussed that the first series of ‘Feast’ was to be filmed in India , I knew it was going to be a big challenge, but with an open mind I felt ready for the challenge.
I spent a good deal of time reading up on India before we left, and I have to say the more I read and the more pictures I saw, it became apparent that this was going to be a journey that would affect me on so many different levels.
After spending a day and a half travelling, we arrived in Cochin in the early hours ofthe morning, it was the end of the monsoon season, and so incredibly humid, all I could do was collapse into bed. I woke the next morning to brilliant sunlight burning through the blinds. I went up on the roof of our guest house and looked out to see children playing cricket, people going about their business, the Arabian sea , and fishermen hauling in their catch using 600 year old ‘Chinese’ fishing nets. This was my introduction to India , and I was totally engrossed.
I must say that India ’s beauty took my breath away. The faces of the people will be etched forever in my memory, and the flavours of the food left me hungry for more.
‘Feast India ’ perhaps will give you a small glimpse of India . You could spend years filming there and still not capture all of what India is truly about. I was amazed at how generous and welcoming the people were, and I made many new friends along the way.
Everyday I would stand on a street corner and have my morning cup of fresh chai, maybe flavoured with ginger or cardamom and contemplate what new discoveries the day ahead would bring. What ingredients I had found and how I would use them in new recipes when I returned home.
Chai was one of those discoveries; that beautiful sweet flavour was so refreshing, especially sometimes in the intense and humid heat. I have since made a chai ice cream with ginger cookies, which is currently on my menu in the restaurant and has proved to be very popular, along with a fabulous South Indian fish curry and coconut rice. The great thing is that these recipes are simple to prepare but taste wonderful.
I now have India in my blood, from the lush green of the South to the aromatic spice plantations of the Western Ghats, to the organised chaos of Mumbai, the mystical and enchanting desert villages of Rajasthan and the history of Delhi .
I will definitely return, and will continue to tell everyone I meet that they must visit this amazing country.
I hope you enjoy the series as much as we did filming it, and please feel free to email me with any questions that you may have, and I will answer them at the end of each month. Also I’m open to requests for recipes.
I'd especially like to thank Singapore Airlines and Silkair for all their help and support during the filming of Feast: India. Without their wonderful service, it would have been extremely hard to complete the show.
As Vimla Patil says in the series: ‘Food is Love’.