Book Launch: Hymns from the Soil – A Vegetarian Saga by Vikas Khanna

An evening with Vikas Khanna

We had the privilege of attending the book launch of the Michelin Star chef Vikas Khanna who is also famous for his TV show ‘Twist of Taste.’ The event was organised by Bloomsbury Publishing House along with the Indian Foreign Service. An eloquent and passionate thinker, and speaker, Vikas Khanna delivered a powerful and poignant speech about that which is most remembered is usually because it is much loved. The instance of simple dishes churned out my mothers who couln’t afford any better, but still tastes delicious, probably because of all the love poured in, tugs at ones heart.

VIKAS KHANNA HYMNS OF SOIL VEGETARIAN SAGA

The event saw Vikas Khanna walking down the memory lane, to sketch out the trajectory of his career, and all the love and blessings that he has received on the way. All through this journey, India and the people in his life made it a journey worth-a-while and all the more special. He speaks of the fisherwomen in costal India, the fruit vendors, and the simple folk who opened their hearts and homes for him to explore the cuisines and treasures that real India has to offer.

VIKAS KHANNA HYMNS OF SOIL VEGETARIAN SAGA

The real Indian cuisine, the ones that are cooked in our houses every single day, the ones our grandmothers taught our mothers, who in turn taught us, is still a mystery to the world. India is much more than curries and masalas. And that is what the book The Hymns of the Soil attempts to capture. With vivid photographs and memoirs, and recipes, it is not just a cook book, but a saga for a man in search of his real India.

VIKAS KHANNA HYMNS OF SOIL VEGETARIAN SAGA

The event also provided a platform for people to watch Vikas Khanna in action, as he whipped out some simple Indian recipes- a salad, and a channa rice, one that perhaps our mothers have made. But a recollection down that memory lane is always sweet, now that we are all in that age.

VIKAS KHANNA HYMNS OF SOIL VEGETARIAN SAGA

The Q&A session with Vikas saw women and men curious about the culinary world, and the world that Vikas Khanna had seen through his years of working across the world.

VIKAS KHANNA HYMNS OF SOIL VEGETARIAN SAGA

The day ended with a signed copy of Vikas Khanna’s The Hymns of the Soil. We were a vivacious and curious bunch, and although Vikas Khanna had a special day, it was long as well, with all of our curious questions and comments on ‘what to cook,’ ‘how to cook,’ he was a true sport. The event was sweet, simple, poignant, and grand in gesture, and I was happy to be a part of it.

XOXO

Shivangi
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Photo Credit: Karan Mangotra and Shivangi Sinha

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