Sanjana Feasts

By Sanjana Modha

Original recipes of savoury & sweet feasts: delicious plant-based Indian comfort food for your soul.

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

How it's all going: Sanjana Feasts

Feasts HQ has become somewhat of a powerhouse of food. At exactly 50% of the way through recipe testing, the test kitchen reminds me of the Invention Room in my all-time favourite book, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. I'm just cooking up a different type of daal to the delicious wonders cooked up by the author, Roald Dahl.


'All about him black metal pots were boiling and bubbling on huge stoves, and kettles were hissing and pans were sizzling, and strange iron machines were clanking and spluttering, and there were pipes running all over the ceiling and walls, and the whole place was filled with smoke and steam and delicious rich smells.' - Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl


Each day I'm surrounded with the sights, sounds and smells of bubbling vats of daal, pressure cookers huffing like old trains, chargrilled breads, fire-roasted veggies, bhajiyas crisping up in oil, springy noodles, flaky pastries, squishy breads, drippy caramel, and silky sauces made rich with spices. Thankfully, capturing the beauty of each dish comes rather naturally. When I'm working out how to style the plate, I tend to think about the most special element of the dish. For buttery roti, I want to showcase just how soft they are, so photographing an upturned edge works wonders. When it comes to a creamy curry, a slick of sauce on the back of the spoon catches a glimmer of light to flaunt its' silkiness. For daal, it's the shiny tadka top, a glowing stick of cinnamon or a melting dollop of ghee. This is one of my most favourite parts of creating a recipe because it's how I create a visual link between you and I. Storytelling through food is my jam.


Speaking of daal, this is the first complete chapter of the book. I'm going in no particular order and following flavour as usual. The largest chapter of the book will focus on fusion feasts. It's passive-aggressively titled 'Not Curry' because I'm all about challenging the notion that all Indian food revolves around curry or daal. The recipes you'll find in this chapter are dedicated to the cooking of the diaspora. Indian takes on pizza, burgers, noodles and more. Dotted around the world, we treasure the ingredients and customs of the land, but often connect it back to the Indian soul within. It's not to be disruptive, but because as a third culture generation, our food choices are continually being shaped by our environment. I'm ready to celebrate it and I hope you are too.


Sanjana x

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Comments

Peter Wood
 Peter Wood says:

Fantastic! So excited to see the finished book x

posted 16th November 2022

Shilpa Shah
 Shilpa Shah says:

Can’t wait Sanjana !!

posted 16th November 2022

Veena Soma-Barron
 Veena Soma-Barron says:

YAAAY!!! New Zealand can NOT wait for your book to arrive on our shores! AND neither can I!! I must confess that all your recipes remind me of my childhood and give me warm fluffies when I reminisce about some of the yummies you cook; the fabulicious dhals and Rotis remind me of my mum. Thanks Sanjana - keep up the great work - we're all rooting for you!! x

posted 16th November 2022

Dakshaben Patel
 Dakshaben Patel says:

Love your reinnovation of our wonderful gujarati recipies. Its like calling says my hubby , Kandvi, indian sushi , its cold and wet texture...he does not like ..but I love

posted 16th November 2022

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