A serving of historical past – The Hindu

A brand new ebook that includes the culinary adventures of time-travelling siblings is the right trip for a meals author in lockdown

Teetering precariously over that nice line between morbidity and a sensorial blast from the previous is ‘The Titanic Menu’, served on the Rayanne Home restaurant in Belfast, Northern Eire. The luxurious, nine-course meal options every part from a primary of pan-seared filet mignon topped with foie gras to spiced peaches in chartreuse jelly for “pud”, because the British prefer to name dessert.

This menu is claimed to be a recreation of the final meal that was served within the first-class restaurant aboard the ill-fated Titanic. A vessel that was designed and inbuilt Belfast between 1909 and 1912.

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Ebook sure

I clearly bear in mind partaking on this edible extravaganza nearly a decade in the past when on a piece journey to Belfast, the place I discovered myself seated within the lovely interval eating room of the restaurant, which overlooks the Belfast Lough, from the place the Titanic would have set sail on her maiden voyage on April 10, 1912.

Sarcastically, as I write this piece on one other April 10 — precisely 109 years later — I’m contemporary off digesting one other nugget of Titanic meals trivia. Due to an interesting little ebook that I acquired on a current birthday, I be taught that one thing referred to as a Waldorf pudding too was a part of that closing dinner. Though to not be confused with the equally named American Waldorf salad, this dessert too options apples and walnuts, but additionally raisins, is baked in particular person ramekins, and spiced with ginger and nutmeg.

The ebook in query known as Historical past Dishtory: Adventures and Recipes from the Previous by Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujam. That includes a brother and sister duo and a cutting-edge app that enables them to time-travel to 15 vital junctures in historical past, the ebook additionally features a recipe impressed by every occasion. From the Renaissance in Italy to the aforementioned sinking of the Titanic (Waldorf pudding!) and from the primary males touchdown on the Moon to Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi Salt March.

Though presupposed to be a youngsters’s ebook, that is a kind of straightforward reads that sucks you into its pages and retains you captive inside, by no means thoughts your age! Every web page holds forth a promise of that impossible to resist quartet of meals, historical past, journey and trivia. Making it the right, vicarious escape from the mentally debilitating second part of the pandemic and the second main lockdown in Mumbai.

Rosewater pizza, anybody?

My unbridled love for all issues potato takes me again to the French Revolution as talked about within the ebook. This was when members of the Third Property — as commoners had been referred to then — turned to the beforehand shunned tuber in lieu of bread. The latter’s value had elevated to over 80% of their earnings, and other people had been pressured to rediscover the standard potato. Thus charting the course for dishes like the ever-present mashed potatoes and the comparatively unknown Hachis Parmentier, which is a shepherd’s pie-like dish made with beef and potatoes.

The ebook additionally tells me that lengthy earlier than ice and chocolate sculptures turned all the trend at banquets and feasts that they’re now, butter sculptures had been the ‘in factor’ throughout the Renaissance. Curiously, on additional analysis, I collect that in faraway Tibet, the Buddhist observe of carving mandalas and deities from brightly colored blocks of yak butter started roughly on the similar time within the 14th century. Medieval viral developments, one would possibly even say!

And for all these like me who’re revolted by the thought of pineapple and grapes (hi there, Jamie Oliver!) as pizza toppings, pizzas flavoured with rose water and topped with sugar and pine nuts had been fairly de rigueur throughout the Renaissance. It looks as if unhealthy concepts transcend eras!

Again to the longer term

Amethyst Bamboo 9X. That’s the title of what’s believed to be the world’s most costly salt. It retails for roughly $272 for a one-pound bag. It’s trivia like this concerning the Korean Amethyst Bamboo salt that I glean from the chapter on Mahatma Gandhi’s well-known salt march that led to Dandi, Gujarat, on April 5, 1930.

My curiosity in India’s very personal pure protein powder aka sattu is piqued after I be taught that Nepalese Sherpas on their perilous treks up Mt. Everest devour copious quantities of the stuff. Made utilizing roasted gram flour, barley or corn, the nutty-tasting flour can both be eaten plain or blended with water or milk for a hearty porridge. Sattu can be thought-about an efficient coolant when made right into a refreshing sherbet.

The ebook’s penultimate chapter explores the way forward for meals. However surprisingly, after I take this journey, I look into the previous. Seemingly straight out of science fiction, the dehydrated hen salad and freeze-dried fruit served aboard the moon-bound Apollo 11 method again in 1969 might very nicely have served as a blueprint for our consumption of meals within the a long time forward. With ideas like molecular gastronomy and cryogenic cookery throwing gentle on the way in which ahead.

We’ve already seen the daybreak of lab-produced ‘meat’ and the vegan-friendly, plant-based not possible burger. The million greenback query now could be, “What’s subsequent?”

Waldorf pudding. Picture and recipe excerpted with permission from ‘History Dishtory’ by Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujam.

Waldorf pudding. Image and recipe excerpted with permission from ‘Historical past Dishtory’ by Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujam.


Waldorf pudding

Serves 8

Prep time: 25 minutes

Baking time: 25 minutes


2 apples

1 tsp cinnamon powder

half of tsp ginger powder

Pinch of grated nutmeg

1/Four cup golden raisins

1/Four cup roasted walnuts

1 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup milk

100g melted butter


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel the apples and take away their core. Thinly slice the apples and place them in a glass bowl. Sprinkle the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg over the apples. Toss nicely utilizing a spoon. Microwave the apples on full energy for two minutes.

2. In the meantime chop the roasted walnuts. Combine the raisins and walnuts with the apples. Put aside.

3. Grind the sugar in a mixer-grinder. Place the bottom sugar, flour and baking powder in one other bowl and whisk nicely. Pour within the milk and whisk till clean. Switch the batter to a jug to pour it simply.

4. Spoon an equal quantity of melted butter in every of the ramekins/ bowls. Now pour the batter on high of the butter. Fill all of the ramekins/ bowls equally.

5. Spoon the apple combination on high of the batter, including an equal quantity in every ramekin. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and punctiliously put it within the oven.

6. Bake for 20–25 minutes or till the highest of the pudding is golden. Serve scorching.

The Mumbai-based author and restaurant reviewer is captivated with meals, journey and luxurious, not essentially in that order.

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Tags: Food, laddu, Raul Dias, sattu laddoo, Titanic, Travel, Waldorf pudding

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