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Chef Ranveer Brar on food cultures of India and Pakistan

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New Delhi, July 19, 2021- Celebrity chef Ranveer Brar recently joined the Clubhouse app to be a part of the ‘Aman ki Asha’ campaign. In the series, Brar talks about how India and Pakistan share a lot of commonalities ranging from history, culture, language, and cuisine, how food has the power to blur the differences between the countries.

We spoke to Brar who shares details of the show and how India and Pakistan share a lot of similarities when it comes to the food culture of the countries. Read excerpts:

Q: Tell us about your debut on Clubhouse and being a part of ‘Aman ki Asha’ series?

A: It feels fantastic to debut on Clubhouse, I think it’s a great platform. As a kid I’ve always been fascinated by audio mediums, having grown up listening to a radio. The power of audio has been a big driving force in my life and it’s good to see Audio coming back to the forefront again. So, yes, I am excited to be a part of it.

Q: Your recent video, ‘Lahori Malai Kofte’ also spoke about the unity that food builds between two different countries/cultures, how do you connect yourself with different cultures?

A: I’d say it’s serendipity that I put up a recipe of Lahori Malai Kofta when I did and spoke about Punjab on both sides of the border, and Aman ki Asha came up. For me as a chef and food explorer, it’s important to connect with culture as much as with cuisine. Food doesn’t stand alone. It has evolved and continues to evolve along with geo-socio-political factors. Hence, when I study the food history and cultural evolution of any region, it helps me connect to the dish better.

Q: India and Pakistan practice a similar food culture. According to you what are the similarities or differentiation factors?

A: W.r.t similarities, both countries have similar climate, similar land, similar agriculture, agriculture being a dominant factor behind what you eat. We’ve grown up on this side of Punjab, listening to stories about that side of Punjab, more so in terms of food. I think the similarities lie between spices, spice-mixing, longer cooking methods, primarily born out of similarities in climate and agriculture.

Q: Your favourite dish from Pakistan?

A: My favourite dish is Murgh Choley, a dish I got introduced to in New York.

Q: You are the fastest-growing content creator in the culinary space with combined followers of 5 million+ on your social media platforms. How is the transition to digital space treating you?

A: Social media or digital medium in general, helps me express myself beyond a format and showcase content unlike on Television or other mediums. The volatility that social media brings with it is an advantage and allows you to start afresh each day despite making mistakes. I’d say, I’m very trend-agnostic but platform-friendly. For me, trends are relatively short-lived, you just have to continuously say what you are saying, do what you are passionate about and keep finding newer ways of being in touch with people who want to be in touch with you.

Q: How was your experience cooking with celebs in ‘You Got Chef’d Season 3’?

A: It was a fun experience to say the least. Given the hard times the past nearly 1 year, it’s great to reconnect with people in the physical space, cook in a different setup. All the celebs I cooked with in this season were super fun, especially Arjun Kapoor. And Myles’ highball concoctions are the icing on the cake.

Q: How has your journey in the industry been so far?

A: When you are truly passionate about something, you just pursue it whole-heartedly. I am someone who started out by romancing food in the lanes of Lucknow, roughing it at Munir Ustad’s Kebab stall and working my way up the ranks. All I knew through it all, was that I was doing what I love and wanted to do it for the rest of my life. And I’ve always believed that Food is a giver. When you invest so much in it unconditionally, it will surely give back. Above all, God has been kind.  (Agency)

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