Food practices of a people is the product of multiple factors. Endogenous as well as exogenous factors influence people’s opinion and preferences about food. In India and its neighbouring countries, food practices are often delimited by economic standing, religion, caste and analogous systems of social ranking of the consumers. State and market forces also influence food behaviour by exercising control over production and trade. Food and Power: Expressions of Food-Politics in South Asia studies power relations between those who eat and those who decide (or at least try to decide) what people should eat. It raises questions pertaining to the politicization of ethnographic tradition in South Asia in relation to the intersection of religion, economy and food. This book explores how traditional food practices have undergone change owing to the influences of migration globalization and popular media to understand how ethos of the powerful affects the foodways of relatively weaker ethnic, religious, occupational and gender groups
Chapter 12: Hearth to Heaven: Ritualization of Food
The Indian subcontinent is the salad bowl of diversified communities, traditions and religions; this diversity has generated a large cultural wealth. Over the years, this wealth has been polished by daily use, best reflected in its art of culinary refinement which can be tasted and experienced from the mud plastered rural kitchens to the rasoi, chowka and bawarchikhana of urban centres. The highly ritualized and sanctified Indian kitchen produces delicacies that have gained popularity the world over.
The geographical diversity and six diverse seasons accompanied with distinct agricultural and horticultural produces have accentuated the diversity. Despite variation in culture and language among them, the people share the basic condiments ...