“Take a piece of the crisp hot vada, first dunk it in the sambar and then dip it in coconut chutney…. mmm…So yummy”.

“Idli when dipped in hot Udupi sambar thrice, literally melts in your mouth.” 

“The powdered pudina and roasted cumin powder, adds so many flavors to the dahi bhalla” 

“There is some element that has brought in the right amount of sourness in the cauliflower subzi, it is definitely not lemon, cannot be tamarind or curd, what is it?” 

“Amma why is curry so spicy, did you use the bird’s eye chilly by mistake.” 

This is how conversations go on our dining table these days – inspiration courtesy the show Gourmet on the Road by Kripal Amanna on FoodLoversTV.   

This is exactly what Gourmet on the Road does……………

My son is an extremely fussy eater and in order to expand his culinary palate (ahem…), my husband started playing the Gourmet on the Road videos during lunch times on the weekend. At first, the rest of us at home scoffed at the idea – who watches videos of people eating!!!!  

Slowly the vlog started to grow on us. Watching the host Kripal Amanna explore various eateries in Namma Bengaluru and his description of the traditions associated with the eatery, the process by which the food is made, the ingredients that go into the dish, a glimpse of the eatery’s kitchen & staff, and the way he describes and relishes the dishes, makes you want to experiment and explore food.  The love for food of the host as well as the eatery owners is contagious.

Gradually we started serving new dishes at home based on the episodes we saw and our boy started eating small portions of these new dishes. We have a long way to go to convert our boy to a foodie, but we definitely have covered some distance in that direction, thanks to the show.   

While my son is a fussy eater, his mom (me) was a minimalistic cook aka making basic Indian meals daily and indulging in fried and sweet delicacies over the weekends. I viewed food as fuel required to get your body going, nothing more.  Watching Gourmet on the Road, has made me want to experiment with new dishes and delicacies and relish it with friends and family.  It has reminded me that good food is fuel for the soul.

In fact, ancient Indian literature has been a proponent of food being connected to the body and soul. The Vedic scriptures classify food as Sattvic, Rajasic, Tamasic – based on qualities it produces in human beings. Sattvic food is light and rich in prana – mainly consists of uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Rajasic foods cause mental restlessness, while Tamasic foods are sedative in nature and cause damage to the body and the mind. Food that is fresh and unprocessed i.e., Sattvic, leaves the body and soul light and it is advised to follow a Sattvic diet for general well-being. 

There is also a connection between the energies of the person cooking and the dish that is being prepared. Cook in a disturbed or angry state of mind, more often than not, the dish will turn out bad. Cook with love and happiness, and you will have everyone smacking their lips in bliss and asking for more. Many people chant while cooking so as to transfer high energy vibrations to the food being prepared. 

Even modern day spiritual gurus – Sadhguru and B.K. Shivani – extol the importance of mindful eating. Be conscious of the food you eat and eat happily as the food and energies become a part of you.

Pre-pandemic, the number of times we ate together as a family during the week, was very less. Someone or the other had a deadline to meet, meeting to attend, bus to catch or class to attend. Staying home due to the pandemic, has made meal times special with everyone eating together and chatting about the day.

Apart from reminding me that food is the sustenance for the body and the soul, Gourmet on the Road is special in our household for many more reasons. Firstly, the show covers eateries and restaurants majorly in Namma Bengaluru. Watching the familiar Bengaluru landmarks, roads, people and traffic brings in a feeling of connectedness with the show. The show has literally put the Bengaluru food scene on the world map.

The show has also covered various parts of Karnataka – Mysuru, Hubli, Dharwad, Coorg and more. The diversity of cuisine and culture that we learnt about is simply mind blogging. There is so much variety out there.

What I like the best about the show is that in a way it promotes the underdog. Most of eateries covered in the show are small family-owned businesses in various nooks and corners of Namma Bengaluru and Karnataka – flag bearers of tradition and passion for good food and service. The lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the food industry adversely. It is estimated that approximately 6500 eateries of different shapes and sizes in Bengaluru have shut down in the last 18 months and footfall in the restaurants operational is still below the pre-pandemic times. In such tough times, Kripal Amanna’s show, helps these businesses drive their sales and keep them afloat. A big shout to Kripal Amanna and his team!

The show and host have a large fan following, from the common man to the rich and famous, young and old. Late Shri Puneet Rajkumar appeared on the show in March 2021. The episode is a testimony of the humbleness of the Power Star and social impact created by the show. Do take some time to watch it.

Eat right, enjoy your food, eat with friends and family, talk about good food – these are sure shot measures for a blissful and blessed life!!!