A CHEF is heading to India to discover her grandmother’s ancient recipes.
Narinder Panesar, of Utley near Keighley, is to travel to the Punjab region in February for an 11-week spice trail.
It will see her immerse herself in Indian culture in order to achieve a deeper insight into the cooking and tastes of her heritage.
Narinder, 31, was born in Britain to Indian parents and is keen to bring a taste of India back with her to Rolands in Keighley, the restaurant where she works.
“I am really excited about coming into contact with authentic Indian chefs, whether on the street or in restaurants,” explains Narinder.
“India has changed a lot since I was last there and I am looking forward to seeing how this has affected the types of food cooked there.
“It is going to be a priceless experience and one I can show others, through the blog, and through the menu we create on my return.”
While in India, Narinder is going to experience street food and find out the secrets behind cooking in this intense environment and with a focus on the spices used.
She is also going to visit spice farms in the different regions of the Punjab and volunteer in restaurants along the way, predominantly in those which make intricate sweet dishes, to try and find the key to this type of cuisine.
Narinder hopes that the knowledge she will bring back will let her and Roland Embleton, the owner of Roland’s, create a British-Indian fusion menu.
The last time she visited India was in 1988, so Narinder is looking forward to experiencing the culture which is so close to her heart and heritage.
During her visit to India she will stay at the homes of the many family members she still has out there
And she is going to be back-packing and using the crowded Indian railway system to travel the 19,000 square miles of the Punjab region.
This, she feels, will be sure to offer her many rewarding experiences throughout her travels.
Narinder will be keeping a daily blog while in India, recording where she is and the different foods and spices she encounters on her journey.
Through this she will explain what the spices of each region are, plus how they are made and used, and she will be giving an example of the popular traditional dishes from each region and recipes on how to make these.
To follow Narinder’s journey around India and her experiences of Indian cuisine her blog can be found at www.rolands.co.uk