It was on July 22 that Chandrayaan 2, India's second unmanned moon mission was successfully launched into space. On 7 September, after a seven-week long journey, the lunar rover, 'Pragyaan' has landed on the South Pole of the moon. This space exploration mission will help study the presence of water on the moon. Pragyaan, a six-wheeled robotic vehicle that can travel up to 500 metres with a lifetime of one lunar day, equivalent to 14 Earth days, will help in exploring the lunar surface. So far only three countries have ever soft-landed on the moon, which puts us in the fourth place. What makes it historic is that we were able to pull this off at a cost-efficient budget of ₹ 978 crore only. In contrast, it cost Marvel Studios a whopping ₹ 2,443 crore to make Avengers: Endgame, a budget at which India could’ve maybe sent two unmanned missions to the moon, reported Business Today.
This is a big win for “space, science and technology in India”, in the words of Kailasavadivoo Sivan, Chairman, ISRO. All this wouldn't have been possible if not for the efforts of the 1000 scientists involved in the success of Chandrayaan 2. Notable are the contributions of Muthayya Vanitha, Project Director and Ritu Karidhal, Mission Director- ISRO Chandrayaan-2.
We at LF think it is a feat worthy of a great celebration. Foodies that we are, a potluck is probably the best way to go about it. To make sure its a tasty (read finger-licking) celebration, we reached out to the best of the best from our foodie circles -- chefs and food lovers -- to throw one helluva party for the men and women of ISRO. This is what they’re bringing to the table:
Rakesh Raghunathan, Host, Dakshin Diaries -“The moon is associated with white, even though it has many shades. I would, therefore, make the traditional south Indian sweet, Paal, which is white in colour. Nothing fancy, made with sooji, milk, sugar and ghee, this milk halwa incidentally is also made in temples on a full moon day to celebrate the moon.”
Chef Amal Farooque, Sage & Olio, Sliders & Fries and SugarOverDose, Mumbai - “I would do an old school Pepsi float with a generous scoop of ice cream at the rim of the glass – the scoop would represent the moon and once you push it into the Pepsi, it would fizz up to represent the launch.”
Chef Sandhya Seshadri, Léclair, Mumbai -“It definitely ought to be Yoghurt Mousse éclair with raspberry. This is because we desis always believe in having a spoonful of dahi shakkar before any auspicious activity. I would like to take this traditional approach and add my twist to it.”
Chef Manish Mehrotra, Indian Accent, Delhi –“It is a joyous occasion, so we have to celebrate it with a dessert. The rabdi jalebi that we serve at Indian Accent is traditional and modern at the same time. Although we are advancing and moving successfully towards the future, we are still rooted in our culture and tradition.”
Chef Kainaz Messman, Theobroma, Mumbai -“I would make something simple, homemade, and traditional keeping in mind the likes of the strong women who made this mission possible. These heroes deserve respect and our strongest support, and we must celebrate who they are, even if it be in a small way.”
Chef Naren Thimmaiah, Executive Chef, Karavalli - The Gateway Hotel, Bengaluru -“I will make a range of processed foods that have a longer shelf life sensing delivery aggregators would want to deliver to the moon. Improvisation would be on portion size as foods on the moon weigh only 1/6th that of their weight on earth!”
Chef Seefah Ketchaiyo, Seefah, Mumbai -“I would like to go all out and prepare a spicy black chicken (Kadaknath) soup. In Thailand, this dish is usually made on full moon nights and we have always believed that it brings good luck to the house.”
Kurush Dalal, Culinary expert and Anthropologist -“Nothing screams celebratory more than the Mutton Pulao with Dal, a meaty dish that the Parsis swear by.”
Chef Arina Suchde, The Pantry Café, Mumbai -“I think that a cheese platter with baguettes and other condiments would be a delicious way to commemorate Chandrayaan 2’s successful launch. Also because the craters in cheese have always reminded me of the moon.
Chef Rishim Sachdeva, Head Chef with The Olive Group and Host, Fit and Fast- Fuel Your Brain -“For me, it’s all about comfort food! Happy belly makes us think and perform better! I would prepare a feast where poha would star. Besides, there’d be other foods such as fresh eggs, some soul-hugging khichdi and fish fry with appam.”
Chef Shweta Menon, Kitchen Consultant -“I would prepare a Satvik Indian meetha that would be in black and white colours to represent the moon. It’ll be made with Manipuri black rice, Coorgi palm sugar pudding and a coconut milk reduction with bits of tender coconut.”
What dish would you bring to the Chandrayaan 2 potluck? Share with us in the comments below.
Image conceptualised by Vartika Pahuja
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