A new show, where mates Rocky and Mayur scout out the country to satisfy your culinary cravings
Friends over 37 years, the self-proclaimed baadshahs of foodies, Rocky Singh and Mayur Sharma will now traverse India to scout out food to satiate your hunger pangs in FoodMAD, to be aired on NDTV Good Times. “We are travellers, eaters and wanderers who have made multiple roadtrips. Then at some point, it became about food,” Singh begins. “Since we were doing this for pleasure already, when NDTV Good Times offered us Highway On My Plate (their previous television show about India’s top foodie hotspots) we saw it as a way to have free holidays! A friend, an endless road and free food,” adds Sharma candidly.
Food for thought
Speaking about the show, Singh says that it is dedicated to Indians like themselves, who are mad about their food. “Who hasn’t had a compulsive, crazy food craving – be it dark chocolate, biriyani or tandoori chicken. So we take you to the best spots to satisfy those specific cravings,” begins Singh, admitting that his most bizarre craving (strictly food-related, of course, as other cravings might get him arrested!) was for extremely rare, nearly raw, red meat steak with pepper and mushroom sauce. Sharma, on the other hand has rather tame urges for paneer every three days but otherwise kadala (channa) curry, appams, and Muruggan idli breakfasts are in his comfort food zone. Singh also looks north to find his solace food in the form of aloo ka paranthas with white butter and yoghurt and claims he can eat butter chicken and bhindi with naan and lachcha parantha for eternity.
The show will follow the duo as they sample more than 7,000 different dishes to find the perfect Indian food fix. From vegetarian and sweet-tooth cravings to chaat and beyond, the two have documented their travel and food findings over eight years. The show is a revelation of their collective findings. Sharma, pegs Amritsar as his favourite food city while he finds that Gujarat has the best offerings among the states. Singh, on the other hand, cannot pinpoint and says the whole country has ‘more variety than possibly a dozen countries put together’.
Through their travels, the foodies also discover that spiced food is what the nation is most comfortable with. “We are the most proficient users of spices, using them to evolve our cuisine for over 5,000 years. Now we’re remarkably good at it. The rich, spicy flavour is what appeals to every Indian,” shares Singh, agreeing with Sharma that Indian palates love their spices. “And we mean spicy as flavoured and subtle, not just chilli or hot,” Sharma signs off.
Cut the cravings
Sweet: Palang Tod
(bed breaker) from Pathankot
Tangy: Kala katha chuski (golas or ice candy)
Spicy: Hyderabadi biriyani and gongura mutton
Soothing: Solkadi from Maharashtra
Break-up: Ice cream (we’ve purposely broken up just to gorge on ice cream and chocolate)
Midnight munchies: Savage eating. Carbs are best at night so think dal makhani, butter chicken with plenty of onions and chutney.
Cuisine — Singh: Lucknow
Budget — Singh: Kolkata
Quality — Singh: Delhi
Premieres July 19 (every Saturday) at 9 pm on NDTV Good Times. Details: goodtimes.ndtv.com