Soups of Ladakh

A Publication design on Soups of Ladakh: to preserve the traditional food recipes of Ladakh.

My roles: Research, content, visualization,photography, illustration, book design.
Mentor: Tarun Deep Girdher

 

Ladakh used to be one of the unique habitat in India and isolated from rest of the world. Food habit of the region plays an important role for the survival in such a harsh climatic condition. Wheat and barley are the main staple food of Ladakh, which is roasted and ground for use as flour, ‘ngamphe’ or for making the local beer, ‘chhang’. But now in today’s world Ladakh is growing rapidly and people are forgetting their culture and food habits and becoming more and more desirable towards the rice-based Indian-style variety. Due to which for many Ladakhis, its is no longer worthwhile to continue farming.
I found following reasons as people of Ladakh are getting away from their own unique food habit.

  1. Flooding of tourist in the valley.
  2. Young generation remain away from their culture to seek education.
  3. Unaware of the importance of their own local food.
  4. Easily availability of government cheap subsidies food.
  5. Lack of cooking skill.

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Traditional Ladakh Kitchen and cooking tools
The most decorated and well equipped part of a Ladakhi house is its kitchen. It is a large room, at least with one or two wooden pillar. ‘Thap’ the metal craft stove is the pride of every Ladakhi kitchen. It is decorated with lots of semiprecious stones and brass

documentation

plates traditional motifs. The old metal and wooden plates and utensils are decorated and displayed on the shelf of kitchen.

Ladakhi kitchen is also used as dinning room as well as guest room as it is well decorated and warm in winter. In Leh and near by villages, now are well equipped with modern cooking equipment like LPG stove, electric cooker, solar cooker, mixer, fridge and all other small modern designed tools are available. Traditional stove is now a days used as a show piece for the tourist and guest from outside. The traditional cooking utensils are sold in good price to foreigners.

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Study of various ingredients and process

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Most of the Ladakhi dishes have almost common and minimal Ingredients, wheat and barley flour are used in almost every local dish. Most of the ingredients are locally grown. Wild vegetables and herds are used in most of the dishes. Kabra, Khala, Porokshkang, Sagam, Shangsho and Solo are some herbs you will find in many Ladakhi dishes. The villagers collect the leaves in spring or early summer and dry them for use later on. Solo, which grows high in the mountains, is bitter in taste, so it is kept in water (changed daily) for a week before it can be used. Also, in the Leh area, buckwheat grows wild and is harvested for the leaves. Any dried vegetables, wild or sown, are thoroughly washed before use. A much-used flavouring, common when onions were hard to get, is Skotse (wild garlic). This is gathered from the hillsides, beat into a small cake and then dried. People also add modern branded spices and flavours in their local dishes now days. Vegetables and other food products are export from outer world in a large scale.

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Study of various food and their importance

The staple diet of region is barley, which is roasted and ground for use as flour (Ngamphey). It is also use in the making of local beer called Chang, for a quick and nutritious meal, the warm Kholak made up of mixture of butter tea and Ngamphey, one of the most famous food of Ladakh. DSC_0035

Most of the food of Ladakh are easy to make, simple, least fuel consuming, ingredients available locally. The majority of the dishes that follows are sustaining food for the people of remote region.
There are varieties of dishes prepared from the wheat and barley flours. Each  having its own important in the daily life of the Ladakhi people. They prepare bread to soups from the same ingredients. But now a days, Ladakh is also affecting by globalization in all expect.

The present food habit of Ladakh is very much influence by Indian and Chinese food. Rice is becoming the staple diet for new generation of Ladakh. City is flooded by Indian and chinese restaurants. But in villages the traditional food habit is still preserved to a large extend.

As a tradition every occasion have a special food to celebrate, but now a days most of the food are replace by Kashmiri, Punjabi and Chinese food. Dish like rice, Paneer, Momo and Chinese noodle are served in marriages and other special occasions. Dish like Paba, Kholak, Skyu and khambir are the most common food.

pulses

soups_bowl

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Book Size and Final Layout of the book

book

To give the final look to a book, size of the plays and important role. Its also matter according to the subject of a book. As per this

book, it is very important to look interesting and catchy. At the same time the page should not be tightly designed. So, the final book size is 8”X9”and a spread is 8”X18”, which makes the book horizontally long and spacious.
Its is important to have a structure to put the contents and illustrations in a proper way. I used 2 columns grid for my book, which gives me freedom to keep the texts in a composed and a balanced way.

book layout 3

book layout1

book layout 2

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Book cover Exploration

wooden cover

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Final Book Picture

book final 1 final book 2

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