Edible Archives

“If the (rice) grain is endangered then the knowledge around it is endangered.”

Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar

Edible Archives is a project at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018-19 headed by Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar. The project is focused on engaging people with indigenous varieties of rice that are not commercially available. The rest of the team include:

  • Prima Kurien
  • Kiranmayi (Kiran) Bhushi
  • Priya Bala
  • Shalini Krishan
  • Manoj Parameswaran

Details below:

The Edible Archives Project aims to highlight the diversity of heirloom varieties of rice by bringing them to a wider audience through a conceptual space, where chefs from across India are encouraged to experiment with indigenous rice varieties using their personal repertoire of skills rooted in their own journeys and culinary traditions.

The Edible Archives stall at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018-19 is curated by Prima Kurien and Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar. Kiran Bhushi and Priya Bala will be participating as guest chefs. All four share a similar sensibility as fellow women chefs, focusing on clean flavours and fresh ingredients, combined with rigorous culinary techniques. Prima and Anumitra bring these aspects together to offer a unique curatorial take on food culture and its possibilities for artistic and ecological harmony. Shalini Krishan and Manoj Parameswaran will be documenting the food culture and knowledge collected and produced by this project.


from the website:

“All of us retain the experiences of the foods we have eaten, and they become a part of our being — an edible archive we carry around in our bodies, memories and minds. One of the most integral elements of traditional Indian food culture has been vanishing rapidly since the 1960s, as the thousands of varieties of indigenous rice are inexorably being replaced by new hybrid varieties. The Edible Archives team has been travelling to source indigenous varieties in all their diversity: of taste, texture and colour; of starchiness and nutritive value; of traditional knowledge and techniques; of cultural and religious importance; a diversity, in short, of possible ways of life. By documenting these, and creating a space to work with them, we hope to capture in some ways that what is fleeting, so all is not lost.

The project is anchored by four women chefs who bring reflection, politics and pleasure back into food. To refigure rice from accompaniment to dish, from object to subject, we mine our own edible archives as chefs, combining our cultural and culinary traditions that revolve around rice. Thus, the focal point of this project will be the rice bowl.

Each meal that we cook becomes an entry into the individual edible archives of the people eating it, as they experience the journey of the rice and it’s accompanying ingredients. Thus we transfer/transform our edible archives into a collective sensory catalogue that belongs to all the people involved in growing, sourcing, cooking and eating the meal.

The Edible Archives stall will be at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018-19. Join us to taste India’s indigenous rice varieties at Cabral Yard from 12 December to 29 March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

Published by


Matt Cornell is based in the Asia-Pacific region and grew up in Darwin, on Larrakia land. He works through dance, choreography, sound, photography, and discussion to question the arbitrary configuration of systems, and is passionate about overcoming cognitive bias... to ask better questions… to dissolve malignant social narratives.

Leave a Reply