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A resilience recipe

Ssolanki Mock Up V2 Copy

view as a detailed pdf here


Patra, [meaning leaves, Gujarati] a savoury steamed dish made from leaves, gram flour and spices was originally created in British Kenya by ‘free’ and indentured Gujarati Indian’s that migrated to the East African British Colony between 1920 - 1963.

Faced with a new and unfamiliar land, the Gujarati’s utilised local ingredients including- Colocasia esculenta known as taro to create patra. The Gujarati’s later brought Patra to the U.K. when East African countries gained independence from British Imperial Rule during the 1960’s.

Traveling through British Colonial Imperialism, PATRA v 2.0 is an updated version of the traditional dish. Inspired by the resistance in Dandi Gujarat against the British salt monopoly during 1930 when salt, a basic necessity was heavily taxed and monopolised. Exchanging the Kenyan Colocasia for salty seaweed, PATRA v 2.0 becomes a decolonised version of the dish symbolising resilience and adaption for the contemporary challenges of climate change and food insecurity.

Sneha Solanki

Sneha Solanki is interested in the emergent, precarious and the overlooked. She regularly employs horizontal methods of cultural agency and citizen science, and often works in process- based environments; producing events and projects that utilise low-tech, open and collaborative methods to engender knowledge. She has engaged with the invisible signals emitted from military bases, with plants, computer viruses, microorganisms and synthetic life. 

Her ongoing project 'The A to Z Unit' is an evolving culinary research unit with a mission to map, investigate and interact with food systems and ecologies. Recent activity includes fieldwork and research investigating the natural, modified, and engineered microorganisms found within our food systems. Events include a tasting and exhibition of novel food additive producing microbes- formatted as ‘E-NUMBERS’, Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2019 and a speculative recipe workshop at Green Lab, London, 2019.