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PATRA v 2.1. Resilience Recipes V 2.0+

Patra, [meaning leaves, Gujarati] is a savoury steamed dish made from leaves, gram flour and spices. It was originally created in British Kenya by ‘free’ and indentured Gujarati Indian’s that migrated to the East African British Colony between 1920 - 1963. Taking their spices with them from West India to an unfamiliar land, the Gujarat’s developed a new and evolving cuisine through hacking, adapting and absorbing new ingredients from their place of migration in East Africa. Patra was created when the Gujarati’s utilised a local plant - Colocasia esculenta – with leaves known as taro, to create a steamed spiced dish. Continuing to travel through British Colonial Imperialism, Patra was later brought to the U.K. when East African countries gained independence from British Imperial Rule during the 1960’s.

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Originally featured in the online edition Feast: Salt, the recipe PATRA v 2.0 was inspired by the Gujarat resistance in Dandi against the British salt monopoly during 1930. Salt, a basic necessity, was heavily taxed and its production and distribution controlled by Imperial forces. PATRA v 2.0 exchanges the Kenyan Colocasia from the original recipe for foraged salty seaweed local to the North East Coast of the UK, an action that symbolically embodies ownership, resilience and adaption, further pointing to the contemporary challenges of climate change and food insecurity. Drawing upon the Gujarati migration to East Africa where new and novel ingredients were assimilated into food culture, the patra recipe similarly continues to evolve.

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PATRA v 2.1, a poster contained within the printed edition of Feast: Spice, includes two new foraged ingredients, the spices - wild carrot seeds (Daucus carota) and wild mustard seeds (Sinapis arvensis) to add further local roots and embed additional lines of resilience against global food systems.

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 EATING | THINGS documents the journey of two children as they start to learn about flora and fauna. They follow a parent and then later on, each other whilst looking for edible things on verges, hedges, bushes, trees and along the shore, exploring foraging as a means to enable resilience, develop new knowledge and feel empowered within the larger food system.