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Lab's Lab: The Vedic Way in Modern Day

  • Museum of Food and Drink 62 Bayard Street Brooklyn, NY, 11222 United States (map)

What was Indian food really like before the advent of chili peppers?

Welcome to the Indus Valley in 3000 BCE, the epicenter of a highly developed civilization that spanned from modern-day Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. Well before the Medieval Spice Trade and the Colombian Exchange, the civilizations of the Vedic Period thrived along the banks of the Indus River, using complex agricultural techniques, establishing trade routes, and writing spiritual philosophies that would define the subcontinent for thousands of years.

Learn about the ingredients, techniques, and spiritual and cultural codes of the Vedic Period that continue to show their influence in modern-day cuisine. Join Ariha Setalvad and Lab’s Lab on an archeological dig through the origins of South Asian food and culture — learn how to cook a 4,000 year old curry and grind your grain the Vedic way.

You are welcome to attend Lab's Lab for no extra charge with the purchase of Museum admission. 

This is part of our Lab's Lab series.

Photo: Soban.




As a member of the Indian diaspora in America, Ariha (aka 'Grub') Setalvad is fascinated by the strange intimacies that can emerge through racial and ethnic exchange. As a writer and storyteller, she believes that learning to speak to someone in their own language is the most intimate form of respect you can show — and that no language is more intimate than that of food. Especially when that food is tacos. Or theplas. Or thepla tacos. You can win her heart forever by sharing your ancestral kitchen wisdom, and find her on Instagram at @asetalvad.