Bowls that pop inside out, trembling dishes, foldable saucers and bouncing dome shaped dishes ...
This all might sound like tableware befitting a circus convention, but they are infact the result of some serious applied science in a research project by Royal College of Art graduate Lina Saleh.
The plates are made from flexible silicone and form part of an exploration into how the perception of taste is influenced before we even take a bite, in the project aptly entitled "Living Plates."
Designed in collaboration with a chef the flexible plates aim to allow chefs extra scope in plating creativity whilst also adding an element of surprise and excitement to the diner's experience. Afterall, a trembling, folding, pop up or pop open dish don't often form the ordinary and everday tableware of most households.
Saleh also hopes that the project will encourage diners to engage more consciously with what's on their plate: "The process of eating dessert is slowed down, as with each force instigated on the cake, the plate moves as the weight distribution shifts" she explains on her website.
Dal is one of those recipes that goes all the way back to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Unlike dishes such as biryani, brought to India by the Moghuls, it is one of those foods that has always been there. It is therefore a building block of Indian culture.