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Cookbooks have been around since the fourth century AD. And for over 1,600 years, they've been written assuming it is only one person who does the cooking. In the Indian context, this one person is more often than not a woman.

To bring equality to the kitchen, Swiggy Instamart and Dentsu Webchutney, a digital agency from the house of dentsu international (India), have launched ‘The Better Half Cookbook’—a one-of-a-kind cookbook that splits into two halves to give partners an equal responsibility to cook the meal. Each partner has to follow only their side of the instructions to see their meal come together, together.

The campaign that went live on Valentine’s Day positively impacts the ingrained gender inequality in the country and enables couples to celebrate their love in a fair and equal way. The cookbook features recipes from around the world — from main course recipes (Chicken Stir Fry with Rice for 2. Made by 2), dessert recipes (Silkiest Chocolate Tart for 2. Made by 2.) to vegan ones (Vegan Thukpa for 2. Made by 2).

The ingredients for each of the recipes in the cookbook can be ordered directly from the book with a simple QR scan and the order gets delivered by Swiggy Instamart in 30-45 minutes. Since each recipe is split into exact half, the time spent together to cook gets divided into exact half, leaving couples with more time to relish their food together. The cookbook features interesting ideas on how the couple can spend some quality ‘we-time’ with the time they save by cooking the meal together.

To get their hands on the cookbook, Swiggy Instamart is asking the users for something that isn’t a usual sight—a picture of them and their better half in the kitchen. A barrage of entries is already pouring in to claim a copy of #TheBetterHalfCookBook.

The campaign video:

Speaking about the campaign, PG Aditiya, NCD, Dentsu Webchutney, said, “There is an evident gender chore gap in Indian households. If we want to strike equality in the kitchen, we must rethink the way cooking as a chore has been looked at—a one-person job. A cookbook that highlights the requirement of two people from the get-go to cook a meal obliterates this bias, lending a fresh approach to an archaic system.”

Shikha Gupta

Shikha Gupta, Creative Director, Swiggy, said, “Gender roles continue to plague even the most 'modern' nations and sections of society. This idea doesn’t just aim to start a conversation about equality but actually aims to spark a change. If men feel crippled in the kitchen despite having the intent to help, this cookbook serves as the first step towards making that change. I’d say ‘change begins in the kitchen’ and this cookbook is a living proof of that.”