It looks finger lickin’ good- except, its not!

Chennai: Imagine a mouth-watering plate of butter chicken and naan, except that it is as little to be placed on the tips of your fingers and that you can’t satiate your hunger with it. It’s a treat only for your eyes!

This is because the delicious looking food on the plate and the plate itself is made from clay- finely shaped and polished at the top for you to be attracted to it.

The art of miniature food is quite new to the world and newer to India. However, Shilpa Mitha, an entrepreneur from Chennai, has brought more cheer for fridge magnet enthusiasts with her unique food sculptures, modelled in clay.

Clay miniatures of food that are used as fridge magnets.

Shilpa (30), who calls herself a ‘fake chef’ in her instagram introduction, initially started as an engineer but soon discovered that her heart lies with the art of miniature food. However, none of it started with a dream of a business. She remembers how she started with a pair of burger earrings which she made for herself.

A clay miniature of burger and fries.

Soon, her friends started liking it and the word started spreading. Eventually, in no time, she had made a full business out of it for herself. However, as appealing as it looks, miniature food demands a lot of time, hard work and efforts.

Mitha says that she has to work 15 hours everyday and that miniature food takes longer than real food to come to shape. She is also constantly supported by her mother who helps her kneel the clay for the miniatures. Shilpa has now mastered the art of using clay to her advantage and making miniatures of almost all the Indian dishes.

Mitha can make do with clay to create any cuisine in its miniature form but her heart and mind have always been inclined towards Indian cuisine for its versatility.

Chicken biryani clay miniature by Shilpa Mitha.

The art of creating miniature food using clay is not limited to India only. There is another artist from the USA who works along the same lines. Kim makes these miniature food sculptures for dollhouses as a hobby, using clay, a needle, colored chalk pastels, a rock and a razor blade.

The concept of miniature food started picking up in the 1900s after a youtube channel called ‘Miniature space’ came up with videos of tiny food that you can actually eat. The idea came from Japan where the people love the concept of tiny food.

Compiled by: Ria Kapoor (With inputs from TheQuint, Boredpanda and TheBetterIndia)