My passion for food and cooking goes a long way back when I was a kid. My grandma used to wake me up early in the morning to prepare me for school. As a six year old it was mesmerising for me to see her lighting up the wood stove (lakdi ka chullah) and whipping up breakfast. I used to be at awe watching her blowing the wood fire with a steel pipe, moving the wood pieces back and forth to adjust the intensity of fire, moving the ladle with those nimble skilful hands and turning simple ingredients into mouthwatering dishes. She would give me her best smile at my queries on ingredients and process and say “Why do you need to know this when I can make so many different dishes for you everyday?” And my juvenile mind was convinced that grandma will be there all my life to cook for me.
Food was always an interest for me but never got a chance to cook until I left home to work. My first attempt was simple dal and rice which was edible after a few attempts. I started to like the process of cooking and get that “creative kick” when someone would praise my skills. Over years its just my interest in understanding food which has encouraged my “trial and errors”. I believe in understanding flavours; still an amateur home cook who doesn’t go by rules, neither the exact quantity of ingredients. And hence in my recipes I will mention quantities only if absolutely necessary.
I am always intrigued with ‘why a dish is cooked the way its cooked’ and ‘why a dish uses certain ingredient and not another with similar flavour’. This curiosity drives me to look for inflence of geography, history and culture (including religion) on different cuisines. I love tracking food history and regional variations.
In these days of “quick assembly recipes” we are in danger of losing many age old classic dishes. It will be my attempt to bring forth some while trying to make them contemporary using modern cooking techniques.
Looking forward to your feedback.