I love food, plain and simple! Now, that qualifies me to pen down a post on food – don’t you think?
This post is mostly about the wonderful memories woven around food and the many conversations that are spring boarded off the food on our rasoi table. It is also about family, culture and traditions all preserved via food! Someday, I hope to look back at these pictures and tell stories of festivities and celebrations, of holidays and Sunday mornings, of family gatherings and date nights and of new accomplishments added to my repertoire! In the meanwhile, I hope to indulge the inner foodie in you!
In this post, I present a series of images that are essentially snapshots from my life over the past couple of years captured via simple home made food!
My grandmother is an excellent cook! She has that magic touch and eating her food is an out-of-this world experience that will leave you licking your fingers long after the food is gone! I don’t know what it is that makes her cooking so exceptional – perhaps her astute sense for proportions! For me, she is the exemplar cook.
My own tryst with cooking began as (failed) experiments on my newly married husband! Dismayed by my lack of intuition and perplexed by the intricacies of cooking, I felt defeated. Even simple recipes challenged me, cookbooks and internet recipes were of no help (‘coz I simply did not have what it took to put everything together) and cooking soon became a chore I dreaded.
I think the turning point for me (and thank God for that!) came after the birth of my son when my mom stayed with us for a few months to help out.
What I lacked in intellect and instinct I made up for via interest. I started paying attention and asking a lot of questions. I also learnt that cooking requires patience (tons of it) to create that harmonious and balanced blend of flavors. Slowly but surely, I blossomed, not into a gourmet cook but into an everyday cook. One that can now confidently whip up a decent meal for her family and enjoy the process too! I think I have redeemed myself and am at ease in the kitchen now!
These days I cook. Gleefully! Sometimes, a comfort food that I am craving for or a lunch box treat that my mom used to pack lovingly for my brother and me or a dish uniquely assigned to a festival (a family tradition), a new recipe or a simple weekend request from the boys. I am cautiously venturing into new areas too! I learnt to bake and savored the joy of freshly baked last year!
This year, I want to cook my way through a North Karnataka (my husband’s cuisine) thali as a surprise for him (shshshsh- don’t tell him).
Inspite of the many imported preferences for other cuisines, as a family, we still find ourselves craving for the comfort of what is familiar food wise. Some days, all you want is rice and rasam - nothing urbane, nothing fiddly! We maintain our cultural identity via food and I am sure that I thread strands of culture in to our life via our food customs.
|O.K. I admit I cheated with this one - the sweet treats and the savory snacks were made by my mom :) but I will take credit for the decor!|
I secretly hope that these traditions will become a fond part of my son’s childhood memories!
Over time I have come to appreciate and enjoy the art and science of cooking. It has taught me to live in the present and appreciate the quotidian.
As I savor the aroma and the flavors emanating from the simmering spices, I learn a little bit more about who I am and what I want to pass along.
As I continue to explore the wonders of food and experiment with global cuisines too, I hope to bring my culinary snapshots to you all periodically. But first, tell me – how do you connect with food? Do you eat for sustenance or do you share a deeper and a more intimate connection with food? I would love to hear from you! We can perhaps have a tete-a-tete over a cup of adrak chai?
If you liked this post, then I recommend you go back and read Supriya's post on plated street food - the great Indian Chaat. You will love it (I love browsing through our archives and finding something fun to revisit) and make sure you scroll down all the way to the comments section of that post to read about her special connection to Gobi Manchurian!
Supriya is up next. I hope you like the fact that we are constantly mixing things up. Decor, artist features, cuisine, culture, art, posts with a social message, home tours, travel - we are having a lot of fun with this, I hope you are too. Thank you for reading Aalayam.
p.s: All the images in this post are from my home and taken by my husband. Please do not use without permission.