Food is as essential to our existence as water or oxygen. But it is so much more. Everything involving food; be it planting, cooking or eating; gives us a sensory experience that is incomparable. I wish I could remember what I felt as a new-born when I drank or ate for the first time. I am sure no one remembers it. But I am older now; and I do consciously marvel in the joys of fresh, glistening vegetables; smoky, warm coffee and dark, amber beer.
My basic instincts were and are for Indian, vegetarian cooking. This is what I grew up with. I do feel we are the blindest towards our ‘mother cuisine’ in a way. We feel the most comfortable with its basic aromas, flavors, textures, permutations and combinations. But it is a skill acquired sub-consciously watching your mother* cook in the kitchen and of course, through eating. It comes ‘naturally’ to us and we tend to under-appreciate the extent of culinary knowledge that is being passed on through our taste buds.
To be honest, I don’t remember when I became so food-obsessed. I think I was first hit when I moved to DC. My experience of global cuisine was shaped by DC, NY and yes-you-are-reading-it-right, Food Network! Alternate worlds of pasta, meat, seafood, coffee, alcohol, cheeses, oils, baking, fruits and vegetables came to me through the food-industry in the US and my friends from different countries. The joys of shopping in a sabzi mandi were always there, but I truly learnt to enjoy cooking once I moved to the US. May be it’s just a gradual transformation with age and I am becoming more attuned with my evolutionary instincts. Whatever the explanation, the fact of the matter is that as I grow older, I am spending a substantial portion of my time and days indulging my domestic instincts.
This blog is an attempt to document and share my experiences about food. Each of us has a unique history, personality and point of view. This is mine.
*I sincerely hope future generations can say the same about their fathers’ cooking 🙂