I sit down to write what influenced my taste-buds and my mind takes me through a beautiful tryst with food. A lifetime is not enough to write or learn about Indian food. The variety offers with the ingredients, recipes, flavors, and secrets of cooking changing every 100 kilometers are beyond the human mind to decipher and document.
My learnings and appreciation of food comes from the different places I have lived in and most importantly the early lessons I learnt at home. When I was younger, no one thought I would ever be able to cook. But just the fact that my mother made me sit in the kitchen to study, affected me in ways that I did not realise until I grew up. My mother’s cooking skills were a combination of Jharkhandi (my mother is from Jharkhand) and Odiya (my father is from Odisha) food. After she got married, her culinary skills were refined by my grandmother who is known to a lot of people as one of the best cooks they had ever met. There was not a single day when 10-15 unannounced guests would not arrive to visit my grandparents. And I’m told not a single person would ever leave our house with an empty stomach. To add to that, my grandmother would lovingly pack food for them to eat on the way in a lunchbox. She would also send food in a lunchbox to the neighbours, who in return would send back the lunchbox with the food cooked at their home.
I was born and raised in the small coastal town of Berhampur which is on the border of East India (Odisha) and South India (Andhra Pradesh). I spent 6 years of my life studying and working in Maharashtra and another 5 years working in Delhi. And now I’m married to a Marwari from Indore which is in Central India. That, in short, goes on to say how each part in the country has influenced how I cook.
This blog is my attempt to share my learnings, memories and bring to you the age-old recipes given down to me by my mother, mother-in-law and others I’ve met or interacted with. It is also to revive the old tradition of sharing your lunchbox with others. So are you prepared to see what is in my lunchbox and share what you have in your lunchbox?