Find the best raw ingredients that you can and cook them as simply as you can.
I can still hear my grandmother saying this. As the matriarch of a big joint family (My grandma had 8 kids!) simple, wholesome food was something she always insisted on and instilled in all her children and grandchildren.
Growing up in a joint family meant that I was never really forced into the kitchen, there were too many hands already but the aromas always lured me in. I would sit on the floor and enjoy the hot roti coming off the tava. I would take a spoon to the steaming pot only to be hit on the back of my hand and then handed the dal in a bowl to eat on my own! The memories of that warm childhood kitchen 🙂
And then I left home to the world of canteen and hostel food and restaurants for almost 10 years till I figured I am not going back home and it’s time to learn to cook. I cooked my first complete meal when I was 25 and I was amazed that I could. Cooking slowly became a pleasurable task and something I wanted to learn more and do more. It made me happy and it made my flatmates happier.
I was like this eager student who always had to get A+. So I would call my mom for recipes, read magazines and books and just keep trying. As bachelorettes, we had a very basic kitchen set up and yet we managed simple weekday dinners and elaborate weekend parties at our home.
Cooking, as I discovered, was (and is) magic. To take simple ingredients and transform them into something that is delicious and nourishing. What a joy! Every dish is more than the sum of its ingredients. It has your touch, your thoughts, you intentions going right into it.
Every time I open the pot, or remove the tray from oven to taste, to smell, I’m amazed by the beauty of food. Cooking just feels right. It is satisfying. That was the reason how this blog started. To simply share the joy of good food. To invite everyone to cook.
In 2016, following a health scare, I was nudged to relook at everything we ate by a naturopath. I believed I was doing everything right. We ate simple home-cooked food for most of our meals but I didn’t realize how processed and refined food was sneaking into my pantry and in our bodies.
We rediscovered our whole relationship with food and cooking. Just by natural remedies and changes in food habits we were able to get rid of all common ailments for good. It was almost like finding a new person inside our bodies. We became stronger, leaner, healthier, and just felt so much better. It was euphoric to know that we had all this healing power within us and we now knew how to tap it. Food fuels our body for good and for worse. It all depends on what we choose to eat.
In the journey of exploring food, I did not just learn about mindful, healthy and simple food preparation; I also learned about how what I put on my plate affects me, my loved ones, and the world at large. As a family, we are taking baby steps towards a mindful and sustainable household rooted in our love for nature, for real food, and for each other.
I hope this blog inspires you, it is a means for me to share the stories and perspectives from my journey and learn from everyone else’s. You can read more about My Weekend Kitchen here. I would love to hear from you.