A Passion Called FOOD – a Journey
Can life be defined in three courses?
I sat down to a prix-fixe meal recently and pondered this question as a quite waiter effortlessly served me meal after plated meal. Could I define my life in three courses? Could I choose three dishes that have irrevocably influenced my life?
Sure, why not? But it was easier thought than done because my passion for food is wrapped around memories of growing up and influences of flavours and tastes from various milestones in life. It is never easy to choose three dishes from millions to portray life as it is happened so far. But, here and now I’m going to try and link places, memories and tastes that have forever changed my life.
my passion for food is wrapped around memories!
So let me turn to the very first influence in all our lives; that strong force that guides our tastes even before we have understood what it means – our parents.
I still turn to my Mother when I am stuck at a particular point in a recipe or the Chef in me has lost his direction. She always bails me out with simple, classic ideas. While her cooking holds supreme influence in my life, the choices I have made are personal and cannot be compared to her cooking. Keeping that in mind, my Starter choice has to be from the place of my birth – Mumbai.
my mothers cooking holds supreme influence in my life!
To love Mumbai is to love its street food. Nothing can beat the flavours and tastes of Chowpatty. I retain fond memories of my uncle taking me on a 45-minute journey to the beach and the smorgasbord of food it offered afterwards.
So for the starter I have chosen three dishes that look complicated to make, but are actually simple to execute, and the tastes will have you tripping to a different tune. The undisputed kings of Mumbai Street food are the Vada Pao, Paani Poori and Bhel Puri.
I have broken down the recipe and documented every part minutely. Not one step or process can be missed out if you want to experience Chowpatty itself on your taste buds. The three dishes are a tribute to the progress I have made from Dharavi to where I am now.
Moving on to the main course; it’s a dish from a community that was important to lifestyle, my music and my way of living. I learnt from them dance and making tasty food using minimalistic provisions. Anglo-Indians are a community of mixed Indian and British ancestry. They are folks with a large heart and no house visit is ever complete without a drink and a hearty meal.
my lifestyle, my music and my way of living
One such hearty meal that captured my senses was the quintessential Ball Curry and Coconut rice combination. And, of course, which Anglo household is complete without Pepper Water? So these form the main body of the second course.
The human soul craves comfort, and nothing comforts us more than a beautifully cooked dessert. One such dessert is Gajjar Ka halwa – my claim to fame dish when in catering school. This dish defines my all consuming passion for food. It needs a lot of patience to cook… there is no way it can be rushed, and it has to be cooked mesmerizingly slowly.
This was the first dish I perfected in college; I still recall the moment I was making it with great passion. There is a lot to learn from this dish made with the humble carrot, but which with time and patience turns out to be an elegant end to a meal.
time & patience & elegance
Just like no journey or passion is complete without the stories we tell about it, no dish is complete without being perfectly presented. A well-presented dish becomes a visual landscape of captivating beauty. Here, on this blog, I hope to give you a visual experience to match the culinary explosions of taste, smell and texture.
Stay with me. Journey with me. Discover your passion with me. Define your life in three courses with me.
Define Your Life in 3 Courses?