Many Curries and no Worries to all of you

May 15, 2007

I started this journey many moons ago on the Philadelphia Main Line as a new bride accompanying her husband, who was a practical stranger then. I started my home and hearth in a new country, in a new culture, armed only with sheer optimism and a handful of recipes. Since then, much water has flown under the seven bridges of antiquity that still span the River Jhelum in my sublime valley of Kashmir. And countless meals cooked in my kitchens have taken me from a cuisine ingenue to authoring a cookbook which then took me to writing as a vocation all of which have brought me to this blog.

My thing with the eponymous cookbook was that, if I, a professional civil servant, who had no prior cooking experience, could cook delicious Indian meals, anyone could. It was still dreamtime for Indian cuisine back then. The Princeton area had one Indian restaurant that got away with serving anything under the guise of Indian food. We travelled miles for a decent Indian grocery and the sight of fresh coriander in an “American” supermarket brought tears to our Indian eyes. Things have changed completely and I believe irretrievably, thank Goodness, for all of us with links to The Great Subcontinent. There is an Indian restaurant at every corner now in Princeton, or so it seems. And Americans are into Indian cuisine like there is no tomorrow.

And I am here for all such aficionados, an online cuisine consultant, ready and eager to help demystify my cuisine, my culture, and my country in any way I can.

In addition to cooking and writing I try my hand at anything that strikes my fancy, and things strike my fancy all the time. Travel, painting, pottery, designing jewelry, are some of my predominant preoccupations.

In conclusion I must tell you that cooking for me is like painting, the muse has to visit, and it has to be an experience. Those who know me know when I have cooked because I wanted to cook, and when I have cooked because I was the cook.

Wishing all of you many curries and no worries!

 Curries Without Worries

2 Responses to “Many Curries and no Worries to all of you”

  1. keyakoul Says:

    You mention that finding coriander in an American supermarket was quite unusual when you first moved to this country, and now things have changed. Where do you buy your Indian spices and other ingredients from now? And if you had to name 5 essential Indian spices or ingredients, what would those be? Also, what kitchenware is important to have when cooking Indian food?

  2. skoul Says:

    Indian groceries have mushroomed all over America, and some of them are like supermarkets now. But, thanks to the interest in Indian cuisine, eclectic and natural food stores as well as other ethnic groceries stock most ingredients. Having said this, good supermarkets in your neighborhood will cover most of your shopping list for Indian dishes, but perhaps not the one or two items you absolutely need to follow the recipe.
    The five critical Indian spices? Hmmm. I have to think about it for a second, I have and I think its cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and asafetida (which is a resin actually). Other essentials are onion, ginger and garlic, but these are from the herb/root family.
    The heavier the pot, the better it is for Indian cuisine which sets great store by sauteeing and frying, preferably at high temperatures.

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