I cannot remember a time when I did not love food. I mean, there was that one time when I was about 7 or 8 that I sat for two hours with a bowl of dal because I didn’t like dal. But I haven’t looked back since. Neither has my weight. What do you expect when you grow up with a mom who loves to eat and feed people? She kept cooking all that wonderful food and then expecting me not to eat and stay thin. That didn’t happen. I ate. I still love to eat.
It is surprising to me now that when I left home at 21 to travel to the US I was not really worried about what I would eat. I had never made a meal by myself if you don’t consider eggs a meal. I was armed with 4 pages titled “Cooking Tips” with recipes of mom’s everyday favorites and the smell of her food in my head. If it smelled like hers it must be right. That was how I started cooking 10 years ago. Today that file has grown an inch thick with hundreds of recipes ranging from romesco sauce to cholar dal and chocolate cake to puff pastry. And in 10 years I have gone from girl friend to wife and engineer to mumma. I *almost* don’t eat when my son doesn’t and rarely have the time or inclination to cook. But reading about food and ingredients and imagining what I can do with them is therapy. Thinking up recipes is my creative outlet and the smell of cooking – onions sauteeing, garlic, garam masala – that pervades the air when I walk around our apartment complex in the evenings, is peace. All is right in the world when cumin seeds and mustard seeds hit hot oil and sizzle. And writing about food before bed is catharsis. Sweet dreams!