This blog is a collection of my family recipes. Since I live in the United States, I do not have all the ingredients easily available. So I substitute and try to re-create the magic that I have experienced in my Grandmothers', mom's, aunts' kitchens. In the usual hustle bustle of daily life, it's not always possible for me to follow the traditional recipe to the T. Sometimes, I need to use short-cuts. But in the end, these are tried and tasted recipes. They are authentic to me anyways.
I often reflect upon the word "authentic" when it comes to the recipes. The recipes that are made by my ancestors are authentic to me, but they may not fit someone else's definition of "authentic" recipes. The recipes that I create and develop may turn authentic for my daughter some day but they may not be called authentic by the rest. So if you have any questions about the recipes or its authenticity, do drop me an email and I will try to respond as promptly as I possibly can.
Being a Maharashtrian, myself, most of the recipes featured on this blog are predominantly Maharashtrian. My own diverse heritage comprises Maharashtrian Brahmin, South Canara/Mangalore GSB and Coastal Maharashtrian GSB - which I call Malvani. I am married to a Gujarati. My own extended family members belong to various communities, speak different languages or follow different religions. Being born and raised in Mumbai, I am blessed to have friends from most of the states of India. My blog reflects the recipes from this beautifully diverse cultural heritage of mine of which I am very proud. However, my recipes are not just limited to India.
I arrived in United States and decided to live here. My daughter is born in this beautiful country. I have learned many cooking tricks and techniques from my friends - at work, neighborhood. I love to experiment with the vegetables that I didn't eat/use growing up. I love to go to the Farmers Markets and chat with the farmers and sometimes the discussion leads to a beautiful recipe. I love to visit various ethnic stores like Mexican, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Italian Markets to check out new spices and produce. My blog reflects my curiosity.
We love to travel and whenever I come across something delectable, I try to recreate that food after returning home. My blog features all these zany experiments of mine. I must assure you that only successful experiments get featured.
I don't believe in any fad diets but I am a firm believer of keeping health in check. So most of my recipes are low fat. I try to use very little oil for tempering. I believe in portion control. But every once in a while, I also deep fry. Though my diet may not be exactly vegan, there are many naturally vegan-friendly recipes on this blog. As I come across new terms, and if I feel my recipe fits the bill, I give the appropriate label so it's easier for a reader to search. Please note that the definitions of vegetarianism/vegan too vary. While in India, vegetarians shun eggs, seafood, meat, poultry - but some people in America eat eggs and seafood and call themselves vegetarians. It's okay for Vegans in America to have mushrooms, but many vegetarians in India reject mushrooms. While Vegans in America steer clear of any dairy or honey, this is totally unheard of in many parts of India. What I am trying to say is that definitions change depending on the view point of people. You are free to access this blog depending on your own point of view. Please make necessary changes per your beliefs.
I try to celebrate food in every possible way. We celebrate our three mandatory new years (Jan 1st, Maharashtrian, Gujarati) with traditional food. And as if that's not enough, if it's a Chinese New Year, we love to cook long noodles, if it's Easter, we may try to make Easter bread. When it's St. Pat's day, we try to include green cabbage. When it's 15th August, we display tricolors in the food. If it's July 4th, we celebrate with American patriotic food. Get my drift?
Having said that, in order to use this blog effectively, you may need to have some familiarity in and around the kitchen. These are the recipes that are approved by me and my family members but you may need to tweak the recipes to suit to the taste buds of you and yours.
- Please read the recipe carefully and completely before actually cooking. If you have questions, please drop an email. I will be happy to respond.
- Make sure that you have all the ingredients that are mentioned in the recipe.
- Yes, do substitute if you think it's apt, but remember that "you" are making that substitution at your own risk. It's difficult for me to imagine how the substitution would work, if I haven't done it myself.
- Some recipes may need an acquired taste. Do you think you and your family would love the taste of ground, soaked chana daal? Well, we Maharshtrians consider our Ambe Daal with raw Mango as a delicacy. Actually we welcome spring with Ambe Daal and Panhe. Do you think your taste buds are ready to get shocked to experience over ripe banana with fenugreek leaves? Well, my Gujarati family includes ripe bananas in savory dishes. Try my mother-in-law's KeLa-Methi nu Shaak. Please think about the recipe, imagine the taste and then try. I love to be adventurous and try new recipes. Readers discretion is advised.:-)
- We Maharashtrians and Gujaratis do add little sweetener - sugar or jaggery - to many, although, contrary to the popular belief - not necessarily to all the recipes. (Ok. every rule has an exception and every statement gets contradicted in our diverse India. So let me rephrase that. Not all Maharashtrian communities add sugar/jaggery. Not every Gujarati savory dish has sugar/jaggery). Please adjust wherever needed.
- Most of the recipes are intended for 4 people unless otherwise mentioned.
- Just like me and my taste buds, my recipes too evolve over time. If they change for better, I update the recipes. In that case, they get the label "Version 2".
- Although cooking is my passion, I am very health conscious. As a result, I have modified most of the recipes to include more vegetables, less coconut.
- I do not use chicken stock or wine in my cooking. All the recipes are meant to be cooked using water unless mentioned otherwise.
- If my recipe is based on the recipe that I read in any magazine, cookbook, other blogs or even gets any miniscule inspiration from a source other than my family, I have always given due credit by providing the link to the source.
- All the recipes and pictures of this blog are copyrighted. Please write to me before using and provide a link to my blog.
- I use American Measurements. So I use lb. (Pounds) and oz. (Ounces). I use cups and spoons per American measurements.
- I follow a low fat diet. So I use less oil than generally used in traditional Indian cooking. Instead of deep frying, I try to bake or shallow fry. Use oil per your own preference.
- If you have any suggestion regarding any recipe, please feel free to write to me. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Come on in....Let's enjoy Indian food together!