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Ordinary Lives: Extraordinary Foods
What stories do our recipes reveal about us?
What happens when we migrate, marry and mingle with those unlike our own, or even move across local and international borders?
How do new regions, cuisines or communities influence a family’s food choices?
How do comfort foods evolve in such kitchens?
Not For You is my third cookbook on Indian food inspired by real-life events. In here, I explore the lives of three generations before me, highlighting pivotal moments that caused shifts and changes in their lives and influenced their relationships with those around them.
Personal family lore inspires this book, as I revisit the influence of 6 distinct cuisines both regional Indian and international, over 150 years on one family kitchen. I share the story of how ordinary people conquered public and private hurdles, and showcase how comfort foods sustained their spirits. The stories reflect on the evolution of relationships between people and their cuisines, how meaningful moments are carved out from life’s seemingly mundane events, how we redefine what is ordinary and what is extraordinary, and what influences ‘comfort foods’ for generations to come.
The vignettes in this book are based on larger beliefs: it takes complete darkness to appreciate the importance of light; and only in that darkness, does a spark become a beacon of hope. The stories are much like a photographers’ study of light and shadows, as all the pieces and stories hold greater lessons about the harmonious relationships that sustain the human spirit.