Tuesday, September 15, 2009

curry does a full circle

I love all things food.

I cook often. When I am hungry. When I am not. When I feel like calling a friend over. When I feel the need to create something. Or when I have nothing to do, and limited supplies at home to cook with. It doesn't matter when. My kitchen and the culinary part of my brain are my life's hotspots. I try age-old, tried and tested (tasted!) grandma's recipes, I experiment with French cuisine - naturally I end up in disasters, I learn to manage them, I call maa in the middle of the night to ask her how to make chingri maachher malaikaari.

Growing up in a Bengali (a cultural group from Eastern India) household, I grew up to be passionate about food. Bengal's cuisine presented me with simple home-cooked meals, a variety of spices and herbs and a cultural bond that is nurtured by it's food.

My stay in Delhi, the capital city where I met the rest of India mesmerized me with a diverse palate. Tandoori, Mughlai, Hyderabaadi, Malayali, Punjabi, Maharashtrian, even the fusion "Indian-Chinese" all amalgamated to the symbolic Great Indian Bowl of Curry, Kadhi and Torkari.

My next stop was to be the United States of America - where I got sucked into the comforts of southern food, the New Orleans version of Cajun & Creole, the recipes from the tavern, the Food Network and the wafted aroma of the Mexican platter from across the border creating the Tex-Mex.

All the world's a food festival and my current venue is Shetland Islands - loved by food connoisseurs for its fresh local produce. I am in Great Britain now, savouring the Sunday roasts and enjoying the fish'n'chips. And, as I experience the flavours of its tarts and puddings and pies and pot-roasts, I am delighted to find that "curry" has evolved into a British staple...

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