My Journey into Indian Cooking

I recently became obsessed with learning how to cook quick, healthy, Indian food that tastes good. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area eating hotdogs, Burger King, and pimento loaf at lunch time but always had a multi-course Indian dinner at home, courtesy of Mom. Roti, raita, chawal, dal, subji. My mother and late father had a fairly traditional relationship. He worked outside the home, and she took care of the house and family. They both insisted we eat fresh, home-cooked Indian food for dinner, while lunch was used to explore the American way of life.

After spending a few years away in the whirlwind of corporate travel and NYC, barely ever firing up our stove, my husband and I are back in the Bay Area and have started a family of our own. My first motivation to learn how to cook was our pediatrician. Her advice on feeding our then one year old-"Feed her whatever you eat." To which I resisted, "But Indian food is spicy," really thinking, "We don't pay attention to how we eat and probably eat out more than we should." Her quick response, "Take out the baby's portion before you add the spices." She was right, our eating habits had to change.

My next source of motivation was my husband. A die-hard carnivore. His Christmas present to me was dinner at a vegan restaurant called Millenium, and a gift-wrapped array of vegetables including brussel sprouts and an eggplant (not a bad present for Christmas considering we're Hindu [albeit more spiritual than religious]). He had decided to give up all meat, except for fish. I guess the official term is a pescetarian.

I have always wished I could cook Indian food, and I have finally decided to make it happen. With my husband relegated to dish duty, I've been running through about 80 recipes with my mom (who is also here in the Bay Area) and mom-in-law (who lives in Bangalore, India), tweaking to suit my desire to cook in healthy manner and testing to fit a busy schedule (I work outside the home).

As for the blog, I have waited a long, long time to join the blogging world. I used to run an Asian American webzine called STIR in the late 90s, but until now, didn't have the desire or inclination to commit to writing regularly. And I do have to say, I loved the movie Julie and Julia, it was a fun little source of inspiration (I hope Meryl wins the Oscar).

More tomorrow on how I plan to use the blog to share recipes (because I don't think the world needs yet another Indian recipe site).


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