Finding my roots through “Meri Rasoi”

First of all I would like to say that with the penning of this blogging I complete my transition into India. It was the last leg so to speak! About what you ask? And transition from where? Let me start at the very beginning! Before you think that this is just another food blog in the already crowded blogosphere, let me assure you its not. I am not an experimenter of a dozen new cuisines, nor am I food critic who displays a flare for the finer elements of a dish! What I am however, is just as passionate about food – but with a difference. You see I am passionate about simple homemade Indian food, and more specifically North Indian food.

Now coming to the genesis of “Meri Rasoi” – well it did actually begin there – in my kitchen in London, where I was cooking an Indian meal for a group of friends. It’s been 9 years, since my Indian culinary classes took form on that evening in London, and there truly has been no looking back!

My culinary adventure

My culinary journey began in UK where despite being away from my homeland all these years, I was always inspired to cook Indian food from scratch for my family and friends. And this was possible quite easily as some of the best ingredients were easily available in London.

When it came to eating out, however, I noticed an alarming lack of authenticity and understanding of real Indian food. There were thousands of Indian takeaways and restaurants but most served Bangladeshi or Pakistani dishes especially those that were very rich, spicy and not at all healthy.

The British love for Indian cuisine and their willingness to experiment was clear to me from my early days there and with this in mind, I started ‘Meri Rasoi’ as an endeavor to introduce authentic Indian food in British kitchens. The plan was simple – easy to prepare food that could be built into weekly meal plans to provide a nutritious and healthy variety to the entire family.

What I didn’t expect, however, was how quickly this little experiment of mine would flourish and with the word out on the street, I was amazed at the number of people who came to sample my dishes and then returned for seconds – not just the food helpings but also an advanced lesson.

What happens in “Meri Rasoi”

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On the face of it, Meri Rasoi may be a culinary class where anyone who has an interest in learning simple Indian cuisine can sign up. But for me it holds a much more special meaning. They say some of the greatest things come from humble beginnings, and for me the greatest thing about these classes was discovering new friendships and cultures through the common thread of food… So, today, back in India, I have kick started the process of making those friends yet again, through “Meri Rasoi” – the India chapter. We cook food together and exchange life stories, while I impart finer nuances of home cooked Indian meals that can be enjoyed with these newfound friends.

I think, the experience of taking the “Meri Rasoi” lessons is as much about the food as it is about doing something interesting and fun, that can be replicated with your family and friends, long after the classes are done!

I still remember the first open evening I had back in London even today. I had butterflies in my stomach from the nervousness of where this journey would take me, but also I was excited about offering up food that I loved to serve my family everyday. It was an enjoyable evening, with the “Roti making” workshop being the highlight of the evening. That vibe continues even today in all the ‘Meri Rasoi’ classes. So, if you want to tickle your taste buds, make friends and also sign up for an interesting and unique culinary class, then you are all welcome to “Meri Rasoi”! Bon apetit!

 

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