Blowing the Candle
To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven
Today is the day for this blog to turn a year old. Just like every other purpose under heaven, it’s time, too. Time for us to reminisce some, celebrate some, and wonder ever more. Just what I find myself doing as I grin at the almost absurd, yet exhilarating outcomes of writing this blog.
This past year saw my attitude to cooking take a 180-degree turn. I realized how naïve I had been to think of cooking as uninteresting. It is anything but that. As I took baby steps into the land of pots and woks, ladles and serving spoons, spice mixes, and their aromas wafting about me, I knew it was love. Chopping vegetables as the view from the kitchen window—curry leaf and basil plants swinging with the breeze—greeted me with a smile, turned out to be a meditation most satisfying. And least philosophical.
To release raw vegetables into hot oil and see them bursting euphorically, turning colour within the wok was akin to the adventure of finding old, dusty boxes on some abandoned loft as a child. Adding salt, just the right amount, was pulling off a chemistry practical assignment to near perfection. And the feeling inside when others let out that wide, approving grin after tasting one of your creations? Heaven. You bet, cooking has had me entranced into its deliciously magical realm.
Cooking is at once child's play and adult joy.And, cooking done with care is an act of love
- Craig Clairborne
In this past year I bought a new chopping board, a knife, a mortar-pestle set—my playthings for the new sport I discovered. I learned cooking pasta for the first time at home (thank you, Cesar). I learned cooking meats, I learned different ways of chopping onions, I learned making vinaigrettes, I craved to buy an oven (still saving money for that), I surprised family members (“You can really cook, eh?”) and myself, I ran riot in the kitchen. I cooked.
The blog also opened a window of learning for me. I found out the fascinating regional variations of Indian food, I celebrated festivals of different Indian states with food bloggers across the world, I got a glimpse into cultures not known to me, herbs I have never smelled or tasted (thanks, Kalyn!), and edible delights that still remain shrouded in enticing mystery for me. I got the opportunity to join a wonderful food forum comprising members from all the inhabited continents (many thanks, Farid and Ji Young), which in turn has become my encyclopedia for exploring culinary cultures.
For, you see, we just happen to come from two countries with huge culinary traditions. On one side—India in the East, with its different regions and flavors; on the other side—Peru in the “New World,” a place which became literally a food laboratory with the coming of the Spaniards, resulting in the breeding of unique ingredients.
Last June we published our first post, a little welcome for some of our friends. And the word spread. Suddenly more people were dropping by, reading about Biryani and Causa and Khandvi and Mazamorra and Patishapta pithey and Ají de Gallina. And those people liked what they found. Before we knew it, our number of visitors had multiplied in geometric progression.
Today we have constant visitors, people who come back regularly, drop comments, ask for recipes and share their doubts regarding some ingredient. We’ve been invited and have participated in a few blog events, such as the meme we did for New Year where Sury and I shared our particular favorites.
Did we expect any of this? No we didn’t. This was a little project between two friends. Are we happy with how it turned out? We are delighted. We are elated to have such wonderful visitors to our ‘big little blog’ and we jump at the chance to share even more. Because what we’ve gone through up till now, is just the tip of the iceberg. India and Peru have so much more to offer in the food field. So many things we want —so many things we feel we MUST—share with all of you.
Thank you for being part of our project. We want you to stick around, send us your comments, and share your thoughts.
All the best to all of you, friends, from two opposite sides of the world which have found a way to stay together for a long time to come.