My Food Journey
I grew up all across in India as my dad was in Airforce which means I got to experience the diversity, culture and regional food. Every year in summer vacation we would visit my maternal grandmother’s home in Maharashtra (West) and paternal grandmother in Hyderabad (South). Both these regions are the part of the Deccan plateau and influenced my style of cooking that uses a lot of peanuts, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and coconut. When I moved to USA in 2002, I saw the misrepresentation and cultural appropriation around Indian cuisine and spices with words like “Curry” and “Curry Powder”. This lead my journey to start Cooking socials and SmitasCookery!
Julia Child said, “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” By education I am a biomedical engineer and didn’t go to school to be chef but I was always a curious food enthusiast. The culinary training for me actually began in real time at a very young age. I was inspired by women around me running small businesses, making food from scratch using seasonal produce and ingredients. We were taught how to source the food, cook using every part of it. While living in city, we were able to source organic farm fresh food, get fresh meat, go to local dairy farm every day to get milk, then churn our own butter. We purchased the whole grains from local purveyors for the year, cleaned it and milled into fresh flour to make chapatis while keeping the wheat germ intact. We also made our own spice blends based on the region we lived in. We were taught never to waste the food and to only take what we can finish.