Founder's Story

Crimes of Curry

The term “Curry” is perhaps the sorest spot of all for Indians. ``Curry is a leaf not a recipe,” and the blends available in the market are mostly mouthful of turmeric, the spice that makes up the bulk of the American bottles marked “curry powder.” The word curry can also be used to describe any number of stews, both tight (dry) or loose (liquid), but it is never just one flavor profile, including the bright yellow chicken salad every ’50s-era American housewife understood it to be. The overpowering Curry have changed the face of Indian cuisine for many decades and through Smita's cookery we are correcting this course of colonial crime.

Curry Leaves
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My Journey
From Land of Spices to land of opportunities, my story begins when i was 5 yrs old of split summer vacations. First visiting my maternal grandmother (Nani) in Maharashtra who owned a small business of making handmade noodles, snacks, and various home goods. My Nani woke up at 3 am and started her day managing large family while running the business. After few weeks of visiting her we would embark to South of India in Hyderabad to stay with my Father's side of family where my grandma (Dadi) lived. She taught me the art of blending spices.

Learning to cook from my grandmothers would forever influence my style of cooking. They taught me the value of making food from scratch, always using fresh, seasonal ingredients. We learned how to source our food and bought farm-fresh meat, dairy and even whole grains that we cleaned and milled to make chapatis. We were taught to never waste food and to only take what we needed.

I come from humble beginnings and my childhood was one full of learning and experiencing new things. I grew up on an Airforce base and moved to a new place every year, I experienced the diversity of the entire country.

I moved to the United States in 2002, pursuing Master’s program in Biomedical engineering in NYC. During this time when I wanted to eat Indian food outside, I couldn’t find anything that reminded me of home. I learnt that there is an inaccurate perception about Indian culture pushed into the world through cultural appropriation, colonization and globalization that suppresses the truth about me and my culture. I want to provide a more authentic image of Indian culture. This is how Smita’s Cookery began with cooking classes and Private dinners to provide a genuine and realistic connection to my culture for anyone interested in learning about the flavors I grew up with.

For me cooking is not just about learning recipes or techniques but an emotion you transfer to your food. That's my philosophy and I hope to continue to share my food, spices and knowledge through Smita's Cookery.

Yours Spicefully,
Smita Chutke
Founder of Smitas's Cookery

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