NANI KI VIRASAT
I distinctly remember the day when just after marriage, I was leaving for Bombay with my husband. My entire family was on the railway platform, misty eyed, bidding us goodbye. Just then I realised that I would have to cook at Bombay, something which I had never done at home. Panic got the better of grief and I jumped down from the train compartment to ask Mummy the recipe for making dal. Laughing heartily at my naiveté, Mummy said “Catch the train first. Dal can wait but the train will not.”
Actually, I was only nineteen years old when I got married. Since I had married very young, I could not learn cooking from my mother, who was an expert in every field. Cooking was my mother’s forte’, nothing could compare to what she used to dish out effortlessly. She used to try new recipes every day; we never had the same food twice.
After my marriage, Mummy would patiently explain her recipes whenever I asked her, she would also tell me the tricks involved. She used to say that if you are a connoisseur with strong taste-buds and you cook with passion then you are bound to cook well. I put her theory in practice. Before cooking anything, I would remember how it tasted when Mummy had cooked it and the ingredients she had used. Surprisingly, my cooking tasted just like my mother’s. This became a habit, I could cook anything by just remembering how a dish had tasted when Mummy had made it.
My cooking is essentially Kayastha cooking. All my Kayastha friends say that I cook authentic Kayastha cuisine; my cooking reminds them of what they used to have in their childhood. Cooking runs into our genes; both my son and daughter are extremely fond of good food and cooking. Both frequently ask me about my trademark recipes. My nani passed her recipes to my mother, my mother had passed on her culinary knowledge to me, through this blog, I intend to keep alive my mother’s virasat and to bequeath my knowledge to my children. Being a professional nutritionist, I would also indicate the nutritional value of all dishes featured in this blog.