First to rock the cradle, first to feed you

Today chefs want to leave a mark on world map with their culinary skills.

Published: 12th May 2019 10:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2019 11:40 AM   |  A+A-

In today’s gastronomic world, chefs are nothing short of celebrities and stars who stress on using expensive and exotic ingredients to prepare their master dishes. Yet, all of them lack one important ingredient. That ingredient is love. The kind of love that only a mother uses while she cooks to feed her family. For me, a mother is the real celebrity when it comes to kitchen.

She dons many hats, be it of a food historian who collects and researches recipes from various sources to cook new dishes and simultaneously guard old recipes passed on to her generation after generation or of a master chef who evolves with time and keep experimenting day after day to feed her children or impress his husband.

Today chefs want to leave a mark on world map with their culinary skills. But trust me, no one can grow till the basics are right and the first institution for that is your mother. There is a reason why hotels are now approaching home chefs to curate regional food festivals. When I started documenting Indian culinary heritage and reviving regional recipes, my main sources were the home chefs – moms.  

A homemaker from  

Lucknow gave me more information about the cuisine than what I collected from libraries or culinary schools. The nuskhas (tricks), which have passed on to her from her mother seemed to be more useful than a culinary degree. This is because no extensive research and documentation has been done for a few regional cuisines.

It is the mothers or the home chefs who have been practicing the same cooking methods and dishing out food with consistency for ages, the world over. If I ask a common question to everybody to recall a restaurant dish that they miss, I am not sure I would get an answer even after much thought. But if I posed the same question to recall a dish made by a mother, there would be a list of answers.

When I started reviewing restaurants many moons ago, the first thing I would do was to compare the biryani or a nihari with my mother’s recipe. Even while cooking, I took advice from her and convinced her to share her secrets with me. Trust me, that’s the most difficult part. All mothers guard their kitchen secrets with their life. But coax them a little to pass on their legacy , and they will happily part with the accumalated knowledge.

Stay up to date on all the latest The Sunday Standard news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp