I am Kala , I love food and more than that I love to cook.
My earliest recollection of cooking is as a little girl, barely five years old, tip-toeing over the kitchen worktop, trying to roll out a roti alongside my Mom. My best friend, Tarun, was rolling on the floor the first time I told him this story but he eventually believed when my Mom spoke about my enthusiasm for cooking. Even today, we laugh about it…
I am Indian by origin, born in Calcutta, brought up in Bombay, spent over a decade in London and now back in Mumbai, working as a full time banker! Reflecting on my culinary journey, its almost feels like I have been cooking pretty much my whole life: initially learning traditional South Indian food from my Mom, picking up tips from our neighbours, then in a more structured way at school through our Home Science classes. However, my self – realization of my love for food began to evolve and mature when I moved to London and fell in love with it. Amongst other aspects like its history, culture, art and architecture, I discovered the exploding melting pot that London was and continues to be. Every conceivable cuisine, ingredients, fruits, cheeses and vegetables from every corner of the world has made its way into the city… be it through the multitude of farmers markets, supermarkets, corner newsagents, luxury foodhalls at Fortnum and Mason or Harrods or the new age food stores like Wholefoods… Towards the end of each working week, I would have this almost child like enthusiasm to go to the Saturday morning farmer’s market at Walthamstow in North London and get this high burst of energy exploring the fantastic produce that arrived from far and near… oh it was delightful! Wish I had some pictures!
It was during this period of my life when I began the process of appreciating varied cooking techniques, understanding the importance of ingredients, textures, flavours, layers… and started to get almost pedantic about the quality of ingredients, process and surely the outcome. So, whether I was cooking some steamed rice and vegetable curry for myself at the end of a long week day or baking an Almond and Satsuma cake (a James Martin recipe) on a cold Sunday afternoon that perked up the entire home with the intense perfume of boiled citrus fruits and cinnamon, I began to discover how I found cooking almost therapeutic and joyful.
The thought behind the blog name, ‘Turmeric and Truffle’, emerges from nature of my cooking: a little experimental, a tad of innovation, mixing the old with new, fusing ingredients, a repertoire that spans from the ubiquitous turmeric to the use of exotic produce like truffle. In all, an eclectic collection of my food expeditions, ideas, recipes, thoughts, reviews and travels. Having gone through fairly significant years of amateur cooking, collecting cookery books, writing recipes, making notes and scribbles on bits of paper, my mobile and now on iPad, I think it’s about time to share them with you. Here you will find, notes of recipes cooked for my family and friends, jottings about my favourite pieces of kitchen equipment collected over the years, my OCD with getting it right, tips and suggestions…but above all, about good honest cooking. The kind of food that fills your tummy and heart with content, makes you feel good on the inside, nudges you to get into the kitchen to cook for your family and friends and hopefully makes you come back for more. I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, critique, experiments…Happy Cooking!