Interviews with elders

Cookbook author Chandra padmanabhan interview

It was back in 1992, when I received a birthday gift that sparked my interest in South Indian cooking. It was Chandra Padmanabhan’s Dakshin, which went on to become a bestseller among cookbooks. I tried one recipe after another, and […]

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Sundari

“I enjoy learning and experimenting,” she says. It is a simple mantra that reflects her zest for life and keeps her young at heart. For Sundari Ganesan, a TamBram living in Mumbai, variety is truly the spice of life. With […]

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Sunandaji & Surendra Singh Pokharna

Last month, I received an SMS from my sister-in-law Indu Chordia: “Come home, I want you to meet a very special couple and yes, be prepared to speak in pure Rajasthani.” I laughed to myself but agreed. Even though I […]

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Talented Rajasthani Sudha Nahata

Whether it is special vegetables like chakki ka saag and pachkuta or rice dishes like kabuli pulao, she grew up seeing her mother and grandmother mix the masalas themselves even though the kitchen was the cook’s domain. Indeed, 71 year-old […]

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Champa & Brij Bhushan

They have both been engineering students, they have both been teachers, and they have also worked together in their own company. Their common interests extend further—to travelling, gardening and cooking. When they speak, you hardly notice when one stops and […]

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Kamini

She composes poetry on instant demand at weddings and get-togethers; she dances with a grace that defies her age; she sings melodiously (the ghazals she has performed for All India Radio are proof enough); she has performed in front of […]

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Chandri Bhat

The lanes of her life seem to have gently meandered towards culinary excellence. Almost as if she was destined to find her life’s calling and joy in food! This 60-year old food connoisseur, researcher and cookery expert needs no introduction… […]

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Sita Kolluru

“I don’t have any tall claims. I know a little bit of cooking, a little bit of computerization and a little bit of documentation,” says Sita Kolluru. It is her age which makes these words extraordinary. At 78, Mrs. Sita […]

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Geeta Nair

There are endless recipes and endless experiments. Open the refrigerator and allow your imagination a free hand—this is what Geeta Nair, a 60 year-old Keralite from Chennai, believes in. “I love all things and dislike nothing,” she says with a […]

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Pramoda Chitrabhanu

Just listening to Pramodaben seems like a spiritual experience. She has found her life’s calling in promoting veganism as a non-violent way of life. The softly spoken words she utters have the power to transform hearts.   Her recent cookbook, […]

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Nalini Deshpande

I first heard her singing at her daughter’s mehendi ceremony. Her voice had that perfect harmony of melody and mood. The listeners had no choice but to shout ‘once more’, again and again. Later, I was surprised to find out […]

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Pachrangi Achaar

“I think cooking is an art. But it is also an intuition. If you are truly interested, you can experiment effortlessly. Food definitely binds a family together,” says Mahaveerchand Bhandari with his wife Lalitha Bhandari as they share family recipes […]

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Lalitha & Mahaveerchand Bhandari

What does it take to keep a joint family together? Is it easy to create a sense of space as well as togetherness? How does one foster interdependence as well as dependability among the family members? Is it about sacrifice? […]

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G. Chandrasekharran

He describes Sirukizhangu (a seasonal root) as having the fragrance of first rain on dry earth. He laughingly informs me that sambar podi is not traditionally used in preparing sambar, but only in kozhumbu. And he gives simple tips such […]

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Suresh2

It was wonderful to see a father and his two daughters interact so passionately over recipes and ingredients. Even though the older daughter resides abroad, the food talk with Appa is part of her daily ritual. The younger one boasts […]

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BG Mathew Taste Maker

Simple and unassuming, this 73 year old retired banker from Kottayam loves cooking! B.G. Mathew especially enjoys whipping up festive meals at Christmas and Onam. He loves to share recipes and enjoys improvising. His simple dictum is: “I cannot eat […]

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Sambhariya - Suresh Kimtee

A delicious side-dish and a cherished memory, this recipe of Sambhariya sabzi reminds Sureshji Kimtee of his mother and her penchant for perfection. This is a much-loved recipe and a family favourite for decades. He says the trick is in […]

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Sattvik Sensibility - Narayanan Rao

Sattvik Sensibility is the phrase to describe the meeting with 60 year-old Narayanan Rao and his family. It was an insight into how India’s spiritual heritage has been nurtured by devotees across eons. As a family, they have dedicated their […]

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Chinese Noodles

Chinese noodles with Indian vermicelli! I wondered, but once I tried the dish, there has been no looking back. Loaded with vegetables and seasonings, this recipe has been shared by Mr. Kamlesh Patel who gave me the reason for the […]

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Pratibha Jain with Gautamsa

Rajasthani Hospitality at its best! I have yet to meet anyone to match his ardent and unrelenting passion for food! For the three decades that I have known him, he has been whipping up delicacies and ensuring that perfect taste […]

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