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Some people are too stingy in sharing a recipe not knowing that the taste lies in the tact, interest and passion of the person who cooks - I believe-Sharing is caring -Pushpee

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Friday, October 17, 2014

The Bacon Pate

The food arrived at the table, she fumbled with the lens to get the first shot.

"Leave it, lets taste first." said M, wiping his brow, and looking around to see if anybody else was watching.

He hated coming with S for dinners, he hated waiting while S clicked a picture each time the food arrived. .
"That bacon on cucumber looks good nah" she said excitedly, “taste and tell me what u like the best about it”

He shouldn't have married a food blogger....he thought as he moved his hand to pick it up for a bite

“Mmmnnn this taste good”. He said, “Do you know how to make it?”

“Sure I do, it just bacon pate on slices of cucumber. In reality S didn’t know how to make it but she was not about to tell.

On Sunday afternoon, while M lazed around, he suddenly remembered the taste of bacon on cucumber.

“Hello, can you make that snack we had the other day.”

M was busy posting pictures on her blog. “What snack?” she asked, as she worked on a picture, chopping off the picture to quarter its size and adjusting the brightness and contrast of the picture.

“That bacon on cucumber” he said.

She quickly opened a Google page to look for the recipe of Bacon Pate.”

“Oh, Bacon Pate tastes better if it is made three days ahead.” She said. “I will make pate this weekend, promise.”

She quickly book marked the page of the recipe on ‘The Edible Mosaic’ 

“Saturday afternoon is reserved for shopping of the ingredients and cooking bacon pate” she announced going back to her blog.

M waited anxiously for Saturday to arrive…..

Sunday, October 5, 2014

My Interview featured in Beyond Sindh Magazine


Where were you born, raised, and where/what did you study? 

Born in Jaipur, Rajasthan, raised and educated in Mumbai…graduated from Science College, majoring in Chemistry and Physics and then went on to post-graduate in Special Education at the Center for Mentally Challenged.

 You recently released a book on Sindhi Cuisine - can you tell us about your inspiration behind this book?

October 2005, I was in India. “Mom is critical, come soon” said my brother over a long distance call. Travelling formalities took some time, when I reached; Mom was there no more. All that remained were her beautiful memories. There were chutneys and pickles, sweets and spices, a bottle of peeled garlic, a jar of pickled carrots, frozen samosas in the freezer, all still fresh in the fridge. Mom was a great cook; her life revolved around her kitchen, everyone who tasted her food came back for more. I wanted to preserve her memories and rekindle her art of cooking. I quickly ran to my bookshelf to get my scribbled notes. I wanted to share her culinary art with the next generation. My cookbook began to breathe.

3How long did it take you to compile this collection of recipes from the very first one to its published form? Was it difficult setting out to get your book published?

I had collected mom’s recipes for many years, scribbling down the method that she used, trying out each dish under her guidance. But the process of writing a recipe book is very tedious. It took me more than two years to compile them in a proper form. Writing a recipe book is not just jotting down the method and sharing with the world, a lot of research is involved. Sindhi food is intricate, thoughtful; satisfying labor of love, and it’s a matter of choice like all cuisines are. It’s sad that young children haven’t been brought up with it, and they will never enjoy it the way we do. There is definitely a tough competition between Sindhi cuisine and other varied cuisine; the reason being non-exposure and non-availability of numerous ingredients. I had to understand the history behind the ingredients used in Sindhi cooking, the type of special food used during festivals, the tradition of using certain kind of food on a particular day and its’ importance in the Sindhi culture. The recipes had to be tried, tested and checked for proper measurements of the ingredients.

However, It wasn’t difficult to find a publisher. The first publisher (Popular Prakashan) I approached informally (at a book launch), accepted it immediately because they were impressed with the content and variety of dishes mentioned in the book. Normally, people are familiar with only handful of dishes like Sindhi Curry, SaiiBhaji, pilafs, but there are many more dishes, that are simple to make on daily basis and yet so nutritious. Sindhi food is comfort food that warms the heart. It is wholesome, delicious, very gourmet Indian and compliments the good life. Publisher had great faith in my work but it took them another four years to get it out in print. I think editing and other formalities do take time.

 How many copies have been printed and where or how can one get a copy especially from outside India?

For a start, 1000 copies have been published and it is available online all over India at ‘Amazon’ (http://www.amazon.in/Sindhi-Cuisine-Pushpee-Moorjani/dp/8179917940/) It will take some time to sell online internationally. But many people have approached me for selling it in their friends’ circles, and bulk orders can be booked with my publishers (http://www.popularprakashan.com/) to bring the book to any country.

  Do you have an online or Kindle version available as well?

Yes, it’s available on Kindle too

  What are your hopes for this book? 

I am very happy with the response the book is getting and I am hoping that my book is found in every Sindhi home.

After the partition, Sindhi were scattered all over the world and because of the non-availability of the ingredients in their new environment, they adjusted to a new fusion food. The process of globalisation has also reawakened an interest in, and focus on, regional identities and the roots of our culture.

All these changes have led to a growing interest in regional and local foods. If correctly handled this interest in regional foods can and will create new opportunities for food lovers. Sindhi food is also quite popular around the world because Sindhi are well known for their hospitality and a Sindhi woman expresses her love for her guest by stuffing them with food till they drop dead!

I have written this book mainly for young people who grew up enjoying Grandmother’s cuisine. They enjoyed the Sindhi food whenever they visited their grand parents home. In the families, where Sindhi food is cooked regularly, the youngsters realize the value of the spices used in Sindhi cuisine and their health benefits. The recipes are simple and easy to follow. With the Global fusion and international taste, the original flavors are disappearing. There are just handful of people who really know to cook the right and original recipes, I hope to succeed in communicating with Sindhi youth and help revive our age-old tradition, culture, and food to next few generations ahead.

   We have noticed there were no pictures in this collection of recipes - how do you think readers may feel about that? What was the reason not to print pictures of the food with the recipes?

True, there are no pictures in the book and many people may be disappointed. Pictures were not added so as to keep the cost affordable for everyone. (as I mentioned earlier, I wish to see my book in every Sindhi home) On closer examination, it has been noticed that the content is so good that very few people actually miss it. In todays trend, digital pictures are splashed all over the net, and it is easy to get the picture of any dish you want. In fact I have created a board on Pinterest, on #SindhiCuisine at http://www.pinterest.com/pushpz/sindhi-cuisine/ especially for those who would like to see how the dish looks like. People are encouraged to send in their food pictures after trying out a recipe from this book. Gradually, I will have a picture of every dish mentioned in the book on my Pinterest board

8What are your other projects that is keeping you busy and what are your plans next? 

Most of my time is spent in reading and writing. I maintain seven blogs that keeps me quite busy. Besides that, I am the coordinator and trustee of Swami Brahmanand Pratishthan, Center for Mentally Challenged. We have two centers in NaviMumbai, where we train more than 180 Special Children in special skills programmed as per their ability. I plan to build a residential home for mentally challenged in near future where such children can lead a secure and sheltered life. 

9 What previous writing accomplishments have you achieved and what writing projects are you doing currently? 

I have published 2 books on computers for kids, a set of 24 modules on mathematics for pre-school and two stories in 'Chicken soup' series. Presently, working on book on ‘Teaching Computers to Special Children’

  You have a blog - what is the address and what do you generally write about?

I maintain seven blogs writing on various topics such as food, travel, special education, Mumbai city, poems and fiction. All blogs are inter-connected. You can visit my blog on food at http://papadchai.blogspot.com

Also I have a FaceBook page at http://facebook.in/pushpeeworld. Do like and share my page.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

My #Sindhicuisine travels around the world.

The greatest news I got today was that my book went international and is now available worldwide in kindle version at amazon.com

I launched my book from Krabi, in Thailand, while I was there to attend a family wedding. Family and friends from all over the world came to attend, I found a perfect opportunity to launch my book from there.

The interest was aroused on the first day itself. Everybody wanted a copy of it. I had never expected so much demand.

#SindhiCuisine has very simple recipes targeted towards younger generation who have grown up enjoying grandma’s cuisine.

Your book is a great treasure for my children” said one of my friends who bought my book. “You have made cooking easy for them, because kids nowadays are not into cooking and they need to learn Sindhi Cuisine, especially those dishes that they used to enjoy during their holiday trips to Grandma’s house.”

People have bought my book and sent in their testimonies.

While in India, Indian sweets are easily available at sweet stores but Sindhis living abroad normally make Mithais at home. Greatest joy was when four women from Manila(phillipines) prepared Bugal Mawa, garnished with chopped nuts and kept as offering during Ganesha festival.  I am very happy that people have started making dishes following the recipe from my book and are enjoying it.

The good news is that Sindhi food recipes are not just enjoyed by Sindhis, other community are discovering the taste too. My food blogger friend Purabi Neha tried few recipes. She writes:

“Those flavours and masala blends which I had not experimented much, are now a part of my meal. For example, sprinkling garam masala at the end of cooking an Indian dish is very common, but there is this traditional Sindhi masala blend of roasted and powdered caraway seeds and cardamom, which I especially fell in love with. Of course, the Sindhi garam masala itself is full of a magnetic aroma. My newfound passion is trying out Sindhi dishes now: thanks to Pushpee Moorjani’s cookbook, which features more than 100 traditional recipes.” Read her complete review on her blog at Cosmopolitan Curry Mania 

She tried Badam puri and her family loved it.

Picture source

 Unfortunately, my book has no visual delight. To keep the cost low, there are no pictures at all. But not too disappointed indeed. People who tried the recipes started sending me pictures, and that gave me an idea of creating an album on #SindhiCusine at Pinterest. I keep adding pictures whenever somebody tries the recipe from my book, that’s great fun…Do visit my album on #SindhiCuisine at Pinterest.

 It gives me great pleasure to see my book in Sindhi homes. My siblings and my cousins are the happiest to see my mom’s recipes in print. They are transported to those days when mom happily churned out the most delicious food for them. “The taste is same, exactly like it used to be” they say whenever they try a recipe from my book on #SindhiCuisine.

 And why not…these are my mom’s authentic recipes that she used to cook long before pre-partition days. I have just compiled them to share it with the world…they are not mine…… It’s a tribute to my Mom’s cooking, to keep her memories alive.. Forever..

A leaflet from #SindhiCuisine

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