My name is Shilpa. I work full time, am a mommy to two wonderful girls, and a foodie at heart. I enjoy cooking different cuisines, love developing new recipes, as well as tweaking existing traditional recipes. I am originally from Mumbai and currently live in Dallas.
Why did I start this blog?
In 1990, Kashmiri Pandits witnessed a genocide, and were asked to flee Kashmir, convert or die. Away from their homes in Kashmir and living in different parts of the world, Kashmiri Hindus are striving to keep their language and culture alive. After migration from Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandits lost touch with their roots and got exposed to different cultures.
Although, I grew up in Mumbai, 3 months of summer break was always in Kashmir. As children, my brother and I would look forward to going to my grandparents’ home in Tanki Pora, Srinagar. Unfortunately, my children will never see that home, because it was burned down by terrorists. My husband’s family, lived in Kashmir for generations, wanted to keep their legacy, but had to leave their home with one suitcase to rebuild their lives.
If we distance ourselves from our own roots, our culture, our food, we will lose our identity. Unfortunately, migration did just that for Kashmiri Pandits. We have unknowingly distanced ourselves from our roots. My children will never know the culture, will never see our home. Pandits are a very small population and migration diluted our population even more. After I moved to the U.S, I realized that, the fortification of tradition is much more complex than we can imagine. Our lives and our culture were disrupted by ethnic cleansing. That’s when it dawned on me that it is important to preserve Kashmiri culture in the form of food, by passing our knowledge to our kids and grandkids. It’s important that they start learning very young. Food has always been an important part of one’s identity. Like most Kashmiri Pandits, I make sure to feed my children Kashmiri food.
The initial idea was to document the recipes so that my children could have them. However, I realized that If I document Kashmiri recipes somewhere I could save the Kashmiri food culture for generations to come.
As I am getting older, there is an increasing pining to draw closer to the people and things that help us remember who we are and where we came from. While my focus is Kashmiri food, I then started incorporating a lot of recipes that I ate growing up in Mumbai in my attempt to make my children try a diversity to food.
What am I going to be posting?
80 percent Indian food recipes and 20 percent other cuisines. A lot of my recipes are going to be authentic Kashmiri and North Indian recipes. I will also post a lot of fusion recipes (North India meets South India). Additionally, I will post a lot of quick simple recipes. I feel these days our lives are so busy and it is hard to accommodate cooking in our busy schedules. My aim is to help overcome that challenge and cook quick, healthy, homemade curries, and vegetables.
Even though it gets challenging to keep up this blog with my consulting business, and family, I try and make this a priority.
Kashmiri’s eat a variety of meats (mainly lamb or goat), and a variety of vegetables. The vegetables used in our cuisine are so diverse and so easy to make. For example, radish, collard greens, kohlrabi, turnips, lotus root, and several others. Vegetables that you wouldn’t find in a typical Indian meal.
I am so excited to share my recipes with everyone. Hope you enjoy cooking these as much as I do!