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From Sharmila's Kitchen....

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"Tung tang piano te sarati dupur

Kochi kochi duti haat tulbe je shur..
"

 (The afternoon is filled with the sounds from the piano

When the 2 small hands try to make some rhythm
)



Yes, being the only child of working parents most of my afternoons used to be spent with dolls and music. I used to cook for my dolls using different leaves, mud, and gravel. During special occasions, like my doll’s marriage, I used to make my mom cook luchi, payesh and other savouries. The growing up days during our times when there was no internet or computer.

I was never allowed to enter the kitchen before marriage as my dad felt that there are better things to learn than cooking, and my mom thought I would burn the house down. So, while I was getting married, my in-laws thought that their son would starve to death, as I didn’t even know how to make ‘sedho bhat’. I took this as a challenge to learn how to cook. My husband was my first tutor in this learning process. He taught me how to use the pressure cooker to: make rice, and boil vegetables and eggs. From there my journey began.



Since, I grew up in a house where my mom, aunts and grandma were fabulous cooks; I missed all those lovely food. Thus, I started taking cooking lessons from mom over the phone and watched the few cooking programs that used to be telecast on DD1 and 2 in those days, especially Sanjeev kapoor’s “khana khazana”. Soon, cooking became a hobby for me, as I lived in a different city where I didn’t have any relatives and friends. After a while people who used to visit our flat started praising me and within a year I started cooking for most social gatherings, University picnics and even friends’ engagement parties.



Now after 21 years of married life I have lived in different parts of the world and picked up recipes for an array of food types. Living an extremely busy life with a full time job, looking after a child and doing community work, I had to learn both how to cook fast for the weekdays, and how to do the traditional dishes for guests during the weekend.

Definitely, I had no intention of being a food writer. Food started to make its way into my stories, through my family. So I thought to unveil my personality and add charm to the food that inspires me in my life by writing this column. To me, food is very interesting in itself. There has to be smells coming from the kitchen and a little bit of chaos and everything coming together. It will be mostly Indian food, which can be cooked in a jiffy for a busy day. In alternate weeks I will share the Bengali traditional food that I love to cook mostly on weekends, which are currently being replaced by pizzas and burgers and have to be tasted in gourmet Bengali restaurants like kasturi, oh Calcutta and others.

Behind a recipe, there is sometimes a love story, or a story of admiration. Like the Torta di tagliatelle, a cake from Mantua, was created in 1655 to celebrate the beautiful head of hair of Christina, Queen of Sweden, who was visiting Mantua for the very first time. A cake of tagliatelle — Now I am certain you want to know what this lovely cake tastes — and looks — 
like…
 


I hope you will enjoy this journey with me and I will look forward for your feedback to improve my writing and recipes.

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About Sharmila :I love food, both tasting and cooking it. Cooking provides an outlet for me to unwind and is a form of art. I experiment with flavours and ingredients until I find the perfect blend that sets my tastebuds on fire.’ Born and brought up in Calcutta, her love for Bengali culture and food never left her when she moved to the UK. Her desire to stay connected has caused her to open the Indian Arts Centre UK where Indian music and languages are taught. With some annual activities requiring homemade cooking, Sharmila’s food soon became well recognized. Family and friends sought her cooking, causing more versatile creations to emerge.

Sharmila received a PhD in Physics, so her day job involves scientific activities and when she is at home she loves to unwind by cooking, singing, dancing and doing some voluntary community work.

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gonna really really enjoy this I can tell

Pritha's picture

... thank you for giving us the privilege of our experience and expertise.. welcome :)

Pritha Lal

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