Hello! I am Sunaina Dhir Shivpuri , I reside in Dubai with my husband and 2 children .
As a child I did not have a liking for food! and would spend hours trying to finish my lunch or dinner. Though breakfast was my favourite meal of the day because I loved , and still do love eggs cooked in any style . So breakfast for me was always eggs and toast and I wouldn’t be more ambitious.
I have a wonderful Bengali nanny who would dish out the most wonderful food ever tasted…more love than anything! Delicious memories of my mom's cooking were gobhi ke paranthe,tawa paneer,cold egg and mayo sandwiches with that cold jug of lassi(yoghurt drink) or nimbu paani(lemonade) and marble cake – delicious and perfect!
My grandmother was a perfect cook…she would read recipe books as her pastime and tell us stories of how she would make things from scratch when she was young.She has had a big role to play in my interest in food.I still have a collection of a very few recipes I learnt from her on one of my trips to her home in Mussoorie, India.She would make the most awesome indian desserts, curries, snacks ..she would probably know how to make everything …She never stopped having the zest for learning any new recipe....for me she was a Masterchef!
Since we lived in a joint family (my father lived with his mother and brother's family), initially there were 4 children in the house (my amazing cousins!) and food was always being cooked for us…my aunt would make the most lovely chocolate cupcakes which were replenished by magic and also amazing cheese toasts and apple crumble for my sister.
Food, in our home ,as most Punjabi homes was given utmost importance with a non vegetarian dish being cooked everyday and at least 2-3 vegetables with a lentil, daal , youghurt, salad , rice or roti (indian flatbread).I still remember on weekends mutton shorba would be cooked for us which we would be accompanied by simple buttered bread..yum!
So, since my childhood, where I was exposed to amazing home cooking till my education which was in hospitality at the Oberoi Center of Learning and Development in Delhi, India , I think I was destined to be affiliated with food .I fell in love with restaurants at a very early age, enjoying every moment of my dining experience.
When I got married, we shifted our base to Dubai and here I started cooking as a daily routine ..the vegetable , daal , occasional non veg and the most tough part of making doughs for roti.Everyone had taken my hotel management training for granted , but I struggled. I enjoyed the initial but challenging days cooking for my husband who dutifully ate all what I cooked .He loves home cooked food specifically indian food and that’s where I got my drive to learn and cook.
I got married into a Kashmiri family.I learnt how to appreciate Kashmiri food from my mother-in-laws kitchen. I tasted the authentic dum aloo, salan and roghan josh from her kitchen and fell in love with Kashmiri style of cooking.
In this blog , I will be talking about authentic food whether its something I have learnt or experienced at any kitchen, a friends home, restaurants ..from different parts of the world, especially where I am based i.e Dubai and my home country, India. I will be digging into the past and showcasing some authentic Indian regional recipes whose real flavours have got lost in the world of fusion.
I will be tasting food in hidden gems in Dubai , India and anywhere I travel and let you know if there is something amazing being cooked in any restaurant or place which is a must try .
I do hope you will share and be a part of my journey in search and in bringing back the flavours of the past.
Apart from my Amazing Grandmother....who is the true spirit of this blog,
I want to thank Gaurav , my dear husband who has supported me through this transition in my life and to help me realise my dream . My children, Annika and Jai for being my foodie elves and rating all that I made!..
My family- My Father and Mother ,for giving me the oppurtunity at a young age to become my own little self, giving my foddie genes and for weaving food memories for me .
My Aunt who knew how to set her amazing tables, host parties and replenishing all the food she baked for us..and My Uncle, for providing me rare phots and information on my grandmother.
My dear little sister, Simran who set the Pin Rolling with me in Chandini Chowk and was such a sport in tasting all the food ...Hoping for more travels together! and my Editor.
My sisters, Suparna , Radha and Minna for all the encouragement and to help me understand that one must follow ones own heart..
My mother in law who introduced me to the world of Kashmiri cooking..and giving me some great recipes.
My sister -in -law , Ambika for all the encouragement and being my travel partner in Lucknow and Varanasi.
My friends who wish me well everyday through their messages.. awaiting my blog.
And last but not the least...
My dear friend Feryal..who patiently replied to all my whatsapp messages ,my true critic...without whom this blog would'nt have been conceptualised....