My Kitchen Fantasy Wish List

10:26 AM

Last week was one of the craziest and most hectic week this season, possibly the craziest ever after any of the relocating stints I did over the year. I mean seriously how can you beat a mayhem of gymnasticspracticeplaydateandmorepracticeparentteacherdaygymnasicscompetitionaccrosstownandadministrativebusiness? Say that big chunk of words without catching your breath and you will just know how my week felt (don't try making sense of it, it'll give you a headache). There wasn't a single day between Monday and Saturday that wasn't booked with special events.

By Thursday, facing a whole day of no school after attending my parent teacher interaction slot at 9am I decided to take Ishita on a breakfast date (because this is the only thing sane to do, trust me on that). That breakfast date saw two marking events : Ishita is traumatized by minty watermelon juice because mint (and that stuff should not float in red liquid apparently) and I discovered a new way to eat my eggs. This last bit prompted me to spend the evening on Amazon to purchase ramekins cup followed by more times drooling over all kind of crazy or awesome kitchen items.

I do that a lot, I mean spending my evenings doing some e-window shopping and building a Fantasy Wish List. Fess up! you've done the same, come on! I know you did!
So, since I spent a quiet evening just drooling over Le Creuset dishes and funky cookie jars, I might as well share this fantasy list with you guys (you know just to get you started on yours).

This list is really just a fun fantasy,  one that would only be possible to fulfill if I suddenly came upon an unlimited amount of money. So, please, don't take it too seriously and go crib a storm in the comments about how ludicrous this all is (if you do, you are a party pooper with a rod stuck in your butt...just saying).

Oh and before I start, this post contains affiliate links, read my disclosure page to know more.

I could have started this list with a super conventional, traditional item. But, I am a quirky lady with a geeky side so my first fantasy item is this one :

It doesn't get any better than that right? I mean come on! It is a TARDIS Cookie jar!!!!! Complete with sound and light effect. If you are going to go for a cookie jar instead of a plain old plastic or tin box, this is the one to splurge on. Though I confess a R2 D2 one would have been neat too, but it wasn't anywhere to be found on Amazon India for me to drool upon (I googled it though, it exists).

If you aren't a geek, or a Dr Who fan, or for that matter a person who think their cookie box or any of their kitchen doo-dahs should look like a time traveling machine or a droid, fear not. I did add a few conventional drool worthy items to my fantasy list. Like this one :

A Kitchen Aid stand mixer! If you are a heavy duty baker, this bad boy is the tool you should aspire to own one day. There is even the possibility to buy special attachments separately to turn it into a fresh pasta making machine, and a heavy duty electric grater. Trust me, if the price wasn't so high, this one would already be in my day, one day maybe. And yes, because my name is Cyn and I love colours, it will be one in such a funky shade. If you are conventional, don't worry they have more demure looking models too.

One of the ultimate kitchen fantasy I have is having a whole set of "Le Creuset" cookware. But that would also mean having a personal small fortune at my disposal. I can't tell you how many times I have looked at the brand's entire selection online. Every single one of their items are stinking cute and bring back memories of my grand ma's kitchen full of retro pots, pans and mixing bowls.

If I had to choose only one (and this is a really hard thing to do) it would be this awesome enameled cast iron griddle pan. The brand is famous for its cast iron pans and pots, the kind that will last you a lifetime and possibly the lifetime of your children as well (if not grand children). I could not find it in the colour I wanted though, because I would pick their Caribbean range (sky blue...what else!).

I have dreams of a big stoneware pie dish, and because I didn't want to sound like a "Le Creuset" fanatic (which I probably am), I found another equally adorable one that made it to my list :

Deep pies are often served to the dinning table still in their baking dish, so these must look the part. This Staub dish caught my attention because of the cute handles. This the kind of dish I can see myself carrying to the dinning table with a pipping hot quiche in it. One day, I probably will (this would make for an awesome Christmas or Birthday gift).

Ok, I hear some of you fuming and complaining that my fantasy list has only ridiculously and outrageously pricey items (didn't I mention it was a FANTASY list?). Anyway, what about these :

These are less of a "If I ever win the lottery" fantasy than they are to become a likely purchase in my future. These old fashioned rubber seal jars are just the perfect thing to store your flavoured butters, home made pickles and chutneys in style. Again, they bring back memories from my childhood.

I might not be always for geeky, quirky items, but that doesn't mean I am not most of the time. if I can find a quirky alternative to something otherwise blah, I will go for it. You know something like this :

Why go for a boring loose tea infuser when you can get an awesome looking whale one? That is provided nobody runs after you holding a straight jacket for thinking spending over 2k on a tea strainer is normal. It's a fantasy list you people!!!!! Don't send me back to the weird room with padded walls!

Last but not least, what about this awesome way to have your half boiled eggs:

A R2 D2 Egg cup!!!! I couldn't find the cookie jar to put on my list, but this one satisfies the Star Wars fan in me. If you'd like to know I also found a R2 D2 kitchen timer, and light saber BBQ thongs (with sound effect). I won't post the links there, because now it is your turn to go wild and go on a e-window shopping spree and have fun.

Meanwhile, I'll go back to waiting for my very demure and elegant looking ramekins cups to arrive. Once it does I'll be in egg cocotte mode (with a recipe to share to the key).

Now, tell those guys in white coats to just back off already!

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  1. Anonymous11:11 AM

    Even for heavy duty bakers the kitchen aid ended up being more of a decor item on the granite counter lol..unless you're into the American style of making multiple batches of icing for layered cakes that too on a regular basis then maybe investing in it might be a thought. Many of my friends are totally regretting their decision of buying it and some have already sold it. One of my Asian friends who has a cake channel on YT adviced me to get that electric whisk and beaters instead of a kitchen aid because when using the kitchen aid you need to do in like really large quantities else it won't work. And for a family of four she told me its quite a waste. Plus maintaining that thing is no joke.
    I badly wanted to own one but I don't think I will.

    1. Darn, that puts things into perspective, though I would totally be the one to make huge batches of dough and cakes for the freezer. Heck I do that already. I do have a small hand held beater that I use a lot already. The idea of getting the grater attachment and the pasta making attachment sounds good though. I have limited space in my kitchen so too many bulky one purpose only appliances is not an option. I had a food processor that had grating disks, but it was a horizontal plate so it didn't work well. Growing up my mom had a heavy duty grater and slicer that we used for salads and cheese fondue mix all the time. I would totally see myself making monster batch of grated cheese for the freezer, because manually grating cheese is. Something I really hate doing :-) ok manually grating stuff in general goes on my nerves because when I take the grater out that is because I am doing something big.

    It is mine alll MINE!!!!
    I originally had the same KA mixer when I lived in the US (gifted to me my my mom when I was 15 yrs old) in 80's hunter green - hunter green was like so classy & chic in the 80's remember?
    I nearly cried when I sold it & moved to India. But I was told the voltage change in India would fry the motor of my beloved KA mixer even with a step down convertor- so I reluctantly sold it.
    Three years ago in a Delhi mall there was a shop specializing in baking supplies that had just opened with that gorgeous pink KA mixer in the window. My husband balked at the price but I refused to leave until we bought it. AND IT IS MINE ALLL MINE!!!!!
    Anyhow, my only complaint is that the new KA mixer isn't quite the same quality as my 80's KA mixer- the motor seems to lug under strain at times (NEVER happened with the 80's KA mixer) and some of the screws in the base got rusty (NO rust ever on my 80's KA mixer).
    To Heather- My KA mixer does quite well for smaller recipes, it has a whisk, beater, paddle, & dough hook for kneading. I do find The new KA mixer won't handle my BIG AMERICAN batches of cookies or bread dough like the old 80's KA mixer.
    Now I would love a decent HEAVY set of pots & pans in my fantasy kitchen.
    I have a set of some fancy Italian brand that's thick & ok but has warped with use & the finish looks like crap. I would love a Calphalon or All Clad stainless steel cookware set.
    In my dream kitchen I would love to have my HUGE AMERICAN Kitchen Aid double oven range with 6 burner stove top & built in exhaust system- just like I had at my house & California.
    Oh yes, and a KA dishwasher again too.

    1. Awwwwww I envy you, that KA mixer is looking so cute. Seriously cute. My dream kitchen would have a huge oven too. Because I bake a lot.

      Pots and pans wise, the best decision I made in India was to get rid of all these cheap non stick woks and frying pans, and get hard anodised cookware. I lost too many of these non stick to maids who can't wash them without scrubbing the crap out of it, and the other half warped and would not stay put on the stove. This non stick trend is one I would love to see dying once and for all.

      I bought a non stick Dutch oven 2 years ago, it is still good because I hide it and I wash it myself, but it doesn't conduct the heat as well as a good old cast iron one would, or even a stoneware cocotte. People who say you need a lot of oil to cook in old fashioned pots and pans really don't know that the trick is in the "seasoning the pan" and heating it at high temp and then reduce it to medium low before putting the food in.

      A while ago, my maid cribbed about my hard anodised dosa taw a because the batter would stick. I actually had to teach her how to make dosa on it! Because she wanted to do everything on high heat to gain time and cook faster she even told me I should buy a "better" pan. No freaking way...nope!

    2. All my 'non stick' teflon pans have been destroyed also. I hated them anyway- you really don't use that much less oil as you say.
      In addition to seasoning the pan my mom had a rule -
      "Hot pan + cold oil = food won't stick."
      My mom had a bistro type restaurant for 12 yrs in California.
      Have you found any of the hard anodised cookware brands available in India to be better quality than others?

    3. When we got married my MIL was happy to give us a Hawkins Futura pressure cooker she had no use for. That thing sold us completely to the institution and brand. We broke no less than 3 prestige cooker, which all got deformed under the pressure over the past decade. That Futura cooker is still used daily today, haven't lost shape, and we didn't even replace the seal once so far, and we have been using it since 2006. Needless to say that when I decided to get rid of all the crappy cookware in 2010 I was already a huge fan of the brand. Our two Kadai, the heavy bottom skillet and the dosa tawa are from Futura. I will replace the chapati tawa soon, and that will be a hard anodised one too. All our sauce pans are still the good old stackable steel pans.

    4. Anonymous8:54 AM

      What's exactly the difference between anodised and non stick? Please spare the technical details and give me a recipe oriented answer. Oh I would totally agree with the Hawkins brand. Three to four of prestige cookers have gone kaput and so I started with Hawkins. Now I have three Hawkins cookers. I had a non branded anodised wok/kadai but I found very little use for it. Things always got stuck to it when I used it to even shallow fry. I've already lost count of my non stick tawas which I usually use it for dosas and pancakes and I used a solid black cheap iron tawa for my chapatis. But even branded non stick tawas go bad really soon and cooking on a low flame takes every long because u have a full time job and can't afford to spend 12 mins standing just for 3 dosas. I have seen the anodised cookware range from Hawkins like saucepans and pots and tempted to get some but I don't know how they work. I have those cheap aluminium pots and pans for cooking basic stuff but again they're not ideal for serving whereas those anodised pots are cook and serve. I have a non stick kadai for stir fries but it'll only be a while before it starts to lose its coating.

    5. From a recipe view point, there is little difference really. You need oil in both non stick and hard anodised for your food to taste good. What is scary with non stick is that the Teflon coating is actually NOT made to withstand high heat over a long period and will leak chemicals into your food. So since both the hard anodised cookware and the non stick are supposed to be used at medium heat, I don't see the point of non stick.

      Hard anodised pans will last you VERY long time because they are thicker, and won't loose their shape. Non stick pans are basically just cheap aluminium pans that have been given a fancy coating to make them look better.

      It actually doesn't take much more time to cook on medium heat trust me. In a regular pan without non stick coating you need to coat the surface in oil, this is called seasoning and then heat it, once the pan is hot, add your oil and cook. Another mistake people do too often is to heat the cooking oil along with the pan. As bibi said, the pan need to be hot first and then the cold oil goes in.

      In the end, non stick is harmful to health, Teflon is a substance that is used to waterproof textile and make them stain resistant. When I worked as a decorator and sofa maker, we used that stuff to spray sofas, we wore respirators to do the job because you really don't want to inhale that stuff....sadly, it seems it is just fine to eat it.
      2-3 minutes extra of cooking time is really a small price to pay to stay healthy with that in mind.

      As I said I would love to see this non stick trend to die once and for all, and for good old fashioned sturdy cast iron pans to make an affordable comeback. In the meantime, I'll go for hard anodised cookware whenever I can.

    6. I was curious as to what the difference between Teflon & anodized cookware too so I did a bit of research-
      Teflon is a just non stick coating on aluminum cookware (which makes no sense to me because how do you get something that's non stick to stick to something?) that is unfortunately easily scraped off by the rigors of cooking & cleaning.
      Anodized cookware is basically aluminum cookware that has been hydroelectrically treated to harden the aluminum to the strength of stainless steel cookware, and has a layer of oxidization that gives the cookware the non-stick consistency of Teflon-coated pans. Anodized cookware has been shown to be extremely durable, resists scratches and is non-porous, meaning it won’t absorb smells from the food that has been cooked in it.

    7. Hard anodised usually don't have a non stick coating as such, used improperly and the food will stick to the bottom which makes many crib, especially when it comes to egg pans and dosa tawa. Hard anodised is far more heat resistant than non stick pans too.

      One thing that shocks me with Teflon coating pans is that they are so hugely popular in India and marketed as the next best thing, but they aren't compatible with gas stoves. Teflon starts breaking down at a molecular level if the temperature exceed 500 degrees Fahrenheit. And open flame will just do that in seconds. All the non stick pans I had in India barely lasted a year before being all scratched and peeling, in the case of a particularly cheap one the coating started bubbling and peeling after 2 months. The prestige Kadai I had was totally gone in a year, and that was not even due to the maid abusing it while washing, it was just from being on a hot flame. So if a non stick pan costing 1000 rupees last me a year but a 2k hard anodised one last me 5 years and counting without even a scratch to it, I guess we all see which one is a sound investment. Sadly very few see it that way.

      And with Indian cooking relying on oil as a medium for flavours in the food, there is zero point whatsoever to go for a non stick since oil will still be needed in the recipe to achieve the right taste.

      I did some research yesterday, interestingly you would be better off cooking a tomato gravy in an enamel coated pan, cast iron and hard anodised both will react to the acidity in the tomatoes and give an odd colour and taste to the tomatoes.

      I think our modern kitchens being so tiny we want pans that will cook everything so that we don't have to buy overspecialised pans that will take a crap load of space.

  3. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Most of the kitchen gadgets are fantastic but sometimes the grinders are so powerful that they end up grinding things very fine like powder. There are things like poppy seeds which need to be slightly roughly grounded. The poppy seeds need to retain that slightly crunchy taste which can be obtained only on a stone grinder. My mom used to make poppy seeds fried patties which was a favourite of me and my father.

    The stone slab had tiny depressions which had to be chiselled to make them prominent. There were people who were engaged in these jobs. Like a lot of the these occupations they too seemed to have faded away with time.

    Another very important piece of equipment was called "Daranti" which we call "Boti" in Bengali. A blade mounted on a wooden platform. This is used by fish sellers to cut fish. At home we used a smaller version of it. This is mostly used by Bengalis and South Indians. North Indians mostly use knifes. I was amazed at how my mother used it to cut everything from something as big as potato to as small as chilli. Peeling, grating, cutting without a single injury especially when the gravity is pulling you towards the blade at a fast pace.

    These equipments looked unwieldy and clumsy but women used it with such efficiency and I used to get amazed at this.


    1. In continental cuisine we had the mortar and pestle do to that exact same job, and they were usually big, made of granite usually. They still exist and are still sold in Europe but on a downgraded size to fit the tiny modern kitchen. You can get coarse grinding in a mixie by the way, if you blend slowly. The problem is people are always tempted to put their electrical gadgets at high speed to be done as quickly as possible and end up with the wrong consistency. You can also get a coarse grind using a stick blender.

      I don't think modern gadgets are less efficient at doing the job of a traditional tool. The big massive problem we face today is that people lead busy lives and want to use everything as fast and hard as possible. The high flame on the stove should ideally only be used to heat pans before putting oil in and for searing food, yet people do their entire cooking process at a high flame. It kills the food, the flavour and make the oil break to unhealthy level. One of the most common mistake I have seen done by many is to heat the oil until the smoking point along with the pan and then throw the onions, spices and whatnot in. It burns the food before it got a chance to release any flavour. My grand ma always said that it is the pan that cooks, not the oil, and that oil should be treated as a fine ingredient and vessel for other flavours...that was in continental cuisine mind you. But I noticed that on all cooking shows, those professionals that cook Indian food apply the very exact same wisdom and never let the oil heat alone in the pan but along with the aromatic spices such as jeera, cardamom, and mustard seeds.

      As I said above, the worst trend is the non stick cookware, they are totally incompatible with gas stove cooking and Indian cooking.

    2. I still use a small marble mortar & pestle I bought in Italy to grind things 'coarsely' like black peppercorns, brown & green cardamoms, fennel seeds, poppy seeds. By 'pulsing' the mixie like Cyn says I can get almost the 'coffee grounds' texture I'm looking for in some spices.
      Kashmiris use a HUGE mortar & pestle for a lot of their traditional dishes. The mortar (cup shaped part) is made of local limestone & the pestle is made of hardwood & about 8" in diameter & 2 meters long- you must stand to use it. Traditionally wheat was ground in these huge mortars & pestles. Certain chutneys (especially radish & lotus root) & meats for the some of the dishes of the famed Kashmiri Wazwan (like gushtaba) require pounding by this method also. Every Kashmiri household used to have one. As you can imagine it was hard work lifting a log sized pestle repeatedly to grind things. Now you find these old mortars abandoned in old courtyards & around old houses in Kashmir. I have an old Kashmiri mortar in my garden I use as a birdbath.
      I've seen on Indian cooking shows also where they demonstrate cooking the spices 1st in smoking hot oil & then adding in the onions, then garlic and ginger or whatever. Then like you say the spices are scorched and have a burnt or bitter taste which ruins the dish. I think a lot of beginners attempting to cook Indian food make this mistake also & wonder why their dishes taste badly.
      I've also seen Indians fry spices in pressure cookers 'to release the flavor' then pressure cook the entire dish- What's the point of frying the spices if they're going to get pressure cooked at 400 degrees or however ungodly hot it gets inside pressure cookers again?
      I've had better luck with frying the onions first to whatever stage of 'brown' I'd like them, then adding the garlic/ginger/tomatoes & lastly putting the spices in before simmering or pressure cooking the dish to desired doneness.

    3. I usually put the onions in the cold oil before adding the spices too, everything releases its due flavour better that way.
      I am amazed at how a common mistake it has become to bring the oil to the smoking point while the pan heats. It kills everything, and there is that idea that the oil is what actually cooks the food too. Unless it is deep frying the oil only serve as a medium for flavours and a way to protect the food against the hot surface of the pan and it should never be smoking, not even while deep frying.
      My maid does this pressure cooking thing with spice, I really don't see the point of it, and it really just kills all flavour the food had because it turns into an overcooked mess. Her reasoning is that we asked her to cook with less oil and that our hard anodised Kadai is not non stick...I showed her how to use the Kadai properly but she refuse to do it because it takes too much time to cook! Sigh! DH doesn't mind that mulsh in his tiffin though, so ok, whatever!

    4. Anonymous10:33 AM

      I was not talking about mortar and pestle but "Sil Batta" i.e. a flat stone slab and a squarish or cylindrical rolling stone which looks like this

      Those huge stone mortar and pestle are found in rural India. My most abiding memory of kitchen equipment is still the "Dranti" the blade mounted on platform. It is quite a unique and formidable cutting equipment.

      Not just this equipment, there was a whole industry revolving around it. Nomadic people who exchanged steel pots and pans for clothes, people who chiselled the grooves on the "Sil Batta", roaming mechanics who repaired pressure cookers, shops that engraved names on brass utensils. Now, you have to really search hard if you want to get your umbrella or pressure cooker repaired. These people have disappeared from our eco system.

      We had a big brass water pot, huge plates, heavy glasses etc. from my parent's marriage. A brass water pot and big plate is still given to the bride in our community. Much of which is still used as pooja utensils.


    5. You are aware that sil batta are just a horizontal version of the mortar and pestle right? That they do the same job and that they work on the exact same principle of friction and weight causing the grain to split. This post is aabout a FANTASY kitchen wish list post on a LIFESTYLE blog.

      I am going to state what has been on my mind for a little while now, I don't mind the occasional reference to some age old Indian practice that is fading away for all the right reasons in this modern society. But not on every single posts, and not with the idea that every single stuff I write about HAS to be complemented by the virtue of traditionalism. Or that for any reason I need to be educated about the same all the time. My life in India is the way it is, I didn't marry my husband for his cultural background, or aspire to be a traditional Indian wife (my husband would not have married me if that is what he wanted).

      I changed the blog title and the general tone of it for a solid reason, I DO NOT want to be "that firangi turning Indian" label. So in the future, I would appreciate that you do not try to suggest an Indian way to ALL that I post. When I post a recipe, or a craft project, this is how it is, as it is. I don't want suggestions on how to desify it (like adding jeera to an ancestral traditional SWISS Christmas cookie). Just one example out of many....

    6. Yeah, no need to go desi for everything Apple. And using what is essentially a sickle is just dangerous. I watched my mother-in-law and sister-in-law use one. It's obsolete and it's dangerous.
      Why are we talking about ancient Indian tools when we could be talking about how lovely and colorful Cyn is, based on her choice fantasy kitchen wish list. :)

      It's seriously very cute, Cyn.

      Apple take a moment to think about Cyn. I know you have been a loyal commenter here, for awhile now. But how well do you really know her, based on what you have read? By now, you must know that she is very unique. And despite having married an Indian, she is a very lovely non-Indian who has several Indian elements in her life. She just wants to be recognized for who she is, not who she should or could be, according to anyone else.

      I think it's time to stop bringing Indian elements into the conversation, when clearly there is no Indian element here. Just a thought. ;)

      After all, I wouldn't ask you to add maple syrup to your rotis or give you a speech about the origin of split-pea soup when all you wanted to do was eat daal chawal. :)

      All the best. ~

  4. Kashmiris use a version of the 'sil batta' also. There's an entire village outside of Srinagar that carves sil battas. The problem with the sil batta is that it's so darned exhausting to use like the large mortar & pestle, that stone belan is HEAVY!
    There are a few nomadic tribes here in Nepal that still trade in traditional wooden containers for rice & what not. The Xares are a rarely seen tribe that carve large lidded wooden barrels out of whole tree trunks that were used to store rice & dal. Now plastic containers for rice & dal have put them out of the wooden container business. Apparently they've switched to ridding villages of nuisance animals like monkeys & stray dogs as a living. I've only seen & dealt with them once in a very rural village in western Nepal, they didn't know what money was & would only barter for food & goods. I was told they follow a migration route that takes them 12 yrs to repeat & spans the entire Himalayas. Rumor has it they eat the dogs & monkeys they catch.
    I've seen umbrella repairmen in Delhi on the streets, lots of shoe repairmen too.

    1. The 'dranti' is still used here in Nepal too.

  5. Anonymous4:59 PM


    I am sorry if I offended you in anyway. It was never my intention. Whatever you make whether a craft project or recipe is fantastic. How can I possibly suggest something to make it more perfect. It is perfect. I really appreciate the multiple talents that you have. That is what draws me to this blog. I marvel the fact that you keep your creative side alive in the rough and tumble of everyday life. I somewhat envy you. I wish I had these fantastic talents.
    It is never my attempt to desify you or teach you about Indian ways or put it as some kind of complimentary elements. You have already found that balance between the cultures. I have often made references to the old ways to compare and contrast between our present and past lifestyles. As most people do when they reach a certain stage in their life and reminiscent about their childhood. A starting point for an interesting conversation. As I draw from my childhood experiences or otherwise, the elements are invariably Indian. I don’t do it deliberately.
    You being a creative person I have often suggested things like have you tried something with a Indian theme in art, there is something similar in my cuisine, check it out etc. It is in no way to suggest that whatever you do is less than perfect or impose my culture on you. Yes, I admit that I should have started with an appreciation of your talent. This I admit was my fault. A suggestion should come after you acknowledge something and should be put forth politely.
    My references to traditional Indian kitchen equipments was a little out of place here. But I spoke from my heart about those things which I associate with the sights and smell of my kitchen when my mother was alive. Everybody knows that old kitchen equipment is not practical in today’s fast pace life. Your kitchen wish list is fantastic.
    My attempt has always been to have a conversation. If in that process I have offended you in any way, then I am apologetic for it. It was never an intention to hurt you.


    1. Apologies accepted :-)

    2. Anonymous9:02 PM

      Phew!!! I am relived. No offence meant I want to say something which has been on my mind for quiet sometime. Why do you suppose that learning more about Indian culture will turn into an Indian? Nobody can indianize you if you don't want to. I know that this fear of losing one's own culture is always at the back of a foreigner's mind and rightly so. Indian culture is sometimes very stifling and demanding even for Indians.
      I look at it in a different way. You leant English which was not your mother tongue, then met your husband through it, build a blog, interacted with people from around the world and also learnt new skills. I am talking to you only because we both understand English. The language becomes a medium of understanding each other, culture, point of views etc. A highway where thoughts zip around in both directions. It is an enriching experience. I have leant a lot from you.
      I tend to look at all languages and cultures in the same way. It opens up possibilities which you never knew existed. Suppose tomorrow you become fluent in Hindi (a hypothetical situation) and are able to read hindi newspapers, journals, poetry, classic literature etc. Won't it be fun and a personal accomplishment. A positive addition. Who knows it may open up possibilities. Lots of things are lost in translation like delicate urdu poetry which when translated become something else.
      I, a bengali born outside bengal, was not able to read my mother tongue. This caused we great anguish. One day I picked up comic books in bengali and learnt it word by word. I came home and read all the books in bengali that I could lay my hands on. Tagore, Bankim Chandra, Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay etc. all the great poets/novelists came alive. Of course the motivation to learn the language came from within. At the end, a personal and unexpected triumph. I wish I could learn Tamil, Telegu, Oriya and other languges of India because I am fond of languages and the culture that comes with it. Why just Indian I wish I could learn French, Italian, Russian, the list is endless. Alas, I do not have the opportunity.
      I am not suggesting that you start learning Hindi. That would be very rude of me. It is not just about a langauge but any new aspect of the culture. Languages and cultures are powerful, positive and enriching mediums. You are not incomplete if you don't know hindi. Far from it.
      I do not understand the fear of Indian culture and I have seen it on the other blogs also. To some extent it is understandable but after sometime it become negative. I don't know about others but whatever little I know about you, you are extremely strong and confident and have no reasons to fear anything. There is nothing under the sun that can take away your identity cultural or personal no matter what anybody says.
      I also understand that many foreign women had Indian culture thrust upon them and also those aspects which are less than desirable. I would have been resentful if I was in their position.
      I am merely suggesting that it would be wonderful for anyone to learn a new language, culture, way of life etc. I feel it is a part of personal growth, you become a mutli faceted personality a better human being.
      Only a strong and expert swimmer can dive into a turbulent sea and come out with pearls because he can, depths do not scare him. I hope I have not offended you in anyway.


    3. Apple,
      I don't think Cyn has a fear of Indian culture nor any other culture.
      It's just that 'desifying' everything isn't what Cyn's blog is about.
      If you wish to participate in ANY blog it's polite to stay on the host's given topic & not derail the conversation onto whatever YOU would like to talk about.
      Us expat ladies have enough 'Indian' culture forced on us without choice, or are often told by Indians that we have 'no culture'. Many Indians will lump white people into one group & assume all whites are like the British (WHICH IS PATENTLY ABSURD & FALSE). Please try & empathize with persons who have to suffer through these frankly rather rude Indian behaviors frequently.
      Cyn, Crystal, & I are just asking you stay on topic.
      Sincerely & without malice,

    4. As Bibi said, we expats living in India are CONSTANTLY told that we only eat junk food, have no family value, no sense of community, that we basically have no culture with examples on how India has more culture and how it is older a civilisation...blah blah blah. If I asked one rupee for every single time someone asked me if I could even cook at all I would be a rich woman nowadays. Then there is that ridiculous idea that the entire West is either British or American and that all one see on TV is true.

      It's not a fear of Indian culture, or any culture, it is just that India is all around me, I went to a great extent to understand it, and yet the favour is not returned. I get that the colonial hangover is one reason, but I found that the more "educated" the person the worst the stereotypes get. I even have a couple of doctors just tell me to start eating Indian food, because only Indian food is healthy when I came in with weight issues. They assumed without even asking me about my lifestyle that my being a foreigner makes me a junk food addict. If it was just one doctor fine, but over the past decade I can remember 6 deifferent doctors guilty of that crap, even in the case of me visiting a pediatritian because my daughter had a viral was all about how I had it coming feeding her junk food, without even asking me what she was eating or how our lifestyle was.

      As I said, my blog is not the typical firangi in India blog because I have been long enough in India to really not want to be labelled that way. The decision to change the name of said blog last year was because I wanted it to be a lifestyle blog that doesn't focus on just India and cultural differences but be about living a fun colourful life of crafts, decor and food and an excuse to take more photo and go back to dabble in graphic design and play with picture editing. Because that is what I love doing. I am a crazy colours loving, shorts and leggings wearing artist and foodie who happens to live in Mumbai because life took me there along with my husband, daughter, cat and dog.

    5. Cyn,
      I wonder about this trying to 'desify' thing before they even understand things that Indians typically do. Like I was teaching my 22 yr old Kashmiri niece how to make Thai style yellow chicken curry. She had never even tasted ANY Thai food nor had any idea how the yellow curry was supposed to taste. Immediately she wanted to brown the chicken 'like Kashmiris do' before we put it into the curry. I explained to her that is not the way Thais cook chicken- there is no 'browned' chicken flavor in Thai food. She looked at me completely puzzled. I suppose it's hard for Indians to believe there's any other way to cook than theirs?

    6. Bibi, I have experienced similar things over the year. Once, I had a friend who wanted me to teach her how to make pasta the proper Italian way. And while I was showing it to her she kept making comments on how it would be so much simpler to just put ketchup on them rather than go through the hassle of using a blend of tomato concentrate and fresh tomatoes for the sauce, and then she argued tooth and nail that there has to be potatoes in past for them to be proper pasta...hello! Didn't you ask me to TEACH you how to make real authentic pastas?

      In Europe when people ask to be taught Indian cooking, they want to learn and don't make crazy suggestion and challenge you. Especially if who ever teach them is an expert. You won't find a European student go to a Thai cooking class and suggest to substitute coconut milk with fresh cream.

      I don't mind people not knowing things before hand at all, I really really really mind the "Oh but you can do it the Indian way" as if said way is better.

    7. HAH!
      ROFL laughing!!!
      I'm glad it's not just me this has happened to!

  6. I've been cooking peppers and onions in the skillet on the grill a lot lately. I'll have to add jalapenos next time. Yum. I like cooking bacon that way too, although hot fat + open flame adds a nice element of danger. I used to get flank steak, but my husband got me to try the carne asada cut from our local market, and I prefer it. Not sure if it's thin-cut flank or skirt (I'll have to ask), but it looks like this 


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