This blog is an homage to Jaishree, a beautiful and graceful woman who has worked as the cook at the Sambhavna Trust Clinic in Bhopal, India. For years, Jaishree’s incredible food has blown the minds of clinic volunteers.
Her cooking style is an inspiration to me because of her extraordinary ability to create culinary masterpieces using ONLY VEGETABLES, very few utensils, and an oven equipped only with a two-element gas burning stove top and a mini refrigerator.
She is a genius with a pressure cooker, can whip up 3 curries and 15 chapatis in an hour, and knows how to get rid of a nasty ant problem by scattering chili powder all over the kitchen.
When I first met Jaishree in 2008 she was quiet and shy around volunteers. She spoke no English and I could only communicate my appreciate for her meals with thousands of enthusiastic “mmmmmmmmmmmmm” s. She had run into unfortunate circumstances in her life and was raising her two young sons all on her own.
4 years later, Jaishree’s children are attending good schools, achieving, high grades, learning English, and sharing their knowledge with their mom. As a result, Jaishree has come out of her shell and during my time spent at the clinic in the fall of 2011, I spent a lot more time chatting with her and most especially, learning from her authentic cooking style.
A lot of the recipes on this blog will be Indian, a lot will also be vegetarian, but it’s not limited to just those categories. I’ve invited some of my friends to contribute, and if you’d also like to, please let me know!