For the Love of India

I am 90% convinced that I was Indian in a previous life.

I have an unexplainable love for all things India — the food, Bollywood movies, miniature painting, the people and most of all, India's vibrant and highly saturated colours. 

While I was living in Singapore, watching Bollywood movies was my favourite guilty pleasure pastime. I was transfixed to the screen even though I didn't understand Hindi. I mean, what's not to love...all the characters dancing their hearts out and putting all of their emotions on their sleeves, leaving no need for interpretation. 

The other 10% of me, however, was not so convinced of my Indian past because of my inability to cook Indian food. Somehow, I manage to royally screw up every single dish, every single time. So I left Indian cuisine to the experts. 

But this week, all the signs nudged me to give it another try. I went to see The Hundred-Foot Journey, a story set in India, London and France. It's a story about food and extreme culture clash.

After the movie, I bought the book and finished it in two sittings. Reading it left me very hungry.

I decided to take matters into my own hand and attempt my own Indian meal, again. Inspired by one of the quotes from the movie "If you have the spices, spoon them in. Don't sprinkle it"; I didn't hold anything back. 

EVERYTHING is made from scratch...from the condiments to the cheese for the Palak Paneer. I even managed to make my own Khoya, something I hadn't even heard of until yesterday.

From the pictures, I think you'll agree that it is safe to say my Indian cooking curse has been lifted. 

After all, it doesn't really matter if I was Indian in my previous life,  I think I can say I can cook like one during this lifetime.


Making your own paneer is surprisingly easy, thanks to this recipe. Boil 2 litres of non UHT milk until it reaches 200F, pour in1/4 cup of lemon. Let the milk separate for 10 minutes. Put the curd on the cheesecloths. Sprinkle in 1/2 tsp of salt. Wrap the cheese and leave overnight.

Making my own khoya helps me understand Indian flavor much better

Great recipe for mango and apple chutney

Kulfi with plum sauce. I adapted my own version using homemade Khoya from these two recipes: The kulfi recipe from rosewater & pistachio kulfi  and the plum sauce from here.