It was over a conversation with fellow foodies that Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal, food writer, consultant and stylist came up with the idea for her cookbook, A Pinch of This, A Handful of That. “We were discussing how each of our distinct palates are a result of the experiences we had with food, growing up,” Ghildiyal says.
She may have grown up in a Gujarati household but her exposure to food was global, often starting with a dosa and chutney for breakfast and winding up with a light refreshing Vietnamese pho, with North Indian dal chawal and springy, soft dhoklas in between. “Food in my house was a big mix of every kind of dish from all parts of the country as well as Chinese, Thai, Italian and American favourites,” Ghildiyal shares. Her in-depth knowledge of the craft and her eclectic bank of tried and tested recipes are reflected in her 300-page book along with anecdotes and trivia, making it pleasantly interactive and very personal.
Typically, Ghildiyal credits her mother and grandmother for her cooking skills, and her mastery over the fine art of pickle making. “My grandmother was a master pickle maker. And people say I take after her,” Ghildiyal beams.
Her recipes are quick, meant for busy individuals who have no time to put together a lavish meal from scratch. Like dakkho, a dish made during Janmashtami that’s traditionally served with puris. “It takes almost the whole day to make but we have it with bread instead,” she says. Ghildiyal’s collection of recipes are comprehensive with two more volumes expected to be published over the course of the year. But one treat really close to her heart is her mum’s dal soup. “It’s my go-to comfort food. My mother always has a generous helping ready for me each time I visit,” she signs off.
Rs. 595. At Godrej Nature’s Basket, Koramangala. Details: 41317401