Growing up in India in the sixties, food and culture were intricately intertwined, and this book portrays some of the charming stories as related to the recipes in the chapters.
Stories are set in Indian villages, where mothers and grandmothers play pivotal roles in the household. Harvesting rice, coconuts and other farm products, which were the main source of income for these family homes, is fast disappearing.
The author also recounts her experiences in America as a small-restaurant chef for sixteen years, with anecdotes of encounters with famous people and the recipes they liked.
Recipes range from the ultra-traditional Kerala dishes to the highly western, with a good mix of modern Indian and Fusion dishes thrown in. The cooking is explained in easy terms to suit all kinds of tastes, while the story attached to each recipe makes it more memorable for the cook, and later on for the dinner companions.
"At India Café, on any given day, the kitchen will emanate the spicy aromas of the tandoori chicken with the sizzling sound of the masala dosa being poured on the flat griddle, and the special of the day might even be Asiago, mozzarella and Pecorino lasagna or roasted pork ribs with mango sauce and house-made hummus! The language of food is truly international!"
Priya Mary Sebastian was born in Kerala, India. She passed out of Calicut University with a Bachelor degree in English Language and Literature. When she married Dr. C Simon Sebastian in 1978, she moved to the United States and has resided here since. The author also has an MBA from Centenary College of Louisiana which she completed in 1989. The family has resided in Augusta, Georgia since then and raised their two children. She has been involved in fundraising for several area philanthropic causes such as Empty Bowl, Red Cross, Breast Cancer Society, and of late providing lunches for Emergency Room personnel battling Covid-19. Always interested in arts and culture, she has organized many cultural events and has been the President of both the Kerala Association of Augusta as well as the Indo-American Cultural Association of Augusta. One of her MBA projects became a reality sixteen years back when she opened a small 45 seat restaurant called India Café. She is still cooking and enjoying exploring the cuisines of the world.