Laxmi and Jayshri's Story

In late October of 2016, six months after my mum and dad retired from selling the family dairy, I asked my mum to teach me some of her Indian cooking so I could document it.

We started with such enthusiasm and we were all go, doing 3-5 dishes a day and nearly day after day.

By the time the busy season came around, we were spent, so we took a couple of months off to celebrate a lovely Christchurch summer.

Mid March we started again, but with a new vigor, I approached mum about an idea to not only document, but design, photograph and publish a book to share with other New Zealanders. She was unsure, but slowly came on board. So the hunt started for food photographers, printers, paper stock and getting into the creative process.

It has been a journey, one that I give my mum so much gratitude for; for being patient with me when I got mad, especially when I didn’t understand some of her processing or when she forgot to use measuring spoons and cups. I’m incredibly grateful and very lucky to still have my mum here to teach me this wonderful art of Indian cooking.

I’m hoping this book is the starter for you to gain some understanding and knowledge on how some of our Gujarati dishes are made. My mum’s recipes are hers and are incredibly special to our family, as your mum’s will be to yours. The art of Indian cooking is done by intuition and everyone will have their own special touch or way to the same dish, making it even more special.

More than anything, I hope this brings an opportunity to try a Gujarati Indian dish, but not only that, I hope it brings you closer to the Gujarati Indian culture, whether you’re Indian and it’s asking your mum how she makes her dish special, or if its that Indian family or friend you know and you’ve always enjoyed the food they offer when visiting. I encourage you to make connections and find out what makes it so unique.

My deepest desire is that this cookbook inspires you to connect your heart to people through the art of cooking and food; understanding the Indian love language.

Jayshri