Documenting Authentic Gujarati Cuisine
When the Laxmi first moved to Christchurch and had to cook for her husband and the extended Ganda family, she had no cookbook to follow. Much of what Laxmi knew was by observing her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law rather than reading recipes. "We would just make the recipe up or watch someone do it, then put it together a few times, we cooked on an open flame – we didn't have electricity or gas." she says, before laughing. "Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't."
Younger generations or those just starting to learn about Gujarati cuisine flavours were passed down the same way - through observation. That was until Laxmi's daughter Jayshri persuaded her mum to take generations' worth of family recipes and commit them to paper, resulted was not only a living piece of family history, but an entry point into understanding the lifestyle of growing up as a Gujarati in a Western country like NZ.
When writing these processes down, Jayshri and Laxmi went through eight months of multiple rounds of cooking the recipes together, with Laxmi writing down steps as they went.
It wasn't just people who had grown up with Gujarati food that were thrilled to finally have written down versions of family recipes; there were also a considerable number of people who had married into Gujarati families and wanted to learn how to cook for their partners and in-laws. Food, as always had the power to bring people together.
The book, brilliantly titled A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That, was a runaway success and when I ask them if they've considered making a follow-up cookbook, Laxmi immediately jokes, "not with me".
Our style of cooking
I already had a book and brought 2 more as gifts. Younger family members have said this our Gujarati style of cooking.
- Vajiya Patel, Auckland
Reminds me of my mothers and grandmothers cooking
Great book, very colorful, easy to follow recipes, and informative.
- K Patel, NZ
"..precisely replicate my mother's cooking"
A beautiful book. The recipes precisely replicate my mother's cooking. Thank you so much
- Kirty Patel , UK
Easy to follow recipes
This cookbook has so many easy to follow recipes having tackled many ofthe recipes in this book it is not that hard at all.
- Dharmesh B