This is a labour of love. Plants. Books. Accumulated. Nurtured.
How do you adapt to a place? Warm up to it? Find something strange and make it familiar?
When I shifted to this city in South India, I was very apprehensive about the language, the people, new workplace, setting up a home. And also the food.
While we looked for a job and a home during our first trip here, we checked into an Airbnb where the lunch menu featured a curry called ‘Gutti vankaya’. I ordered it with my trademark ‘please don’t put dhaniya in it’. I loved it! It was cooked by a Bengali cook, yet the taste of this traditional and simple Andhra dish was unaltered. I loved the brinjals stuffed with a flavourful paste of peanuts, imli and masalas.
And I found a favourite vegetarian dish in this strange (to me) city famous for biryanis! It was what I cooked when I moved into a new home. And once every week since then!