Hi, I’m Nat, welcome to my blog.
Over here you will find lots of good food that I hope gets you excited about cooking as I do when seized with greed for good grub. What you see on here should at least get you breaking out into your happy dance! Now that would certainly be a notch on my apron, if I wore one.
Anyway, the dishes featured may or may not be very different to similar recipes elsewhere because they are from everywhere and incorporate hours of obsessive culinary day dreaming that regularly disrupt the natural order of things at home. Yes, I am very much the chaotic home cook, with a hunger scale default set to ravenous.
I am also Anglo-Indian which means being barraged by a mix of different culinary influences. Yeah, we’re the makers of the vindaloo and curries and foogath, the last of which I hate with a passion. But wait, a multi-cultural heritage has its advantages – it means I cook curries, cookies, meat fries and pies with equal gusto. So, you will find that natsfoodstories often reflects this culinary eclecticism, although a considerable chunk of content is motivated by greed and anything glazed with barbeque sauce.
For those of you new to the term Anglo-Indian, it refers to the people of predominantly British and Indian ancestry born in Colonial India. I always describe us as the last vestiges from the days of the British Raj. But if we encountered each other on the street there’s little about our appearance that would give away an Anglo-centric lineage, not even a wardrobe ensemble of tailored suits or china-patterned crockery. Of course, to a foreigner, a distinct native-speaker like English fluency – known as the Anglo-Indian dialect – is always an unexpected hit that prompts a double-take. Say what!
Few people, if any, know about the existence of this whole other sub-culture in India which – though born and raised in the sub-continent – still embraces the culture and customs of its Colonial ancestors. I, for one, always feel acutely uncomfortable when I try to resolve the confusion surrounding my very un-Indian way of life. It’s not because I’m not proud of where I come from, but at times you feel caught amidst the crosshairs of cultural dichotomy and as much as you know you identify with the culture of your ancestors, it’s difficult to find acceptance sometimes in the context of how little is known of Anglo-Indian culture. The eye-ball popping moment is when I answer `English’ to questions about what my mother-tongue is! Sometimes a quick history lesson satisfies the curiosity that ensues.
So, this blog is also a memoir of sorts capturing all about me that is English, Indian and everything in between – there’s French, Portuguese and Jamaican too somewhere in the ancestry line, but enough history for the day, eh!
The plan is to have each recipe unfold like pages in a book that draws on an extremely colourful past about growing up among a singularly vivacious people! It’s one of the ways I’m hoping we get to know each other. It is also a way for me to relive childhood memories of a fairly strict upbringing that once provoked rebellious tantrums but which now provide great amusement and laughter. And in places where narrative inspiration ebbs, we will still have plenty of good food to go around.