In the tradition of large families where gatherings often revolved around food- who cooked what and how, would the same recipe taste just as good made with chicken or kathal and where many children learnt cooking on the fly, l too learnt to cook watching my mother and often my grandfather-my mother’s father sitting before the chullah or sigri in Chomu- stirring huge pots of meats, the handle of the large ladle held sandwiched between cloth so that the palm wouldn’t develop blisters from the intense heat of the wood-fire.
That ease of stirring, the precision of a fistful of sabut Kashmiri Mirchi, the fine grind of ginger and garlic on the silbatta, the hot wafts of aromatic vapour rising when a lid was lifted- I learnt my cooking there.
I was 12 years old when I cooked my first dish, Kachri Murgh.
Since then, through school, college and working in the jungles of India I continued cooking for friends and family, learning techniques and age-old recipes from cousins and uncles in Nimaj where cooking in the traditions of the Thikana are still practised and passed on down the line.
On my return to Jaipur, when my wife Deepti and I opened up our home, Pratap Bhawan as a B&B, we welcomed travellers and Rajasthani-cuisine enthusiasts to our table.
The foods available for purchase through Pratap Bhawan Cuisines are small detours into history; my family’s food history and the larger history of the food of Rajputana.
Cooked in the traditions I learnt in the family kitchens and tweaked to meet modern palates and cooking methods we, Deepti and I, hope you enjoy our small offerings. We hope you will savour these foods with friends and family as we do and as our family has done for generations.