Cooking is an art and I strongly agree with this. A painting is just not simply a collection of strokes on a canvas; it is also an expression of the artist’s state of mind. This mental content is absorbed by the person looking at the painting. Similarly if we cook food with spiritual consciousness, then we are sure to absorb a dose of materialistic mental energies. Food should always be eaten with concentrated mind. That is why elder people always say not to talk or do any other things whilst eating.

Cooking is like meditation, so do eating food. The cook acts upon the food not only physically but also mentally. Food influences our consciousness.

Most of the Indian restaurants in London display a note that Indian food tastes better if you eat with hands. True. The philosophy behind this is that eating is a very sensual thing and one should be able to enjoy eating with as many senses as possible – looking, touching, smelling and tasting. Besides, eating with hands forces people to wash their hands before and after eating, which many other cultures do not do.

Eating with hands is more satisfying because the food and the mouth touch the nerve-endings of the fingers, enhancing taste. Those who do not have the habit of eating with hands and want to implement it, may require a degree of practice.

I am going to introduce Indian cooking mostly my native’s (Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh). One must be wondering why I named my blog as ‘Ashwatham’. There is a small story behind this. Ashwatham is a very small village near Thadpatri (Ananthpur District). I came to know about this place after my marriage as my husband’s grandparents live near that village. There is a famous temple for Lord Shiva. My husband is a great devote of Lord Shiva and so am I. The specialty of the temple is the swayambu lingam. Not only that, the lingam has protruded from the Srichakram. The priest has explained about this as ‘Ammavaari lo nunchi ayyavaru puttukochadu’ (God has born from Goddess) which is a rare thing.

Most importantly, the thing which I liked over there is the koneru (Small canal) passing next to the temple. The devotees usually take a bath in the koneru and take pradakshinam around the most sacred tree ‘Ashwatham’ and then enter into the temple and offer flowers and coconut to Lord Shiva. Another thing I was impressed with is, the priests won’t take a single penny as dhakshina. Where as in many temples, I have to say almost in every temple the priests will take the dhakshina and no surprise a few do insist for dhakshina. The temple will be very crowd during ‘Magha masam’, the month (Feb / March) in which Shivratri comes.

I will try my best to explain the recipes with simple steps and pictures which will help you to follow. All the recipes will be illustrated with photographs, which I think will be a great help to you, because a large part of the success of a meal lies in its appeal to the eye. Food should both taste and look good. I hope that you will find it a pleasure to follow my blog. I also hope that it will provide an incentive to try all sorts of dishes that you haven't met before. I will also publish photos related to nature, my journeys, and interior designing.

About me

I’m Padma, wife of a wonderful person and mother to 2 kids and want to be a wonderful wife, mom and person. I am a person always with hectic schedules, currently dealing with 2 full time jobs, as a mother and as an employee.

I live in London. Art is my passion. I believe that every thing is an art. As many Indians are aware that there are 64 varieties of arts told by Lord Krishna, among them Cooking, Photography, painting which I am keen about. I always want to be busy and feel like 24 hours a day are just not enough. Always set up targets and aim to achieve them. Thriving towards cooking and photography draws me to start this blog. As a child I was always very curious in learning things particularly on my own by observing others and without having any formal training. I still remember at the age of 8 or 9 experimenting with my first recipe. I have prepared bhaji with moderate success (Of course with out my mom’s knowledge). My mom is my inspiration. She has got great talents apart from cooking, like painting, hand embroidery, stitching and most importantly singing.