Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Year 2012 - My First Book

Last year around October I started writing and photographing my first cook book. It's about Gujarat and its food. I am married into a Gujarati family and felt that there was a dying need for me to write down the recipes that were passed on from generations to generations in my family.

Let me tell you 13 years back I never knew how to cook North Indian Food without onion and garlic. Getting married into a Gujarati Jain family, made be open up, loosen up. Thats is when my yearning to be a home chef evolved. Although I loved to cook, I went through emotions of the do and donts of cooking. Like most other cooks, ranted and said "This way or no way".

Years passed and I relaxed, I was alone outside of India in Boston and began to experiment with cooking without onion garlic. I loved it, more experiments and I loved it further and my father in law was in Aww...

Some could not actually believe I can learn a cuisine, just by tasting it once. I would come to India for a 2 week vacation from the US, taste Gujju food at family homes and then go back and make it. No training, no recipe exchange and yea.. I though may be I am just good :)

My father in law saw my talent and said I should write a book, he was an avid writer of Jainism and a philosopher and guide. Along the way his lectures and stories inspired me to be like him, to write, to help and be a social change.

So in 2011 May, I began thinking about my book and just then, a publisher knocked at my email. And wow I was elated. Getting a publisher and running around for someone to publish your thoughts was never easy for me. I had given up. But when this came along, the elated feeling is incomparable, I was in 7th heavens. Thanks Alchemy for having taking me on board.

Very soon I made plans to travel to Gujarat. I traveled to Gujarat to capture the food and life in that state which I am related to. Ate in the oldest eating joints, walked around the beautiful towns and shopped a little. It was all about food and only food. Went into the kitchens and stood along with the cooks and watched them work with their food with utter passion. It was an experience I simply enjoyed, it was only for 3 days. I was sad, wanted to be back home with my children, who I had left with mom and mother in law, and could not have more fun.

I am sure I am going to go back there again. For a whole trip just to do more justice to many more villages and towns. When I do, I will make sure, both my children have a camera so they can capture all that their eyes see.

With dead lines to meet, I started writing, editing, clicking and more writing. By March I handed the book over to the editor and the editor to the designer. Handing over the book out was the toughest part of my life.

Scared that once the book was out of my hands, the additions and changes will stop happening.

I had to tell myself  "Just Do it" and phew.. out it went into the email boxes of the publishers. Book Status is still in the design phase, as I have one of the most sought after designers. This means, the turn for my book design will come soon.

I am still waiting for the design and print..... scared and a weird feeling, but happy.

I look back at my recipes that I have written, I feel the stories can do more justice, but for that I know the second bible on gujarat will have to wait, my second trip to the family land will do all the justice and that day is yet to come.

So in my mind.. agenda for the coming new year, a trip to the food land of Gujarat awaits.. this time with children.

10 comments:

Life Begins said...

O WOW...How nice! Good Luck for the book.

Archana Doshi said...

Thanks Life..

Simran said...

I am so looking forward to the book coming out :) :) And I need an autographed copy so after I get my pre-ordered copy (when I do that) I shall come over to get it autographed :) Double yays!!!

AJ said...

You are truly an inspiration, Archana! You are organized, methodical, logical, a good cook- in short you are everything I dream of being. Best of luck for the book, hope I get to read it soon enough.

Aparna said...

So cool to hear more in detail about your book Archana, really looking forward to owning a copy when it comes out :).

I remember the first time I wrote a recipe on my blog (one of very few ;)), and then the next time I made the item with my own recipe I was horrified with how many little details I had left out. You of course are the veteran of recipes, but even then I can only imagine how much of an enterprise writing a book would be - All the very Best!!!

Jandy said...

Echo AJ's comment. And am waiting for your book!

Sirisha said...

Good Luck ! Dont worry hard work always pays off! looking forward to the book :)

Uma said...

wow..writing and publishing a book must be such a thrilling experience, esp. when the subject is also so close to your heart.
Congrats on the book and please let us be the first persons to know of its release. Looking forward to buying and trying out the recipes.
Good luck!

Pinksocks said...

I am in the same shoes as you are. I am a punjabi girl married into a gujarati family. First year into marriage and I know mt flours. Teaching myself by leaps and bounds.
Many congratulations on the book. Would love to have one for sure :)

Prats said...

Wow!!! You have some skill set there. Would love to read your book of recipes, and it is so interesting. Good Luck for the book :)