Growing up in an Indian family, food is a big deal.
Some Indian families have a rice ceremony for a one year old baby; the baby is given its first taste of rice, the staple of the Indian diet. Surrounded by loved ones, the parents gently give the baby a morsel of rice, followed by plate holding a pen, pile of dirt, or money; whatever the baby picks up, will determine its future career (doctor, lawyer businessperson).
Every house party has its intricate layout. My mother is an amazing cook. My family hails from the state of Karnataka, in South Indian, and Karnatik cuisine is delightful. Carefully, my mother would plan her menus: four different types of rice, six different vegetables, home made yogurt, gulab jamoons soaking up sweet syrup. My father would also contribute to the menu, preparing perfectly round pooris, fried bread puffs, and the standard dish in Mysore: dosas. Paper thin, always crispy and hot, my father is a legend for his rice pancakes.
However, being raised in small town Ohio created very few opportunities to eat out. The local restaurants consisted of Chinese food, Ponderosa, Bob Evans, and a local eatery with the best sugar cream pie. When we'd travel to the big city (Dayton), we'd eat at the temple: simple, delicious, vegetarian food, Or, if my dad was lucky (he, unlike my mother, was a meat eater), we'd venture to Amar India for the lunch buffet. Rich Punjabi curries with perfectly cooked meat, puffy, crispy naan, and thick mango lassis. To this day, it is still my family's favorite North Indian restaurant, and caters every party we have.
I didn't really try different foods until I moved to Columbus. In college, my circle of friends had diverse backgrounds, and diverse palates. I tried hummus for the first time, and my first bulgoki.
I soon grew to love all types of food, and in Columbus, I have favorites restaurants, everywhere. Working in politics, people ask for recommendations on where to eat. I would always give a referral in such detail that many have told me, "Lakshmi, why don't you start a food blog?"
So, here goes.
I'm starting this blog, and will be working my way through Columbus talking about my favorite places to eat, and sampling new ones along the way. I know that there are a ton of food blogs already in existence, but I hope mine will be different with my spin on it.
And I promise, I will try to keep my running monologue to a minimum...try.