Updated: Mar 16
The idea of the 'death' of traditional cuisine has suddenly taken over all of us. Without even understanding what traditional cooking methods really are, or why they were used in the first place, we try to join this conversation. In this blog series, I want to explore what traditional cooking is and why it matters. Dear reader, I would love to show you the Pachkalshi ways of cooking at the end of the series, so that you understand what we at Paisley love and respect with all our hearts.
To me, the word ‘revive’ looks like something that doesn’t have much life left and is in need of dire help. But it’s simply untrue when it comes to food and cuisine. Cuisines are full of life, and they don’t need any of us to survive. We are just mediums, tiny human-shaped vessels for stories and recipes to live in. Our efforts to cook from traditional cookbooks and use our grandparent’s recipes also come from a place of selfishness, which isn’t necessarily bad. We do these things to feel closer to our roots, to find a sense of cultural identity, and to feel like we belong somewhere.
The warmth from holding a hot plate of food that you have grown up eating is all we need sometimes. It feels closest to how home feels. The smell of masalas, the sound of the pressure cooker, and the feeling of the first bite of food after a long day. Somehow we all have very different memories of these sounds and tastes and smells and yet they evoke the same feeling in our hearts. Strange, isn’t it?
Most of the time, it’s difficult to cook food in the traditional way when life gives us only a few seconds to catch our breath. Especially when easy alternatives like instant foods cover half of the aisles in supermarkets. Traditional cuisines require patience, they ask for attention and effort. None of this comes easy to us after long chaotic days at work. Therefore supporting small businesses and places that make food with love, passion, and all the traditional techniques becomes important. It isn’t because these recipes need our help. It’s because, without these recipes that contain centuries of stories, flavors, and history in them, we will be lost. And instant noodles will fill our stomachs, but a tiny black hole of lost history will form in our hearts. It will all be a little bit colder.