Hi All, I am starting this thread ASHNA's RASOI as a tribute to my Grandmother and as an appreciation of our seniors and various members who have shown us path to this beautiful way of winning hearts....Its an important saying in India that "the way to man's heart is through his stomach" but I would say that this is true for every one and not just man.... My taste buds developed eating the most delicious traditional food in the heart of India, New Delhi. My parents loved to host dinners and get-togethers and we were surrounded by farm-fresh produce and much of the Halwai activity. As a child, I hung around my grandmother’s kitchen and my participation was limited to tasting the variety of food. According to me, the basics of an Indian meal, despite of all the contrasts and contradictions, are similar. There will generally be some lentil, regional vegetables, pickles, chutneys, rice or bread, possibly a meat or fish dish for non vegetarians, served at every meal. Desserts give sweetness not only to the meal but also in our life. Food is eaten with fingers, using pieces of bread to mop up the vegetables and curries. I remember reading somewhere “trying to eat Indian food with cutlery is like trying to make love through an interpreter”. With due respects to the author of that line, I completely agree! The meal is completed with a digestive like “Paan ”, areca nuts, sugar coated fennel seeds and many others. (Paan is made of betel leaves, which are filled with all kinds of ingredients to create this legendary digestive) I hope you will try my recipes and enjoy them too. By the time you get done you will have sampled a large number of regional cuisines to your menu that are distinctly different in terms of their taste cooking methods & presentation. I am here in this thread just trying to give you a glimpse of what lies in my kitchen "ASHNA's RASOI ". There is so much more. The information here is a mere starting point into the cuisine of a very diverse country- our country INDIA and addition of International cuisines like Mexican, Italian, Chinese etc. I would be more than happy to reply your queries and problems to the best of my knowledge, experiments and experience.... Enjoy!!!!!!!!!! Ashna.