Feature Friday: Sindhuja Sankaran
Born in Chennai, then moved to Cardiff and is now in Krakow Sindhuja had a turbulent start with cooking; for starters she had no interest in it. But being a poor PhD student in the UK gave her no choice but to develop this skill and now her mother is VERY proud. Sindhuja enjoys food, traveling and exploring different cultures. She tries to incorporate these elements in all aspects of her life. Join her for a meal in Krakow, Poland!
What does food mean to you?
Quite literally, food and 'living' go hand in hand. But I think it goes beyond the banality of 'living' - it also means enjoying, exploring and relishing the variety it offers.
How did you learn to cook? Was cooking always a part of your life?
NEVER! I hated to cook but loved to eat. I was lazy! However, as a PhD student in the UK and nostalgia for good Indian food forced me to cook...apparently I was not too bad at it and moreover enjoyed it!
What do you like the most about hosting?
Conversations! I love engaging in exciting discussions in good company and food. And it's always nice to hear compliments from people you don't know about your food.
What is the most unforgettable meal you have ever had?
Unfortunately, I haven't hosted that many meals officially through Eataway but I always invite friends over. However I must admit, when my parents visited me from India in the UK, I took on the challenge to cook them a proper 3 course South Indian meal (the first time they would have tasted my cooking) and it was a beautifully satisfying feeling.
What is one ingredient you always have in your house?
Cumin and Yogurt! I believe cumin is one amazing spice that goes with EVERYTHING.
What is your family's favorite thing you cook?
Would I be biased if I say everything? I guess my folks really like my version of a chickpeas dish.
What is something interesting about your country's food culture?
There is a science behind Indian cuisine and it is considered rude to keep your left (non-eating) hand on the table (as opposed to European culture).
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
I absolutely cannot answer this question!
If you could invite 3 people in the universe to one of your meals, who would you choose?
Since this is hypothetical, I will list the impossible based on the fact that people would appreciate food and the conversations would be amazing; Jamie Oliver, Justin Troudeu, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Funniest cooking story?
I was writing up my PhD thesis and I was really stressed and I wanted to cook something. So I heated some oil and intended to throw in some cumin seeds. But instead I used dried Rosemary...the smell was NOT pleasant. It's not really funny, but it's a rookie mistake which I can't believe I made.
Your table is full of travelers, what 3 things do you suggest they do in Krakow?
A walk around the Jewish Quarter, live jazz, another eataway meal.
What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
I act during my spare time with the English speaking theatre group in Krakow, The Krakow Kings Player and of course music!
What is your cooking style like? Do you listen to music, plan ahead, make a mess, etc…
All of the above.
What do you do other than cook for Eataway?
I'm a researcher of Psychology and I teach some courses in social psychology.
What is your favorite food?
In no particular order of preference - Indian (of course!), Thai, Ethiopian, Italian, Middle Eastern.