I am Dhivya, the founder, editor and photographer at Maple Chutney. I am also the proud mum of two girls. Vivek or V as I refer to him in my posts is my husband, cheerleader and dishwasher. Thank you for stopping by.
Cooking is not something I gravitated towards in my twenties. That is because in a traditional Tamil Brahmin household cooking is very meticulous and methodical which I was quick to regard as quite stifling. I can only laugh at my naivety now.
My mum is a wonderful cook and has learnt most of what she knows from her mother. In the past, recipes were never written down, it was simply passed on from one generation to the next. There was nothing precise about the instructions, measurements were vague often relying on handfuls, pinch or even aroma as a reference, but the result was a wonderful celebration of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours on the plate.
My mother is a seasoned cook. She knows what needs to be cooked for a particular festival or everyday lunch. She also has a deep understanding of flavour pairings. I have come to rely on her deep insight into Tamil Brahmin food and her resourcefulness in the kitchen. I also appreciate the rigour that has been bestowed upon her by our collective predecessors. Over the years her taste and opinions have also been influenced by our Punjabi neighbour, her coworkers, sisters, friends, mother-in-law and magazines (I still find snippets of recipes tucked away in her little diary). And to a great extent, my opinions have been influenced by hers.
When I got married to Vivek, I realized his family learnt cooking no differently. Their passion for food is infectious. And I have added a whole bunch of new recipes to my ever-expanding repertoire. Needless to say, both of us love to cook, eat, and entertain and food is always at the heart of it.
I do not prescribe to any trendy food labels, but I am a vegetarian. I grew up in a vegetarian household. I drifted a little when I moved out for university, but have long since come back to my roots for health and environmental reasons.
Every day I am grateful we get to enjoy such wonderful flavours in our kitchen and I want this blog to serve me as a reminder of sorts. Maple Chutney is my way of documenting and tweaking everything I have learnt about food. It is also about adapting to the needs of my family and helping my daughters build an appreciation for new flavours. Maple Chutney is about being Indianish while drawing influences from our travels and traditions. And it is about creating our own rituals when it comes to food.