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Hi, I'm Nik,

This blog in more than one way represents my love for food and the beauty that surrounds it. I have many fond memories from childhood but many of those memories are special because they bring back memories of watching both of my parents and grandmother preparing dishes that they would make with great enthusiasm and love. I remember rummaging through my mother's binders that contained little newspaper clippings of recipes that she would hope to try someday. I loved flipping through cookbooks with eager envy that perhaps maybe one day I could cook. 

I was fortunate to have grown up in a bicultural household where I could absorb and enjoy the differences not only in terms of what we ate but also habits. Being North Indian, my father's culinary habits were very different from my mother's who hailed from Goa (a former Portuguese colony on the West Coast of India). We ate everything but every meal focussed on fresh seasonal ingredients with an emphasis on quality whole grains and food. I'm not a big fan of artificial sweeteners or additives in the food that I eat and I like to know where my food and ingredients come from. When it comes to desserts, I try to cut back on the amount of carbohydrates and fats without compromising on taste but I prefer to have a smaller amount of a rich dessert with real ingredients. 

I recently gave up my job in the pharmaceutical industry to follow my dream of learning more about the culinary arts and getting closer to becoming a chef. I currently work as a pastry cook in training at a bakery in the SF Bay Area and hope to attend culinary school some day. The recipes that you will see here represent my experiences growing up in India and in the United States. Many of the dishes here draw strong inspirations from my cultural influences and are consequently, very non-traditional. These meals have quickly become favorites at our home after I test and retest them in my kitchen.

Every tradition had to begin somewhere at some point, so go ahead and break the rules and make your own traditions!

Besides finding my food here, you can also find me share some my food at my new Sunday column, A Brown Kitchen at the San Francisco Chronicle (print and digital editions) in the Home and Food Sections.