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Tea Leaves

Honoring past generations through culinary memories

Three Indian women gather long-forgotten recipes to revive and preserve forgotten culture

Three young women who recently graduated from FLAME University in Pune have set up an online archive to collect recipes that are being forgotten amid more modern cuisine trends. (Photo courtesy of the Indian Community Cookbook Project)

Recipes are more than detailed lists of ingredients and cooking methods, they are about memories, communities and connections. One of my biggest regrets is not having sat down with my grandmother -- or even now, my mother -- to note down their takes on "special" traditional recipes. It is not as if I couldn't find such recipes in a cookbook or somewhere online, if I really tried. What I miss is the way she would have described the process itself, with a slight disdain for specifics, urging me to measure with my eye and taste with my nose. "A pinch of thing, a handful of that" is how she thought of recipes, and that is hard to find in printed cookbooks.

With this kind of homegrown approach in mind, three young women who recently graduated from FLAME University in Pune, in western India, set up an online archive to collect recipes that are being forgotten amid more modern cuisine trends.

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