It was just another chaotic day in Mumbai. On the menu, there were stuffed parathas and vegetable pulav with home-made Wild Olive (Jalpai) Achaar. It was the perfect simple and happy-meal for a rather complicated and trying day.
As the meal began, the intense conversation gradually turned into a breezy one. It was soon established that pickle-making is a dying art. A motley group of 6 of us realised that this may be the last generation of Indian mothers and grand mothers with the country's 'treasure-trove of secret traditional recipes'.
This realisation came up in conversation several times over the next few months. The germ of the idea traveled with us to Bangalore, Delhi, Assam, Meghalaya and Mumbai. But all talk about it always ended with us as happy and content people, licking pickles off their fingers and polishing off all that was served. As foodies, we were suitably convinced that something needed to be done.
India was changing, so were we. Soon, we plunged-in and took up the challenge to create Organic finger-licking good home-made pickles and lickities. The idea was to bring more native foods and flavours to the forefront. But with a twist to suit a modern, pan-Indian palette. The result: Chataka Tales.
The quest for the best made us come back to our mothers and grandmothers. It also led us to Assam, a sanctuary of naturally organic food in North East India. And once we had our fingers in the pickle jar, there was no going back.
We confess we are borderline dramatic and a tad loud. But that's the way we like our food and our films. Our Bollywood roots may have something to do with this #Chatakaism. It's a trait that we wear proudly.
After all, a little Chataka can go a long way in creating happy hormones and ensuring our overall well-being. We can all do with a little more joy and contentment.
Like every story, ours is an evolving one. We will share more with you as we go along. For now, it's back to pickling, bottling, packaging and shipping your orders from #AmazingAssam.
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