No time to cook?

Poorna Kulkarni
Monday, 11 November 2019

Mother-daughter duo Tanvi and Mira Shah’s cookbook The Millennial Kitchen is filled with easy recipes that will warm your heart

In today’s fast paced world, taking a breather gets tough. So any time consuming activity is out of the question, which includes cooking. Cooking is considered to be a task nowadays, especially by millennials who are interested in food but not making it. To solve this, mother-daughter duo, Tanvi and Mira Shah, have come up with a cookbook The Millennial Kitchen that has recipes for everything from Party Starters and Cool Platters to Meals for One and Two. It includes thick rich pumpkin hummus, cream-free creamy pasta, fresh Mediterranean Rolls and a lot more. 

The book also has a special section titled Mira’s Weekly Meal Plan, which tells you how Tanvi ensured that every meal she ate in a week was unique and exciting, and also healthy and delicious. The book offers a wide selection of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and Jain variants. 

Tanvi, who holds a Master’s degree in Information Systems, relocated to India after she got married in 1998 before which she was working with IBM in the USA. “I was always interested in cooking and cooked a lot for my children. Seeing me, Mira started taking interest in kitchen affairs,” says Tanvi. 

A millennial herself, Mira, 17, studying in grade 12 at Jamnabai Narsee International School, says that cooking is her hobby. “I started cooking about three to four years ago, during Diwali vacations when we started our small home kitchen Cook for a Cause. After which I got hooked on cooking,” says Mira who also loves watching online cooking shows like Buzzfeed Tasty. 

When the Shahs go for vacations, they prefer staying in rental apartments where they can cook at least one meal with the local produce. 

Mira came up with the idea of compiling the book. “For Cook for a Cause, we would make oil free dips and pickles and sell them to raise funds for a charity, ” says Tanvi. Her daughter adds that the recipes used for Cook for a Cause formed the base of their book. 

During the same time Mira got involved in a programme called Youth Entrepreneur Academy (YEA), a US franchise, where students are encouraged to pitch forth their business ideas to a panel of investors. After which the ideas are translated into sustainable sources of income.  

“Mira wanted to donate the profits from book sales to a charity called Akshaya Patra Foundation, which I felt was a brilliant idea. So I supported her,” says her mother. Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO that runs the world’s largest mid-day meal programme in India with a mission to end classroom hunger. Telling us for whom they came up with the cookbook, Mira says, “As the title suggests, the book is meant for my generation — the millennials as well as working mothers who have paucity of time. The book will also help those who can make dips and store them and make a meal out of it. It takes very little time to cook with the help of these recipes.” 

Tanvi adds that the book has a hint of traditional flavours, even though the recipes have a global mix. Her favourite recipe from the book is Garden Cutlets as it has hummus and is packed with proteins and full of fibres. It can be served as a burger patty or a starter. She explains that they have four dips that are made out of five ingredients and the entire menu can be based on it. “The bottom line is that if you have one dip, you can make many things out of it. We have given a formula in the book, if you follow it, you can prepare the core, which can be consumed as a standalone meal or had with accompaniments,” says Tanvi. When asked why have they included only dips, she says, “We wanted to make this book to fill the needs of people who have less time to cook and who want to eat fresh.” 

Coming up with a cookbook, which can come handy to millennials takes a lot of research. Tanvi says, “While I experimented with the portions of different ingredients for making different items, Mira experimented with different flavours.  She also realised that one simple co-ingredient gave a good flavour.” 

They also focused on the proportion of ingredients. “I was brainstorming the ideas and observing cookery shows as to how they come up with ideas along with writing them all,” says Mira whose inspiration is Yotam Ottolenghi, chef, restaurant owner and food writer. She enjoys his style of cooking which is casual and vibrant with flavours.

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