Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Standing in que for my Media Accreditation at the Terra Madre press counter in Torino this year, I noticed an Indian looking girl ahead of me, talkative that Iam ( those who know me will vouch for that) , I asked her if she was from India? ‘I am an Indian but live in Canada’, she replied and as we got talking we connected on various levels including the workshops to attend at the Slow Food event to travelling for food etc. We exchanged numbers so to keep in touch and her tips to what to do in Modena came in rather handy for me (we are both huge fans of Chef Massimo Bottura).
Though we couldn’t really meet after that but were constantly in touch through Social media, discussing what we ate, where we travelled etc. No agenda…she didn’t want anything from me and vice versa…we just connected, thanks to Food! Just day before, she shared her new number and that she was back home after her travels and we both discussed many many food travel experiences and how ‘we itch to travel all the time’!
Then I thought of sharing this lovely girl’s story on my blog….Aman Doasanj and her mother ran a restaurant called ‘Poppadoms- Taste of India’ located at Mccurdy road in Kelowna, British Columbia. Interestingly they hired some chefs at their restaurant and when the mother daughter duo got them their permanent residency, they quit, so her mother and Aman went exploring mainly to the South of India for about 5 weeks to learn other regional cooking. ‘As a family business, you have to figure things out; so, when our chefs left, it was sink or swim’, shared Aman.
The menu offered Indian food via the Farm to Table concept and had dishes like ‘Meen Pollichathu’ and ‘Lamb shank Roganjosh’ on the menu.

Her mom had a heart attack in January 2016, so they had to shut down the restaurant unfortunately; ‘It wasn't a life, when all you do is work. She’s alive and doing well! So, time to re-evaluate, food is how I heal, so that’s why I was learning more and writing about my experiences, starting from scratch again’, shares Aman. ‘So many good things happened to me on this trip to Italy, It was weird. But after so many years of hard times, it was an incredible feeling. Now to make that time count!’…says Aman.
Aman is a go getter, this Friday she’s having a pop up using stories from her travels to create a menu ( coincidentally I am planning do the same as well in the following year !) until she gets a marketing job. Even when Aman gets her job, which she will eventually, she will continue doing her pop ups to save up as Travel Money.
For Aman the idea is to make people smile. ‘Which is the point of my food memory project, and to get people thinking, not just eating’, she says. Her menu has four courses plus an amuse. There’s a meatball story. And she’s doing a kebab on a rice poppadom cracker and doing some tangy beet pearls (because pomegranate doesn’t grow in Canada), mint yoghurt etc. so, not a literal translation. She’s also doing a vegetable Tikki, but not telling anyone what it is all about until they are eating it. (I can’t share the secret too as yet, lest they read it!!). Another course is a fish inspired by a fisherman in Fiji. The finale or the dessert course is her grandma’s green cardamom rice pudding, but a saffron poached local pear, which is her twist. Aman’s grandma was the reason she started her project, to keep her memory alive ‘She used to tell us that ‘if you cook from your heart, people will come’, If I can make just 1 person think, then I can sleep with a smile on my face and know I made a difference’, adds Aman. ‘I soooo want to come for this pop up’, I said… ‘Will do one when you visit Canada’ Aman replied!!! Food connects and how, doesn’t it?

Aman Dosanj can be followed on @paisleynotebook
Today Aman's parents run a little farm to table food trailer in Kelowna plus a farmer's market

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