Sunita Kohli

4th February 2019

Lahore-born Sunita Kohli’s heart beats for Lucknow where she grew up and went to a Roman Catholic Convent. She gained prominence as a furniture designer and also pursued an eventful career as an archaeological restorer of prominent heritage buildings of India, Pakistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.

The author of “The Lucknow COOKBOOK”, in stark contrast to the Awadhi food culture, revealed her culinary skills for every day cooking. Lucknow is a city that epitomizes Indo-scenic architecture and the culture of Ganga-Yamuna tehzeeb, she said. Her serendipitous career has been full of pleasant surprises informed conversationalist Nita Khanna.

Inspired by her mother, Sunita honed up her culinary skills for Indian dishes over the years. In her words, this passion was passed on to her from her mother who had published an Anglo-Indian cookbook. It was her mother who opened up for her a wonderful world of aromatic spices and healthy food. Sunita took on the project of writing to represent Lucknow and its rich in culinary heritage.

Our food tradition is process of osmosis. It narrates the “Lucknowee culture” and presents a glimpse of lifestyle behind these recipes. Going beyond recipes, the conversation veered into art and culture. How it traveled through the ‘Silk Route’.

“It is very difficult to sit down and set down ten thousand words,” Sunita realized as she embarked on her first literary venture. As she delved deep into research, she discovered that the `refugee syndrome’ – using yesterday’s leftover food and also using stuff which most cooks would cast away - gave birth to some awesome recipes to the Indian food tradition.