Why roses and chillies? My father has struggled to name the house we live in for a while now, all of my life and more to be precise. And one fine day my sister had suggested Roses and Chillies. For most of the flowers we have in the garden are roses, hybrid tea roses, tube rose patches, wild rose shrubs and rose climbers and the pots on the roof and the pots in the balcony that are tended to with utmost care don’t have orchids or other exotic tropical flowers, they have all sorts of chillies. Habeneros, bird chilli, bhoot jholakia (the chillies native to india with one of the highest scovile unit in the world which are touched with a double layer of surgical gloves). And this home is where my association with food begins and continues.
Food that I love is akin to Roses and Chillies. Roses signify delicate beauty and a fragile fragrance while chillies are synonymous to bold flavour. Cooked at home, shared with family and made with a lot of love.

And home is where when the bay leaf tree is pruned, perfumes that is the air, with a promise of a fragrant curry or a spiced orange syrup, where if the dog trampled the bed of mint, even the neighbours would know. And when children came around the house, drawn to orange fishes in the pond, we had to guard the red and orange, Bird Chillies or Naga Chillies from them.

The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple’s a rose,
And the pear is, and so’s
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose –
But were always a rose.

– Robert Frost

Quoting one of my childhood favourite poets right now is quite summing up what I aim to do. While Mr. Frost just said that a pear or plum or an apple could pose as rose, I might just end up making a lot of fruits and vegetables and grains and nuts and spices as rose. But…… but never a chilli a rose.

So here will be an attempt at all things roses and chillies, and a bit of home, childhood and a bit of everywhere that I have and will travel.