I learnt how to roll Sushi from my brother in-law Jesh. I have never even been to Japan. But Im a foodie, I love to learn and explore and so me and my father and Jesh have done several rounds of Sushi experiments over the last 4 - 5 years. So when my mother asked me if I was willing to do a Sushi demo for about 30 WIN (a mixed group of expat ladies and well traveled Indian ladies), it took some courage to say yes.

I must say, I have never put this this amount of planning, preparation, study, cutting, chopping, pickling, steaming and rolling ever before. So this project has been a kind of a quantum leap for me. It expanded my mind. Taking it on and doing it has made me believe in myself more. All the WIN ladies were extremely gracious and full of appreciation and that kept me surfing along :-) So thank you ladies!

For me Sushi is really about colour, texture, precision and balance. Its art for your eyes, mouth and stomach! Its about coming together of contrasting textures like the fullness and creaminess of avocado and the crunch of carrot and radish.

I experimented with a huge number of vegetarian ingredients just to push the limits of what can be done with a no-fish Sushi. This is all the shopping I did in a trip to Shivaji market (and my mom kept telling all the vendors - yeh meta beta hai… yeh puri market khareedne waala hai!)
carrots, radish, cucumber, zucchini (green and yellow), bean sprouts, alfa alfa sprouts, turnips, beans, sweet peas, sweet potato, squash, avocado, asparagus, yellow peppers, red peppers, red cabbage, chives, okra (bhindi), celery, ginger… :-)OK

OK, going to share a bunch of links of websites and pages that helped me get it together. Of I tweaked, and localised and modified as per my whims, fancies and constraints… but this is where the inspiration came from.

And here are the photos:

Avocado, carrots, asparagus, spinach and cucumber maki rolls

OH this was an awesome discovery… scallions, orange squash, cucumber rolls, topped with mango and black sesame!

Inside out rolls… some of them topped with avocados and Zinger sauce (50% carrots and 50% ginger, grind in a mice and add honey to taste… super zingy!)

Vegetarian gift wrapped Nigiri rolls!

Surrounded by ladies!

Tamago Nigiri (egg)

My core team!

My cousin Neha Agarwal rolled these ZUCCHINI rolls for those who don’t like Seaweed! They look too good to eat!

The layout!

Inside outs with imitation crab sticks

I think my father seems impressed enough!

This was another successful experiment.. make rolls with pickled Okra! They were gorgeous

And finally, here is the mind map I made for the occasion:

Thanks to my mom and dad for always encouraging me and believing in me. Thanks to Jesh to teaching me to roll Sushi. Thanks to my wife Aarti for allowing me to indulge myself. Thanks to my grandmother for being such a wonderful cook and and bearing with our crazy adventures. Thanks to Ashwin Makhija for agreeing to take the snaps.

Thanks to my mentor Naren for being a constant source of inspiration, and sharing this beautiful article about Japanese Kintsukoroi… art of making broken things better…

Just decided yesterday with my grandmother… to create a recipe book of her most awesome pickles!!

With Loads of Love and Gratitude,