A popular topic at Bay Area Bites, East Oakland’s Lao cuisine has been featured in previous coverage. This roundup focuses on other fine Lao restaurants located throughout Oakland, San Pablo, El Sobrante and Albany.
Sharmila Badkar is an architect (and when she says architect, she means it in the bricks and mortar sense, not 1s and 0s) working in San Francisco. Sharmila and food have been far more than nodding acquaintances for most of her life. She spent many a day in her childhood sitting in the kitchen and annoying the heck out of her mother by watching what she was doing like a hawk. The fact that she tried to create early spice mixes by moving spoonfuls of one spice into another in the traditional Indian spice tin whenever she got her grubby little hands on it (the colors are so pretty!!) did not endear her much either. She was born in England, grew up in Bombay, India and has lived in the United States for quite some time so asking her where she's from is not a good idea unless you have an hour or so to spare. She can recall being picky about food, all her favourite childhood books and high school with startling clarity, yet will rarely be able to tell you the exact recipe to that dish she cooked an hour ago. This and her perennial love of writing are what led her to create Cheeky Chilli, a blog about everything and anything related with food and her life. She wishes more than anything that she could meet P.G Wodehouse and Agatha Christie but they both died just before she was born, so that's never going to happen. She lives in San Francisco with her husband Amey, best friend, assiduous critic, fellow architect and top-notch cook. He is tasked with taking fabulous photos of her cooking and always making 'mmmm' noises when he's eating it.
Sharmila Badkar's Latest Posts
You know how that lovely yellow curry served up at your favorite hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant turns your napkin, the tips of your fingers, even your plate completely yellow? Congratulations, you have had a swift, yet definitive introduction to turmeric.
Turmeric has been turning everything yellow for eons. Originally it was not used as a spice for cooking, but as a dye, primarily for coloring holy robes.
When you look at the squat, rectangular and extremely hard seeds of fenugreek, you may wonder why anyone would take any trouble to work with it. But this unyielding spice is accompanied with a nutty, bitter and mellow flavor that could not be replicated by anything else.