Whether through taste, aroma, or touch, food is one of the most visceral ways our brain stores happy memories. The mere smell of chickpea fritters fried in a big vat of oil reminds me of monsoons in India, when pakoras instantly become the snack of the day. And even though I don’t have a sweet tooth, toasting chickpea flour with ghee to make mithai, an Indian fudge-like candy, makes my mouth water.
On a recent trip to India with my daughter, Ajna, we had such an experience that I will forever cherish. Late at night after two long flights, we arrived at our hotel in New Delhi, hungry and tired. The only food available was limited room service. We ordered the staple, dal and rice.