Sunita Prasad met Lauren McElwain in a yoga class at the NMMC Wellness Center. First, she did a class in her home. She made chickpea curry, roti (Indian bread), cilantro and mint chutney, as well as boiled and sauteed Indian-spiced potatoes and rice.
At the second class hosted at the Wellness Center, she made chicken curry, rice and raita, a yogurt and cucumber condiment.
Prasad grew up eating with her hands some of the time, soaking up the convivial spirit of a family meal. She enjoys cooking with her kids and friends, and she throws parties and gatherings often at home, although Prasad did not learn to cook growing up.
“I grew up in the house looking at my mom and I never learned anything, although I grew up watching her,” Prasad said.
In India, after she married, Prasad’s family employed a maid who did the cooking.
“In India we have a maid, we don’t cook at home, but here I had no choice, I had to cook, so that’s why I started cooking,” Prasad said. “I really enjoy it – trying new recipes and making three meals a day that we always eat at home.”
Prasad enjoys taking recipes from her cultural past and enhancing them with her flavor preferences in mind. Her favorites are lentils, rice, black bread and chicken curry.