The best celebration I have ever had for the New Year was joining the Indian party. “I enjoy observing my roommates cooking and learning from their local recipes. Here, we love to share food and tea,” said Tarang, from India, sharing her feelings while guiding us through the dorm facilities. It was the last day of 2021, my sister Winnie and I were invited to experience Indian traditional food.
As entering the building, the stunning mountain view amazed us. What’s more interesting is that every time before lunch and dinner, the tasty smells of all kinds of food across the world come from each shared kitchen at the dorm of NSYSU. Furthermore, the sound of cooking has its own unique tempo, from the 2nd floor to the top floor, such as tap-tap-tap of a knife mincing mounds of fresh herbs, and fry chicken jumping in the frying pan, is like a symphony. When the music ends, the cuisines are ready to serve.
Today’s special were Indian Spiced Turmeric Rice and Dal Curry. Within an hour, our chef Tarang had finished cooking. Deepak, our sous chef, prepared Plain Nannn for us. Those rich colorful dishes made us even more hungry. During lunch, Tarang and Deepak showed us how to eat with our hands, just like Indians. For us, it was a golden opportunity to experience chowing down with fingers and learn table manners.
“Cooking has become an important thing in my life since I came to Taiwan for my Ph.D. degree. I always end my day with cooking because it helps me refresh my mind, my energy. My batteries are fully charged after having my hometown food."
“Sometimes it inspires me a new perspective or ideas of experiments, which is important for me, especially for my work at the lab. It is why I insist on rolling up my sleeves, heading to the kitchen no matter how late I come back from the lab.” Added Tarang.
After lunch, more friends were coming to join us, it was like a small cultural exchange talk. The Masala Tea and the most beautiful ocean view and sunset in Sizihwan made the moment unforgettable.
Last but not least, watching Tarang making traditional Indian dishes was like seeing the magician cast magic in front of stoves, using the spices which I have only seen in Bollywood movies. The show was tremendous, without mentioning how delicious her dishes tasted.