About Canteen

Let me answer the most frequently asked question first – my name is not Lakshmi. Now, let’s get to the real topic of this page.

Agreed, cooking is a science, art, skill etc. For me, it is importantly “memory”. Every dish either brings back my memory or it creates one. I am sure each one of you agree with me. So, I thought I should document my memories and also help others in my journey. From grandma’s sweets to 7th grade experiment to my-first-date-dinner, our recipe list is truly countless. There are recipes which my mom (“Amma”) learnt 35 years back. Added to this is my mother-in-law’s, then friends, colleagues..... Then we come across a whole lot in the internet. In addition I believe that as we learn new, it is also important to preserve good old time recipesLike my favorite poet wrote – “ಹಳೆ ಬೇರು, ಹೊಸ ಚಿಗುರು. ಕೂಡಿರಲು ಮರ ಸೊಗಸು” (loosely translates to “with old root and new buds, tree will grow really well”). 

I am from Udupi, a beautiful town in the coastal area of Karnataka. It is also home to one of the famous culinary traditions of India. I grew up as a vegetarian and continue to be one. So, I decided to write this blog listing vegetarian recipes from this tradition. Of course, like my memories are not just limited to this place, my recipes are not too! 

When I decided to start this blog, the hardest question was about the name. I asked my husband and then others in the family. One of the best memories we all have is to enjoy grandma’s excellent dishes. She continues to cook in her 80’s now and we all continue to enjoy. Long long time back, grandpa used to own a small canteen where my grandma was the master chef. He affectionately calls her “Lakshmi” and the name of the canteen was “Lakshmi Canteen”. Can anyone come up with any better name?

The recipes here are for you to read, try, spread, alter and enjoy – all for rejuvenating, recreating and recording memories! Share yours with me such that I can join your journey too!

By the way, my name is Manjula Pai. Currently stay in Atlanta, US with my husband.

In Facebook, follow Canteen here: facebook.com/lakshmicanteen
Write email to lakshmicanteen.koppa@gmail.com 
My twitter handle is @lakshmicanteen
Discover pins at: pinterest.com/lakshmicanteen/

20 comments :

  1. Awesome Manjula... I have guessed this but i was not sure.. so good to know. Even till today while cooking i prefer asking my grandma for a recipe than my mom.. she was the inspiration to me also.. As younger generations i truly believe its our duty to carry the tradition and culture from our elders:-) U have a taken a step forward in this..Very proud of u..good luck:-)

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  2. Thanks a lot Ashwini for the wishes and the encouragement..I completely agree with you.

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  3. Manjula I miss my grandma's cooking too.She died few years back,I could not document any of her recipes,only memories of those food remains.It's nice to see that you have your grandma's recipes.

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    1. Thanks Rekha..Yes I am blessed with wonderful people around me :-) Touch wood..

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  4. Hi Manjula,

    It gives me immense pleasure to mention your blog as an interesting blog. Its needless for me to say how much I enjoy knowing a fellow Konkani food blogger....

    Keep rocking the blogging world with your super awesome Konkani recipe’s.. :)

    Cheers,
    Anitha

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    1. Thank you so much Anitha. Yes, it feels good to know a Konkani food blogger. Between you have a wonderful blog :-)

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  5. I was just searching for "How to season my new cast iron dosa tawa" and came across your blog.
    Its quite interesting that i continued reading about different dosas and also surprised with the varieties of dosas.I continued reading and forgot about why i am here.
    Thanks for writing and keep this good work.I will definitely try many of these.

    Mohamed Irshad

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    1. Thanks a lot Irshad. Glad you liked them. Yes I am a dosa freak. Do try them and let me know how you liked it :-)

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  6. Hello there Lakshmi

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  7. I stumbled upon your blog looking for baby corn rava masala fry.. I am from udupi and it is a bliss to have found this blog.. interesting recipes.. my husband is going to enjoy eating these.. Thank you :)

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    1. Thanks you so much Shruthi for the sweet words. Glad you liked it. Let me know how they turned out for you. Enjoy!

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  8. I prefer to read this kind of stuff. The quality of content is fine and the conclusion is good. Thanks for the post.

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  9. Thanks a ton for this blog... this is like my reference guide for every aamchi dish I prepare! :)
    From proportions to pictures to tips.... so very helpful while cooking... bless you Manjula!

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  10. Thanks a lot for the blessings Yamini. Im so happy to read your kind words. It really made my day. Glad you liked my work. Happy cooking :-)

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  11. Manjula, I am seeing the blog after a long time and it has evolved to be such a treasure trove! It is amazing that you have worked hard to try out, record and if necessary contemporize traditional recipes. Very valuable work.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Anirban, for your inspiring words :-)

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