My grandmother calls me khana badosh.
It’s a fitting name, seeing as it means “Food Gypsy” in Urdu, according to her. While I’m not sure if it stems from my history of wanderlust or the fact I constantly steal snacks from most kitchens…or grocery stores… that I enter, I appreciate her accuracy in my nickname.
The Vagabond Table is my intention to live up to her name and follow the thread of curiosity that lies in each of us regarding the foods that hover beyond our kitchens. I think it’s high time to start documenting this tenant to humanity—our global passion for food—and give us all a chance to try the flavors from homes the world over. So kids, we need to get out of our comfort zones, throw away the number to our favorite Chinese delivery joint, crack open a bottle of wine, and actually taste this world in all of its simmering, savory, delicious glory.
That is why I need your help. I will cook. I will be brave. And I will most likely make a complete fool of myself as I attempt to make your favorite home recipes. Like a true vagabond, this project has no certain direction, destination, or boundaries, and relies solely on the kindness of my friends and the willing readers who choose to participate. I may have grown up eating the Indian food of my grandmother, but the idea of ever venturing into her pantry of unmarked spice jars and powders left me scared and twitchy. But no more.
The time has come to change things up people! I know first hand that my G-ma doesn’t write her recipes down, so I’ll try to squeeze a few out of her for this site and spread some Indian love your way…and I hope you do the same for me. I want recipes from everywhere. Is your family from Uruguay? Ethiopia? The Russian Motherland? Or have you traveled to Thailand or Morocco and came across a great dish? Tell me. I’d love to hear any details or memories associated with your dish. I will choose a recipe, follow your directions, document it with photos, share your story and give credit to your name. This will be interactive. This will be slightly ridiculous. This will be fun, but above all…this will be GOOD.