Why Your Indian Friends Don’t Cook

Why Your Indian Friends Don’t Cook

Ever wondered why your Indian friends don’t cook?

I’m referring mostly to the (second/third generation) that may not cook that much…if they can help it!

Here’s an explanation as to why (if they’re anything like me!)

Namaste From Ananya - Why Your Indian Friends Don't Cook (If They Can Help It!)


My friends know me best dishing out food.

Food and Ana – They’re always in abundance.

They know my fridge to be stocked to the brim.

Ana’s coming back from a trip back home to her family?

Chances are she’s coming back ladened with goodies.

And for the most part, you’d be right in assuming that.

Is this because I can’t or won’t cook meals myself?


(although definitely my early university years this may have rang some truth)

As I transitioned from undergrad student living…to the more mature….postgrad student living!!

One thing has remained constant.


The Reason Behind: Why Your Friends Don’t Cook

Indian mothers and grandmothers are the best at cooking authentic dishes from the homeland. Maybe I’m biased…(obviously) but let’s not argue.

And even now, into my twenties, much to my voiced frustration: my mother and grandmother like nothing better to provide me with a ‘care package’ full of Indian love

The Subtleties Behind Them Not Cooking

My ego has exclaimed:

“I’m old enough to cook for myself!!!

You just don’t trust me to look after myself!!

You don’t think I can cook, do you?”

I know it sounds absurd.

My friends have often joked:

“yeah, because it’s so bad being cooked for all the time?!”

But there are subtleties which I think perhaps only individuals trying to form their own multicultural identities can understand:

We want to maintain our roots, our heritage. But at the same time, we long and wish for the independence that comes with our surroundings. We want to be able to prove to our loved ones and ourselves: we’re capable of the independence our relatives have done so much to secure for us.

My mother has responded with this:

“There will be a time when we won’t be able to do this for you.

It gives us a purpose. Especially for your Thamma (paternal grandmother)

She’s getting old as she likes to remind us, as a lot of the older generation. There will be days when you long for her generosity; this is the way she shows her love: through the act of giving; in food or whatever else she has. Graciously accept it!”

Emotional blackmail?

Maybe a little.

But I guess I see her point.

Deep within the core of each of us, we feel fulfilled when we add impact to the lives of others.

And as Gretchen Rubin mentions in her podcast, A Little Happier:

“There are instances when you can be generous by taking.”

To take something, knowing you are giving something even greater back to the person that has handed over one of their most precious possessions.

And therefore, we’re left with the most pressing of questions:

Question: To take or not to take: Time, effort and love in the form of delicious food?

Answer: You should. Hands down. Always. And be grateful.

Until the next time,

Namaste, From Ananya


This post was written many months ago and so now, the sentiment is even more poignant as Thamma has now passed. Ma was right of course; these are the days I now long for her generosity.

So while you have the chance – graciously accept it!