Growing up in a typical south Indian family, cared for by my grandmothers I can never forget the aromas, sights, sounds, and smell of a South Indian kitchen. The silent guttering of ‘idly atta’ being ground in the wee hours of the morning, the whoosh of a ‘papadam’ being fried in the oil, the spluttering and crackling of ‘tadka’ that makes our ‘rasam’ so tangylishiously spicy, the mouthwatering coconut milk used for payasam. The novelty of eating off a banana leaf on special occasions is seemingly never lost. Always the same excitement at seeing the fresh green, the heady crisp grassy scent and the typical running of your fingers on the veins and ribs of the leaf! No matter where I go, these marked affairs will always be home to me! Indian kitchens just like Indian meals are a casual, informal affairs. However it always has remained the heart of the house, the most magnetic, animated and also authoritative.While dosas dictate an instantaneous breakfast best eaten on the spot, the preparation of tandooris and biryanis involve an elaborate, enticing marination.
When we got the commission involving a kitchen design, instead of fulfilling just the basic function of a hob-sink-refrigerator, we felt a character calling. To begin with, by opening up a wall at the far end of the kitchen we blew new life into the whole room. The French windows now gave access to a sprawling refuge area, giving one the impression of owning an exclusive kitchen garden! Talk about charming!For the features, having a client who had a taste for the raw, earthy and minimal, synced well with Elm & Clay’s psyche. While most shy away from a black kitchen deeming it to be somber, our desire for a sleek kitchen pushed us to experiment with a matte black. However paired with the solid brown wood, we had an efficient, dapper kitchen that was now warm and indulgent! Thus we found our perfect duet- of the modern and classic! As for the the trimmings, instead of fixing handles that jut-out and take attention away from the face of the kitchen, we chose to carve out our handles onto solid wood, making it now not a fixture but a part of the door. Call it a piece of the puzzle, a chip of the ol’ block! The black prim shutters too shared the wooden handle, thus making it a part of the family! Just as cooking in Indian Dum style infuses each grain of rice with aroma and taste making each bite delectable, the tenor of the kitchen it came from, colors the cook! A squeaky clean sink, a spotless counter top, stocked shelves, and a busy stove churning out piping hot platters. Contentment is the word! Doesn’t it have a cozy sound to it?