I am a writer from and currently in New Delhi, India, but mostly elsewhere. Recently, I was noted in a list of cultural critics of colour by Jack Jones Literary arts. While I work on stories that examine issues of justice, identity, conflict with a focus on food, I am also transitioning into writing more essays. Most recently, I was awarded the CN Traveller Food Writer award for my piece on saffron farming in India-occupied Kashmir.
Many years ago, I wrote a book for children about an eleven year old vampire afraid of blood. Slowly, but not steadily enough, I am writing my second.
LONGREADS // March 2019
“The way the meat melts off the bone, the way the fat renders into the onions, the way it all comes together, that is Urdu,” my granduncle Gulzar Naqvi used to say, comparing his favorite language to Nihari, his favorite meat stew. “It is not language, it is temperament, and it must be felt.”
EATER // February 2019
"As the farmers have begun to say, “the red-gold is turning to gray.” Due to ongoing regional violence, droughts, and the still-unfolding effects of climate change on the land, Kashmiri saffron has slowly begun to disappear. “I tried to grow apples here on this land a decade ago,” Mir says. “But they didn’t fruit! This land is meant only for saffron. Without it, it means nothing.”
POPULA // November 2018
"Like ghee, sweets are considered an upper-caste luxury. “Sweets can be equated with pleasure and desire,” says Anita, the same evening. “Introducing dairy, sugar, and treats into the Dalit kitchen is a way to access what for centuries has been denied. It is adding sugar to the present,” she adds, laughing. “To counter a history that is far from sweet.”
TASTE // January 2019
"But in India’s eight northeastern states, the chile has been a way of life for generations; it prevailed even during the more than five decades of violent ethnic conflicts and insurgencies that plagued the region, which is populated by 225 ethnic tribes. Typical Indian staples like turmeric, jaggery, garam masala, and yogurt are absent in the kitchens of Northeast India. But the king chile makes its way into many dishes, whether it’s stirred into stews, chopped up into condiments, or scattered over meat."
For assignments, queries, restaurant tips, email me at sharanyadeepak (at)
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