Photo: Robbie Caponetto
Those sorts of revelations have led her to adapt her recipes to gently embrace elements of her new home. In developing her Country Captain, a classic curried chicken and rice dish from Savannah, she tried 25 different recipes before settling on a version that uses cane syrup, her substitution for a condensed sugar product called jagery. She strives to add her influence without tainting the integrity of the original dish, deftly balancing nuanced flavors and only changing one or two spices from a flavor profile so the food is still recognizable. But please don't call her cooking fusion. "It's evolution," she urges. "I didn't grow up with peaches in India. But it would be a shame not to use a peach that's right here in my backyard." As a result, her personal evolution is stretching our understanding of the many flavors Southern ingredients can possess.