Ayurvedic approach to nourishing the new mother and the story of Dadima's

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About Dadima’s - Anni and Getta

Anneeka - also known as Anni - is behind the Dadima's brand and the Dadima’s cookbook .

In 2015, Anni started research for her book. Anni’s quest was to gather culinary wisdom from wise grandmothers (or dadimas) around the UK, and then share this knowledge for all to benefit. Anni says she chose to learn from those  grandmothers who had been cooking traditional, timeless, recipes, with love, for years – just like my own dadima. Anni talks of her Dadima:

“In my Indian family unit, I grew up seeing my dadima as the family nurturer, feeder, and advisor, respected by all.

Anni and her mother, Geeta, also run cookery workshops for children and adults.

Episode highlights

  • The meaning of Dadima’s - Punjabi for maternal grandmother.

  • Connecting generations through wisdom of grandmothers and grandfathers.

  • How we connected on Instagram.

  • The amazing Panjiri dish cooked by Anni (including semolina, ghee, seeds and nuts) and its history going back 100s of years. First aim of Panjiri was to nourish the new mother post pregnancy. A covert recipe passed down by generations.

  • The new mother’s mother buys the ingredients then the mother-in-law makes the Panjiri - being the matriarch of the family.

  • Rituals of the newborn mother to nourish her physically and emotionally.

  • The importance of nourishing the new mother.

  • The brand of Dadima’s built around cooking heritage food made with love.

  • Panjiri is the original energy mixture to Anni and Geeta.

  • Food as connecting thread with families and communities once a baby is born.

  • The hands-on culture in the Indian community in the postpartum period and how the new mother is nourished and nurtured by her extended family.

  • Being guided by the wisdom of our elders in the postpartum period.

  • Ayurvedic principles of nourishing our bodies in the postpartum period.

  • 11:00 new mother goes home to her biological mother in their family.

  • 12:!4 Geeta shares that all of her needs were tended to so all she had to do was feed Anni when Anni was a baby.

  • 12:35 Geeta shared the sense of nurturing, safety and community with her parents supporting her with Anni as a baby.

  • 13:22 Geeta’s mother-in-law and sister-in-laws also supported her and took on a separate mother role.

  • 13:50 All the family takes on a new role once the baby arrives.

  • 14:12 The unsaid things that need doing once baby arrives.

  • 14:23 Geeta’s mother’s generation didn’t talk about self-care - as discussed in Anni’s book.

  • 15:20 Anni has educated Geeta about self-care and how it is ok to be vulnerable. Geeta said she is ‘mothered’ by her daughters. Geeta notices the sacrificial lamb/martyrdom way of living which is often at the expense of burnout.

  • 16:20 Geeta notices her mother’s physical health as maybe been impacted by lack of self care.

  • 16:55 Notion of busyness.

  • 17:28 Cooking Panjiri is the opposite of busyness and the Dadima’s brand is going against the grain of our busy culture.

  • 18:12 Mindfulness in cooking - provenance of ingredients and cooking with love.

  • 18:28 Anni’s cleansing ritual when cooking Panjiri. The importance of energetic environment when cooking.

  • 19:29 Not multi tasking when cooking.

  • 19:44 The need for concentrating when cooking.

  • 20:06 Geeta shares a story about how busyness and stress when cooking can be felt in the food.

  • 21:14 The need for cooking simple meals as a mother and leaving time for batch cooking at the weekend.

  • 21:55 Cooking as a family in batch cooking.

  • 22:06 Anni in cooking Panjiri also nurtures the older generation.

  • 23:20 Nourishment in form of Panjiri comes from a place of love and sits within wider context of people coming together as a family.

  • 24:16 Giving mothers the gift of new food. Dadima’s has been approached to collaborate with mother’s hampers.

  • 25:28 Don’t specifically aim at new mothers but the social aspect of a community of wise women is important. Portions are always for big groups of people - conducive of sharing.

  • 26:12 The need to move away from labelling food ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food and listening to your body.

  • 27:26 Geeta has never counted calories and didn’t focus on weight in the postpartum period.

  • 28:27 Anni’s Dadima nourished herself on a physical level with food - she had to nourish herself to be able to nourish her children.

  • 29:20 Anni’s cookbook and the background to the book.

  • 29:59 The Dadimas interviewed for Anni’s cookbook talked about their identify as mothers and spoke a lot about sacrifice from a working class British Indian background.

  • 20:59 Reconciling the stiff upper lip approach in Anni and Geeta’s community with the more open approach now to mental health.

  • 31:58 The need to adapt our postpartum care to modern life by using past cultures as a guide but not to follow slavishly.

  • 33:23 Sometimes community and culture can add extra weight to the postpartum experience comparison/judgment which can add complications.

  • 35:00 The nuances of nourishing the new mother in Indian families.

  • 35:33 The extended family offers extra hands and wisdom to draw upon.

  • 35:47 The role of Grandads/Fathers in the mothering of the mother and how supportive Geeta’s father was when Geeta has her girls.

  • 36:47 The different forms of mothering in modern society which does include dads.

  • 37:00 Anni and Geeta’s cookery workshops and Anni’s Grand Action campaign to continue to connect generations, particularly younger generations.

  • 38:40 Cooking as a sensory experience with children - exploring spices.

  • 40:00 Homeschooling and teaching children from a nurturing place to explore creativity.

  • 41:09 Teaching children by slowing down not speeding up.

  • 41:22 Cooking is perfect antidote to fast pace of modern life.

  • 45:00 The visions and values of Dadima’s.

  • 45:23 Mindfulness label - embedded in what the Dadima’s do.

  • 45:53 - What does made from scratch mean to you? Modern words hijacked for what other generations did as a matter of course. Jenni Lindford book referred to this.

  • 47:20 - embodying mindfulness in our daily activities.

  • 48:12 - Cooking as a way of showing love.

  • 48:45 Geeta reflecting on the importance of postpartum care.

  • Favourite food: Anni Darjool and Basmati rice (see Anni’s cookbook) and Geeta - Saag (slow cooked dish which Anni taught Geeta through her grandmother).

Relevant links

Dadimas’s Website, Instagram and YouTube Channel

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