I’m Priya Elias.

Welcome to The Smokey Chimney (TSC).
I started writing blogs in 2010 (and quit twice. This is my third, and final stop.) and began much like everyone else. I was newly married, cooking was pretty much an unchartered territory and there wasn't much to do as I was not working. My perceptions have greatly changed from when I began blogging when it was just about recipes, and what you see here now is how things evolved over time.

No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.


Laurie Colwin

Laurie Colwin’s quote pretty much sums up the recipes that you see here. Some of them are remnants of my journeys to the past - to my Mother's, Grandmother's or Aunt GA's Kitchens - in search of flavours long lost and ever enchanting. Some others are attempts at recreating what enticed me in cookbooks and other blogs. Yet others are results of sudden streaks of adventure and rebellion to normal paths.

The recipes that you find here are more of guidelines than rules. They are adjusted to suit our likes and should not be seen as unadaptable and rigid decrees.

As with everyone else, the flavours that I grew up with are what comforts me most and what I long to recreate in my Kitchen. Over the years however, I have found that it is easier said than done. No measuring spoons or cups had ever found their way into my Grandmother's Kitchen, no recipes were ever penned down and it is surprisingly difficult to get the most basic of her recipes right. It is the same story when it comes to my Mom's as well as GA's signature dishes - I have some of their recipes written down; but those final tweaks that will invariably be made by them remain fairly elusive. So I go by surmises and intuition, and have nailed some recipes. Some others, I have begrudgingly let go of. 


Give two cooks the same ingredients and the same recipe; it is fascinating to observe how, like handwriting, their results differ. After you cook a dish repeatedly, you begin to understand it. Then you can reinvent it a bit and make it yours. A written recipe can be useful, but sometimes the notes scribbled in the margin are the key to a superlative rendition. Each new version may inspire improvisation based on fresh understanding. It doesn't have to be as dramatic as all that, but such exciting minor epiphanies keep cooking lively.


Talking about the photographs - neither am I a good photographer nor do I own a DSLR. Both these facts reflect greatly in what I post here. However, I like to think I have inherited my grandfather's love for photography. I will have to see where that takes me.

In case you need to contact me, drop a mail at pick wick corner (at) gmail (dot) com, or catch me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Bloglovin' or Google+. Comments on posts are always welcome - I love reading them. However, you might want to go through the commenting policies here if you have any specific interests in leaving a comment here.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I have been blogging at The Humpty Dumpty Kitchen previously and as I mentioned in the beginning, I decided to move on for several reasons. I hope you will bear with me as I begin anew, transfer and tweak recipes from that old abode of mine and settle in here. On what I believe would be my last major blog change, I have decided to go on a pace comfortable for me. I am not a regular blogger and over the years, I have found that not sticking to a schedule is what works for me.
  2. I like to keep this as a separate and private space away from my real life acquaintances, except for a small circle. If you don't know about my blog and you are wondering why you have been kept in the dark, chances are I'd like to keep it that way and I'd appreciate it much if you would respect that. (No offence to anyone, but I sometimes write about things that are very precious and personal to me - memories and threads that we hold dear, and I'd like those to be kept away from unnecessary conjectures and surmises.)
  3. Just in case you are wondering, the photo above shows the detail of woodwork from one of the 'side roof peaks' on my home, back in Kerala.


  1. Hi Priya,

    Nice to meet you!! I went through your blog and loved the prop collection you have. Loved the rustic looks and the pictures!

    1. Thank you so much Shibi. So glad that you dropped in and you have a wonderful space too. Loved going through the posts :)

  2. Hey!!!! you changed your blog name.. you know how difficult it was to find you?? It's your profile picture that made me realize that you are here.. How are you?

    1. Look who is back! How long have you been MIA? I started a new blog altogether - not just changed the name, and haven't blogged in a year :)

      Ha ha! I should have kept in touch.

      I'm good. Hope things are going well for you.


I love reading your comments and feedback, so feel free to leave a word.

PS: There is some issue with images (not loading) in some recipes. I would be much obliged if you can notify me of blank spaces/crossed out thumbnails in any of the posts. TIA.

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