Alaka Wali, Founder of the Chicago Cultural Alliance


Taste from Home is a collection of recipes and stories can be used as a way to connect with others and facilitate conversations about race, culture, and identity over a new recipe. Make a cultural dish and sit down with family and friends and have a discussion of the culture it represents.  Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today, if you are able. If you are unable to donate, you can still participate by sharing a recipe by using hashtags #tastefromhome, #tastefromhomerecipe, & #chicagocultural on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

This recipe was invented by Kashi Wali, my Mother, soon after she came from India to the United States.  She and her husband loved to entertain friends and colleagues, and it occurred to her that putting a new twist on a standard American desert would please her guests.  She used the Joy of Cooking recipe for “cheesecake cockaigne”  and added an “Indian” flavor to it by using two very special spices—cardamom and saffron.  Both of these spices are used in India for very special sweet dishes,  such as Shrikand,  a creamy sweet yoghurt desert. When I was in college and lived in a coop, I made the cheesecake for my dorm mates, and they gave it an award! Ever since, whenever I entertain guests and want to do something special, I make this cheesecake.  Now, I share this recipe with my children and with all of you!

Video made by Monona Wali.