I’m here to serve you recipes, but I hope to feed you so much more. Belonging, acceptance, ease, and confidence; not just in the kitchen, but in all areas of life.
My parents immigrated to the United States from India when they were in high school.
Though they instilled cultural values and practices in myself and my sister, the truth is that I didn’t grow up as a part of an Indian community, so my name and color of my skin have made me feel like an outlier for most of my life. I never felt certain of where I belonged and wondered why I didn’t just well, vibe, with everyone else.
I realize only now that this experience was not mine to carry alone, but a common experience of many third culture kids. We try our heritage on like a pair of jeans, hoping it will fit, but often it’s tight, slightly uncomfortable, and makes us want to wear sweatpants instead.
To cope with all of this,
I became a fantastically skilled people pleaser, accommodating, perfectionistic, so that at least if I stuck out, it would be in a praiseworthy way. While this way of living is never sustainable (for me or for you), I realize now that being wired this way led me to one of my greatest strengths – cooking, which inherently pleases people and their palettes.
It’s become my language for expressing my identity, my heritage, and my confidence in both. Nothing has ever made more sense to me.
I chase inclusivity in every aspect of my work, hoping that I can create a comfortable space for every single person at my table, and at yours too.
You’ll notice that a lot of my dishes happen to be vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. I don’t like to lead with these labels because they can often seem clinical, reductive, or trendy – I mean let’s be honest, no one is calling broccoli “vegan broccoli.” But by using minimally processed and real ingredients, the result comes with the additional benefit of being able to satisfy a wider audience, including those who battle with dietary restrictions, or simply want to follow their own preferences of what makes them feel their best.
The accidental plant-based energy of my style of cooking is just that, an accident – and I couldn’t be happier about it. I hope to show you how to do more with less. I want to inspire even the most reluctant or busiest of people to find themselves empowered to bake that batch of brownies that come together in one bowl, or a pasta that uses a sauce you can make in a blender.
But the reason that you’ll find much more than food here,
in my home, is because food has given me the confidence to explore other areas of my life. Food is travel, food is fashion, food is well-being. You’ll find all of it here.
WELCOME TO MY HOME – whether you know me as Samah Dada or Dada Eats, I hope you get comfortable, and stay awhile.