Photograph by Karen Kasmauski
Photograph by Karen Kasmauski

I cook because I like to eat well, feed my wife and friends. In normal life I am a photo editor and photographer living in Washington DC. I have no formal culinary training, but I guess food does run deep in my soul. Much of my extended family in Kerala, India have run food businesses and I learned to cook from them, and my mother. I am also blessed because my wife eats more than just salads, and in spite of her American/Serbian-Scandinavian descent, has a panache for spicy and outlandish foods. And also to my mother-in-law who still has the patience to teach me how to use the oven.

I am also lucky to have lived in many parts of the world and be exposed to their cultures and cuisines. I was born and brought in Bombay (Mumbai), did most of schooling in Tanzania (Africa), and spent many summers in Dubai. I have traveled across India and enjoyed eating food from the unknown street vendor to the Bukhara restaurant in New Delhi. I have also chased food for editorial purposes – I spent a week photographing Tsukiji market in Tokyo and sampling some of the best sushi and sashimi in the world; my wife and I spent about a week in Bangkok tasting just street food. Other stories include examining US fast food chains and their menus in India, and the evolution of Indian food in the United States.

I have been documenting farmers markets in the US since 2008, to understand the food supply system and to get to know the food I eat.

INJI – That is the word for ginger in Malayalam, my mother tongue. Ginger is my favorite ingredient to cook with. The rhizome is one of the most versatile spice, and it can be used for flavoring savory dishes, as a condiment, in drinks, in deserts and even as the main ingredient.

This blog is a record of what I cook, and my experimentation with food. Though I still not comfortable with the terminology “fusion cuisine”, I am experimenting and learning how to make Indian dishes using traditional North American ingredients.

Thanks for visiting my blog…..

Sebastian John


1. What does INJI mean?
A. Inji is the Malayalam (my mother tongue) word for ginger.

2. What and why dustandcolor?
A. The name “dustandcolor” was suggested by my wife after we were “brainstorming” one night (after couple of drinks) for a name that best represents India. To me India is best represented by dust and color. Hence the name.

3. Does “dust” go with food?
A. It depends on perception. In no way am I degenerating India. I am proud to be an Indian and the way India is (albeit certain things). Dustandcolor is part of our blog http://www.dustandcolor.com/ which should be live soon.

3. How can I contact you?
A. You can contact me at dustandcolor@gmail.com. My contacts are also on my photography website http://www.sebastianjohn.net/.


19 thoughts on “About

  1. You handsome dawg, you! Great recipe — I’ll make Shoy put these on the Traeger soon.
    Thanks, Terri

  2. Welcome to blogging. I have a feeling you’ll be very popular! I’m going to put you on my blog list, just so I can see what you’re cooking.

  3. Thank you for putting my blog on your list and the encouragement! About your query for the grill, I was cooking at my friends place for a dinner party. Those are aluminum foil grill sheets for keeping the grill clean. If you are based in the US, you can buy them at the big-box stores.

  4. Oh My goodness… This is amazing Sebastian!!! My mouth is literally watering reading this and the photos are scrumptious! Oh… I miss tasting your food. Please come visit me in Miami!!

    1. How you doing..have a good time in Miami? I might take up your offer to visit next year!!

  5. Hi, haven’t tried your recipes yet but was very excited to come across the site. Your photographs are amazing, site design is beautiful and the food presentation incredible.
    Liked your about page too, since I love photography *and* indian food, the latter because I’m Indian (Goa) although born and grew up in Dubai, which you happen to have visited frequently.
    Best of luck with the site, I’ll be back for sure.

  6. hey sebastian,
    Can you come and teach my hubby to cook the mallu dishes please?? Love you blog and you are lucky you have an adventurous wife as well 🙂

    1. that would be a pleasure!! yes..am lucky that my wife eats pretty much everything put in front of her

  7. Hi Sebastian, Stumbled on to this blog from another food blog. The pictures were amazing, so went through the whole blog – now I got it – you are a photographer! Really the pictures are stunning. Will have to try some of the recipes now.

  8. Hi Sebastian

    I came across your blog ages ago. It is lovely! Sorry to see that you haven’t been able to keep it updated – you have such a flair for photography and writing.


    1. Hi Simi… thanks for writing. I know I have fallen off the cliff. I do plan to revive my blog.. in 2012. Have some dishes I have concocted that I would like to put up.

    2. Just wanted to let you know that I have started blogging again. Again thanks a lot!!

    1. Hi Amrita…. I am glad you like my blog. Thank you 🙂 I have to try out the lamb fritters on your site.

  9. Wow it truly looks like you’ve traveled all over! Amazing photos by the way of the fish market and Bangkok! My boyfriend and I are currently planning a 2 year backpacking trip through Europe and Asia (while continuing to run my food blog and start a travel blog – acoupletravelers.com). We are hoping to spend a month in India – so if you have any tips/advice it would be greatly appreciated!

  10. Thank you!! I just realized that links to my photography from this page are dead. need to relink again. you travel plan sounds exciting. Planning to India would depend on two things – where you going and the time of the year you are going. If you have an idea of these let me know..

  11. I just randomly visited this site, because my name is “Inji” didnt know that it means Ginger in Malayalam Lol.. oh btw, I really love to cook, and this site is for me! HAHA thanks!

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