Sandhu spend 15 years traveling the country collecting ingredients while also adopting the traditional cooking methods of the people she met. In the Khonoma village in northeast India's Nagaland, she collected Szechuan peppercorn leaves, which she uses to marinate fish before chargrilling. In the backwaters of Alleppey in southern India, she encountered kodampuli, a pungent-smelling fruit that's dried and smoked, which she uses in fish curry. Sandhu has also been gathering family recipes: some willingly passed along, and others so closely held that she's had to decode their mysteries on her own. At her last job, as chef-de-cuisine at Mumbai's Taj Land End, Sandhu met Rajkumari Sarvesh Kaur, granddaughter of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, late ruler of India's Patiala state. She says Kaur happily shared her family's heirloom recipes, walking Sandhu through each of them, and typically ending with a note like, "this was cooked on charcoal in a heavy-bottom lagan [a traditional Indian copper cooking pot], and will taste different from anything you've ever tried."