July '08 Mysore Highlight


by Krista Shirley

Tina Sasson is well known among the yogis in Mysore for her humor, hospitality, and delicious home cooked meals. Feeding students of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois since 2002, Tina doesn’t mess around in the kitchen! She offers Western and Indian breakfast, and North Indian lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. And for those yogis who want to learn how to make Tina’s tasty treasures, she even offers cooking classes by request!

For the last six years, Tina has been opening her home to yogis each morning for breakfast, and she very recently opened her lunch and dinner spot on the Gokulam Main road next to Vijay Driving School.

During a recent interview with Tina, I asked her how this all began? “I have always wanted to do something with people and food,” Tina says. “From the time I was fourteen years old I wanted my father to open a Dhaba (road side café).” During her professional career Tina has run a boutique and taught English, but her childhood dream finally began to materialize in 1999 when she and her family moved to Lakshmipuriam.

Tina vividly remembers seeing oddly dressed foreigners walking around town. When a couple of these foreigners moved into her building Tina decided to introduce herself and give them a little welcoming gift – some of her very own home cooked food.

Before long, her new foreign neighbor, Brad Crews came to Tina’s door requesting three salads for him and his guests. Brad then returned to Tina requesting a home cooked Thanksgiving feast for twenty-five.

Christina Browns, one of Brad’s Thanksgiving guests, was so impressed with Tina’s food she asked Tina to teach her how to cook. Tina began teaching two cooking classes per day, everyday. Little did she know this was merely the beginning!

In 2002, Tina and her family moved to Gokulam and that is when her breakfast café was born. This Valentines Day, Tina opened her "Lunch and Dinner" café on the Gokulam Main road. She offers North Indian cuisine from 1:00-10:30pm.

Tina enjoys being able to share her knowledge and love of food with people from all over the world. But Tina’s generosity extends far beyond the kitchen. This phenomenal woman also helps connect women and children in need with yogis who can assist them. Many children in Mysore cannot go to school because their parents can not afford school fees, uniforms, books, and other supplies. There are underfunded schools in need of blackboards, fans, and other necessary supplies. There are women who cannot work because they cannot afford the bus or train fees to get to and from their job.

Tina has connected generous yogis to people in Mysore who are in desperate need of financial aid. Since 2002, Melanie Baker has helped to fund school uniforms, school books and school tuition for six children. She also purchased a sewing machine so one women could work. Anne Ryan’s donation funded fans for a retirement home and Kimo Brown provided supplies for a school science lab and toiletry supplies for fifty orphan girls. David Roche provided another school with lights and fans. With another student's donation, Tina was able to purchase school uniforms for forty six children. Living Mysore co-founder, Michael Carter, has set up an English program in Mysore where yogis volunteer time two days per week to visit a local school and teach children English. The list goes on and on…

I was very surprised at how easy it was to raise money for less fortunate people in Mysore. All I did was post a notice on my blog and readers donated hundreds of dollars to help Tina purchase school uniforms and shoes for several children, an entire year's school tuition for a little girl, and toiletry supplies for fifty orphan girls. And none of this could be possible without the love and compassion of Tina Sasson. Her love of life, people and food is a true inspiration to us all. So when you come to Mysore to study at AYRI, be sure to stop in and grab a bite of Tina’s home cooked food.

Tina’s Café: Home Cooked Meals

438 Contour Road
Gokulam, 3rd Stage
Open 8:00am-12:00pm
Tina offers fruit, breads, dosas, eggs, porridge, juices and smoothies, and hot drinks. Side items include yogurt (curd), milk, soy milk, honey, butter or ghee, tomato chutney, raisins, dates, sautéed spinach, and sesame seeds.

Lunch and Dinner
Gokulam Main Road, beside Vijay Driving School
Open Monday-Saturday from 1:00pm-10:30pm (Closed Sundays)
Fresh, Home Cooked, North Indian Food

Cooking Classes
Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1:00pm
Reservations Only – please call for additional information

Tina’s Cookbook Coming Soon!

Tina Sasson
Mobile – 9449818668
Home - 08212416668

Krista is currently practicing in Mysore, India. She writes the blog "AshtangaYogini".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just reading about this makes me wish to be able to taste her famous food, which sounds so delicious, and perhaps even learn from her one day. Mmmm. I do hope, very very much, to make it to Mysore.