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Lola Jutta
25 Mar 2018 . 1 min read

How These Food Goddesses Aced The Game With Their Love For Cooking


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Aromatic spices being dry roasted and the pungent smell wafting from the kitchen in  our house, is my earliest memories of food and cooking.

Watching my mum cook blissfully, cooped into that tiny kitchen was not a very pleasant sight.

Sweat dripping down her temple, getting that dead tired expression on her face and looking haggard at the end of the day was a usual sight. I asked my mum, aren’t you tired of this whole charade? That too when you yourself end up eating a sparrow’s serving. And, her answer was, “ I love cooking for others.”

Well, I guess people who love cooking are funny and kind in that way. So, here we have for you the food goddesses whose work will inspire you to take up your passion and get superb visibility in this digital age. You can also try whipping up some of their recipes.

TARLA DALAL

A legend in the field of Indian cooking, Tarla Dalal is the only personality from this field to have been conferred with Padma Shri in 2007.

Tarla Dalal is the perfect example of how starting small is never an issue when you are bound to achieve your big goals. A skilled and avid cook, she started cookery classes from her residence in 1966, at the young age of 29. Her classes became a phenomenal success with a long waiting list of students wanting to join them. In 1974, she started publishing books, which instantly struck a chord with Indian housewives.

Mrs Tarla Dalal is India’s no.1 cookery author and one of the top five best-selling cookery authors in the world. She has written a total of 170 titles, several of which have been translated into various languages like Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali and even Dutch and Russian! The total sales of her cookery books exceed 6 million copies.

The breadth and depth of her range of books are exemplary of her deep understanding of cookery as an art and science. From nutrition and health to Indian and international cuisine, traditional to innovative, everyday cooking to grand menus, her books help readers cook what they like in the best possible way.

As a natural extension to a best-selling cookbook range, her son Mr Sanjay Dalal set up tarladalal.com, as a pet project of Sanjay & Co. It is India’s largest cookery site with 17,000 recipes, 6000 food images and over 550 food categories to choose from. There are 2.8 million visits per month by users.

The group has also recently launched the Tarla Dalal Recipe App, a searchable collection of multi-cuisine recipes, which runs on iOS devices.

MADHUR JAFFREY

What can I say about the original curry diva, she popularised Indian curries among Americans. Next time you see a westerner going gaga over how spicy and yummy Indian cuisine is, thank this petite actress-cum-traveler-cum-write-cum-cook. She introduced them to the spicy lamb curry and gobhi masala and aloo paratha.

She has written over a dozen cookbooks and appeared on several television programs, the most notable of which was Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery, which premiered in the UK in 1982. She is the food consultant at Dawat, considered by many food critics to be among the best Indian restaurants in New York City.  

She has very extensively documented the roots and beginnings of vegetarian foods in India in her book Vegetarian India. Very precisely she has pointed out that, “Indian vegetarian foods are perhaps the most flavorful and the most varied in the entire world. Nobody can know everything about India. It’s an ancient subcontinent with little crevices here and there, and the food is different from home to home. Entirely different. The religions, the communities, the individuals in the communities, and each cooking in an individual style handed down from their grandmother and great-grandmother. That is what I wanted to capture in some way in this book.”

Here are links to some of her recipes:- Some oven baked chicken love  here,

For less than a half hour, mix veg delight in creamy goodnessTry out her other recipes here.  

NISHA MADHULIKA

Another success story of a woman who started out small but is now ruling the YouTube space with her lip-smacking recipes. Nisha Madhulika, 58, was struggling with empty nest syndrome, as most of the women her age do. After kids are all grown up and have moved out, she had also stopped helping out with her husband's information technology business as the commute was taking a toll on her health. Nisha Madhulika took account of her passion, which was cooking, and started her blog in 2007. She was an instant hit as people would leave comments and feedback. This, in turn, prompted her to start a series of her cookery videos.

Although it wasn’t an easy setup, her husband and sons would help her out with the shoots and camera handling. Considering none of them were trained to operate a camera professionally, the initial months were tough. They had limited time to capture the cooking process and if not done well, the process would have to be repeated leading to a lot of wastage. In fact, they had to convert a spare bedroom into a kitchen to improve the video quality with minimum distractions.

Now, a team of five people have replaced her husband and sons, who had helped her set up her website. “My husband would leave for office at 9 am, so we had to shoot the video before that, which meant that I would wake up early and keep everything organised,” she recalls.

Nisha Auntyji, as she is fondly referred to by her 3.8 million (and growing) subscriber base that includes people not only from India but, places as far away as Africa and Australia, is one of the top five YouTube stars in Asia.

Here’s the link to Nisha Auntyji’s YouTube Channel, get started with the easy to cook, homemade finger-licking recipes.

NIGELLA LAWSON

Behold the kitchen goddess, Nigella Lawson who challenged the conventional scene of cooking. She has a distinctive and sensuous style of description which made her stand out among the scores of professional chefs’ cookery shows.

Though Lawson has enjoyed a successful career in cookery, she is not a trained chef and does not like being referred to as a "celebrity chef". Furthermore, she does not see herself as a cook or an expert in her field.

Throughout Lawson's television programmes, she emphasises that she cooks for her own pleasure, for enjoyment and that she finds cooking therapeutic.

When deciding upon which recipes to feature in her books, she takes the view of the eater, stating, "If it's something I don't want to carry on eating once I'm full, then I don't want the recipe. I have to feel that I want to cook the dish again."

Nigella is the author of nine best-selling books – including her iconic first book, How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food and Nigella Express: Good Food Fast which sold over one million copies in the UK alone.

Lawson has become renowned for her flirtatious manner of presenting, although she argues, "It's not meant to be flirtatious. I don't have the talent to adopt a different persona. It's intimate, not flirtatious."

And hands down we agree with her!

It must be noted here, that none of the above women has a professional training as chefs, but they have been acing their space with utmost elan. What’s stopping you? The world is full of hungry people like me and budding chefs or people who simply want to learn how to cook their one-time meal.

Put on that apron and become the chef you are!


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Lola Jutta
An unapologetic writer, budding travel enthusiast and a default optimist! Life is what you make out of it.

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Responses

  • F*****
    Really nice article....I also like cooking....and Nisha aunty is one of my favorite....Ty for sharing....
  • A*****
    Very nice article .. I love cooking Even Tarla Dalal & nisha madhulika are my favorites...
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