I was born and brought up in Mangalore, a coastal city on the southern coast of India. At the tender age of 16, I started my journey to cosmopolitan Mumbai in search of a job like many others from different parts of India. I worked as a Secretary in an engineering firm and every year I visited my parents and in-laws in Mangalore to revive my beautiful childhood memories and wonderful food related reminiscences. I enjoyed even a simple dal prepared by my mom or my sister-in-law's fish curry, as the dishes were prepared in earthen pots those days. After I got married I started taking an interest in cooking, because everyone knows that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I enjoyed cooking for my husband and for my children.
I didn't realise when my interest in cooking turned into a passion. Whenever I ate in someone's house, if I liked a certain dish, I would ask the host for the recipe. This way, I kept collecting different regional recipes from people I met through work or travel. My cooking was appreciated by family and friends, and I very often cooked for parties and get-togethers at their request.
Now my children are married and I have recently migrated to Australia to live with my daughter & her family. I love to cook for them. My biggest critic is my grandson & I always ask him to taste the dish after I prepare it. And he always says, "Nana, this is yummy, awesome, delicious, divine, heavenly, and what not!!!" I not only cook the traditional dishes to savour the happy faces of my daughter, son-in-law, and of course my husband but I also enjoy cooking pizzas and healthy burgers for my grandkids in a delicious but nutritious way. Instead of plain flour, I use leaftover chapatis to make mouth-watering pizzas. As a result, they have stopped eating in Dominos and Hungry Jacks!
Besides cooking, I also love gardening and I have grown some herbs, vegies and fruit trees. I have realised how great the dishes taste with fresh home-grown organic vegies, herbs and spices.
I am now in that stage of life when I think I should impart my knowledge and experience to the younger generations so that the tradition of cooking authentic, delicious and healthy Indian meals continues...
Always remember to cook with your heart and soul, and your family and friends will relish it!