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Cooking opens up new worlds

Born in Bombay, the largest cosmopolitan city of India and a food lovers’ paradise, my parents were always passionate about food. So I had the fortune of being introduced to a variety of national and international cuisines at a very early age, which, in turn, fired my curiosity to learn about different types of cuisines, and adapt them to my vegetarian way of life. Substituting international recipes with vegetarian alternatives opens a whole new universe of tastes from all around the world. Taking a cooking class with world famous cookbook author and teacher Tarla Dalal, completing a hands-on course from the catering college of Bombay and taking several other short courses in Indian and international vegetarian cooking all guided me in my journey. I am into everything: Thai, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, etc. Indian cuisine also has a lot of variety. In India, the different religions, social strata and states all have their own cuisines and tastes. The University City area fuels my passion for good food, with its varied cuisines. When I entered the area 16 years ago, we had only one Indian store in all of Charlotte. Now, there’s more than a dozen Indian grocery stores, and many Indian restaurants. Five of those grocery stores are in the north itself, in the University City area, Concord and Mooresville. At present, I enjoy teaching vegetarian Indian as well as vegetarian fusion cuisines through Charlotte Cooks, in the continuing education department at CPCC. I make ready-to-use spice mixes to use in yogurt, on pizza, in salads and in teas. My hobby of reading cookbooks and magazines helps a lot in my passionate journey in the universe of food. I would love to share this with my fellow foodies, and learn from you, too.