I was born in Mumbai (Bombay), India but as a month-old baby my parents moved to Chennai (Madras) where I grew up speaking Tamil more than Guajarati, my mother tongue and embracing the hot and spicier south Indian cuisine. Looking back now, my memories are of healthier food and flavors of the south Indian cuisine - unique steamed rice cakes and crepes (Idli & Dosa with super tasty chutneys), a variety of flavorsome colorful rice dishes (coconut, lemon & tamarind), mouthwatering Biriyani, light tangy peppery currys like Rasam, Sambhar and the usage of coconut cream & water, and freshly prepared spice pastes with tamarind pulp and lemons. Every garden in the backyard had a huge Kari tree. The fresh Kari leaves featured in almost all curries, one of the most unique tastes that cannot be described.
Working for almost 2 decades as an amateur photographer, gave me the opportunity to travel within Indian and abroad, including a year’s stint helping my ex-boss in researching and publishing a cookery book on Kerala, known as “Gods Own Country” or “Venice of India” in South West India. I travelled extensively interviewing, observing and getting to know a huge variety of very talented, humble women home cooks who did not hesitate to share with me their precious recipes, tips and tricks brought down from generation to generation. I was in paradise! My tastes buds were exploding in every direction. At that time, I did not know that I was actually being trained and prepared for my own cookery journey later in Switzerland!
Met my Swiss husband in Bengaluru (Bangalore), married him in Zürich, Switzerland, moved to Holland, then back to Switzerland in Bern and finally settled in Kanton Lucern. While in India, we spent 10 days travelling through South India including our unforgettable journey in a house boat through the canals in Kerala, and introducing my husband to the fabulous Keralan cuisine, which he loved, like the freshly caught jumbo prawns and the famous Karimeen fish, grilled in the boat.
I launched my cookery business in Bern in 2006 and since 2014 moved to a small village Aesch at the Hallwil lake in Kanton Lucern. With my Indian food know-how, I taught myself, learning by doing, to integrate it into the Swiss culture with local ingredients. After 8 years of experience in Bern, I continued my cookery classes in our own house we built with a large kitchen island along with my small sustainable vegetable and herb garden. My focus is on educating my clients on the basic usage of spices - whole, powder, dry mixtures, fresh pastes and how to incorporate these into the food thus showing them the difference between North and South cuisine.
My recipes are easy to follow without losing its authenticity, yet delicious, inspiring and easy to make at home. Some of my students have made an entire Indian buffet for Christmas here in Switzerland! My 13-year experience as a cookery teacher, incl. almost 8 years at Migros Klubschule, various internet team event portals, sourcing ingredients, continue learning from my roots, re-inventing myself and meeting people, has taught me which recipes work well, what foods people enjoy and best of all, be creative with new spice mixes and recipe combos.