Across my Table

Tarla Dalal - Across My Table

Monday, November 12, 2012Me! In words

Every once in a while, the stars align and you get to do something or meet someone who shares a passion with you. That is what happened when my mum came over recently to celebrate her 60th birthday with us. Tarla Dalal, quite popularly known as the grandmother of Indian cooking came to Bangalore in aid of charity for Round Table Indian and Ladies Circle India. The tickets were just Rs 1000 and there was no need to think twice about getting there. Unfortunately I couldn't make it with mum. What I did manage to do was get a small interview with Tarla Dalal via email. Here are some of her thoughts..

Tarla Dalal - At the Chancery Pavilion

You began your classes at a time when women as professional cooks chef was frowned on. How have home cooks grown since you first began. What are the changes you see in the demands from the classes you conduct?
Women out to learn cooking earlier were looking for novelties and there was a huge  emphasis on Italian and European dishes. Today, with a change in times and lifestyles, there seems to be an increasing demand for health based cooking. Recipes need to be tweaked in order to reach this requirement.

Pic for representation. Click for original link

A Padmashree for your achievements in cooking, the honor of penning the “World’s best vegetarian cookbook’ and many such achievements – your thoughts on coming this far from being the young girl who wanted to cook good food for her husband?
When I received the Padma Shri award I was very excited and felt my hard work has been noticed and appreciated. My family was as first doubtful as I was just the beginner. But then when I proved myself they all were very happy and supportive. They always stood by me...

Pic for representation. Click for original link

What would be a typical spread at a family get together in your home?
I would always make freshly baked breads, curries and pulaos, a good dessert to end the meal. 

Pic for representation. Click for original link

From your years as a teacher of cooking, in your opinion, is cooking an inborn talent or something that can be learned
Cooking can be learned by doing research and practicing at home. Today cooking is a science so it is easy to work...

What are your tips to making cooking a pleasure?
When your family enjoys and appreciates the food you cook, you really get encouragement and confidence and that in itself can be the motivation you are looking for to making cooking a pleasure. 

During the demo

My mum got a chance to interact with Tarla Dalal for a short time and mentioned about how homely and easy to talk to she is. For a woman who has achieved so much, she is very down to earth. She demonstrated a host of recipes including - Watermelon mojito, spicy corn and jalapeno fondue, Mexican quesadilla, Burmese Khow Suey, Burmese Curry Samosa, and Chocolate pie for dessert.

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