Sanjeev Kapoor on Tarla Dalal: She was my inspiration to write cookbooks…

08 Nov,2013

The Queen of Indian Cookery Books Tarla Dalal passed away on Wednesday, November 6. Having written over a hundred cookbooks and several thousand recipes, Ms Dalal’s recipes have helped transform lakhs of first-timers into accomplished cooks. Generations of men and women found in her recipe books a companion they could depend on for pure vegetarian fare – from the traditional Indian cuisine to a variety of international fare.


In this tribute written exclusively for MxMIndia, Sanjeev Kapoor, well-known chef, cookery book writer and television show host as also co-promoter of Food Food channel, talks of how Ms Dalal has been his inspiration to write cookbooks.


Read on…


Tarla Dalal
Sanjeev Kapoor

Tarla Dalal was a pioneer who bought homecooking into forefront and spread it across avenues to make it glamorous. She made this routine, monotonous, chore turn 180 degrees and made it interesting. She did it when nobody else was in this space. Whether it was cookery classes or cookbooks, she led the way.


Her roots were in vegetarianism and the credit goes entirely to her, that despite temptations and demand of this commercial world, she stuck to her roots and remained wedded only to vegetarian recipes. Known for her business acumen, she   kept adapting to the demands of the new world – be it TV shows, websites, videos or more recently the Tarla Dalal App on mobiles.


She’s the first person, from the culinary field, in the country, to be honored with the Padma Shri by the Government of India. It speaks volumes of her contribution in this field. I was fortunate to meet her on a few occasions and I always came back impressed with her humility and grounded approach.


She was widely travelled and loved to discuss food from across the globe. All kinds of food excited her and there was nothing which she could not convert into vegetarian option, for the pre-dominantly vegetarian public of India.


She was my inspiration to write cookbooks and will always be a special person in my life. Her contribution to the Indian culinary world will always be written in golden words and she will be remembered as a small, sweet, smiling, motherly, next-door lady, always ready to dish-out something new, especially for you. There’s an adage: There’s no love more sincere than love of food… and that’s synonymous with Tarla Dalal.


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