My husband was the most inspirational person in my life. He was instrumental in shaping the course of my career. When we married in 1957, I only knew how to cook Gujarati dishes. It was my husband who urged me to cook different kinds of cuisines as well. I still remember that he bought me over 200 cookbooks that introduced me to global cuisines and those from different regions of India. These helped me hone my culinary skills and soon I became passionate about cooking and started experimenting with different ingredients. Needless to say that my husband was over the moon at this turn. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that I found my way to his heart through his stomach.
But there were other turning points in my life as well. Once, while I was conducting a cookery class in Mumbai, a lady requested me to come up with recipes for tasty dishes for her diabetic husband. I realised that people who were suffering from ailments like high cholesterol or diabetes would want to have food that is healthy and tasty as well. This spurred me on to write a series of cookbooks on healthy eating. The first one in the series, Low Calorie Healthy Cooking (1987), did phenomenally well.
There was no looking back after that as almost all my books on healthy eating became popular with the new generation of health-conscious people in India and abroad.
Venturing into the Internet was another turning point. My son, Sanjay, helped me expand my business model by setting up a website of my own and a dedicated YouTube channel — both of which are very popular. These contributed a lot to the success that I have achieved today.
Writing books keeps me busy these days. In 2013, I am coming out with one on innovative breakfast and beverage options called Breakfast Combo.
(As told to Yashodeep Sengupta)