Chef Tarla Dalal
Mrs. Tarla Dalal is nothing short of a success story – and one that inspires many an Indian woman. She is living proof of the fact that if you have a skill, you want to share it with others, and are prepared to work towards that goal, your fame will reach the farthest realms of the world.
Born in Pune, India, Mrs. Dalal moved to Mumbai after her marriage. A skilled and avid cook, she started cookery classes from her residence in 1966, at the young age of 29. Her classes became a phenomenal success with a long waiting-list of students wanting to join them. At one point in time, it used to be said in Mumbai, “If you want to get your daughter married, send her to Mrs. Dalal's Classes.” This was because her classes guaranteed cookery expertise with her simple instructions and precise recipes. Encouraged by the long queue waiting to enrol in her classes, and wanting to carry the skill to more people, in 1974 she started publishing books, which instantly struck a chord with Indian housewives.
Today, Mrs. Tarla Dalal is India’s no. 1 cookery author, and one of the top five best-selling cookery authors in the world. She has written a total of 170 titles, several of which have been translated into various languages like Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali and even Dutch and Russian! The total sales of her cookery books exceed 6 million copies. One particular review in The Khaleej Times, Dubai, captured the popularity of her books, by writing that Mrs. Dalal had 'streamlined the eating habits in India'. Apart from books, she also shares her skills in various other ways, including cookery shows which have evented in most parts of India and major cities of the world such as Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brussels, Antwerp, Lisbon, Zurich, Nairobi, London, Toronto, New York and Durban.
The breadth and depth of her range of books is exemplary of her deep understanding of cookery as an art and science. From nutrition and health to Indian and international cuisine, from traditional to innovative, everyday cooking to grand menus, her books help readers cook what they like in the best possible way.
Evergreen classics such as Swadisht Subziyan, Eggless Deserts, Snacks under 10 Minutes and Tava Cooking are as popular today as her recent launches like Kebabs & Tikkis, Growing Kids Cookbook, Burgers & Smoothies, Non-Fried Snacks, South Indian Recipes, Cakes & Pastries and Mousses, Cheesecakes & Cupcakes. Her mini-book collection, which includes Curries & Kadhis, Cooking with Sprouts, Stir-fries, Noodles, Corn, Chips & Dips, Baked Dishes, and many more interesting titles, sell like hot cakes all across the world due to their handy nature, focused presentation and economical pricing.
Mrs. Dalal’s repertoire also includes a Total Health Series comprising health-related cookbooks with recipes and information. This holistic series offers delicious and healthy recipe options for all, with books such as The Pregnancy Cookbook, Baby and Toddler Food, Delicious Diabetic Recipes, Fast Foods Made Healthy, Healthy Soups and Salads, Cooking with 1 Teaspoon of Oil and Calcium-Rich Recipes. A few recent launches in this genre are Exotic Diabetic Cooking, Zero Oil Rotis & Subzis, Zero Oil Dal-Chawal, Low Calorie Sweets, Healthy Subzis, Acidity Cookbook, etc.
As a natural extension to a best-selling cookbook range, her son Mr. Sanjay Dalal set up tarladalal.com, as a pet project of Sanjay & Co. It is India’s largest cookery site with 17,000 recipes, 6000 food images and over 550 food categories to choose from. There are 2.8 million visits per month by users who find their favourite recipes, cooking videos, create their own cookbooks, store their favourite recipes permanently online, participate in recipe contests, and much more.
The group has also recently launched the Tarla Dalal Recipe App, a searchable collection of multi-cuisine recipes, which runs on iOS devices. It helps users find recipes according to their requirements, add favourite recipes to various personal cookbooks, make shopping lists for different themes, and view recipes in a newly-designed recipe slider format.
Sanjay & Co. also publishes Cooking & More, a bimonthly food magazine that reaches out to millions of Mrs. Dalal’s fans. For more than a decade, Cooking & more has been providing information and inspiration to readers, not just about food but also related to other aspects of life including entertaining, self-grooming, yoga, home décor, etiquette, and so on.
And, if you wish to watch Mrs. Dalal in action, there are over 500 cookery videos, which can be found on Tarladalal.com and her You Tube channel, Tarla Dalal’s Kitchen. Mrs. Dalal loves to be in sync with the younger generation, and you can find her active on all popular social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Word Press, Instagram, Pinterest, Picasa, and her own blog.
She writes a large number of cookery columns for various publications, newspapers and magazines like Indian Express, Dainik Jagaran, Manorama, Mid-Day, Loksatta, Lokprabha, The Telegraph (Calcutta), Malayala Manorama, Abhiyan, Stree, etc. Her recipes have been extensively covered by the electronic media including various TV and radio channels. Now you can also watch her videos any time on Tata Sky.
Yet, one must note that her versatile persona is not restricted to food; there is a very inspirational and charitable side to Mrs. Dalal, who is also an extremely lovable ma and grandma. Mrs. Dalal is actively involved in charity. She travels throughout India and conducts cookery demonstrations to raise money for worthy causes.
Who cannot be in awe of such a person! In 2005, the Indian Merchant Chamber honoured Smt. Tarla Dalal as “Woman of the Year”. In 2007, Mrs. Dalal was awarded the “Padmashree Award” – the biggest award an Indian can dream of achieving – for her contribution in the field of cooking. She is the first Indian to have been awarded in this category.
An Indian woman with a loving and lovable family, who has harnessed her talent and entrepreneurial skill to break the then stereotyped mould of an Indian woman, to grow into a global cookery diva, she continues to be actively involved in developing and researching new recipes and in photo and video shoots, to reach out to more people with her passion—food cooked with love and taught with love!