About Me & FAQs
Email contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Who are you?
I’m a software services entrepreneur by day and a hobby cook and food blogger by night. I am from India. I live in Virginia, not far from Washington DC moved to Portland, OR recently.
Why are you vegetarian?
I was raised a vegetarian and have been vegetarian most my life. I love it and will never change it. But you won’t see me preaching vegetarianism. I respect peoples’ eating choices. I have a husband who eats meat and I have no problem with it.
What influences your cooking?
So many things. Growing up in southern India with fiery, bold flavors has certainly influenced my cooking.
I have been to over 36 countries in 6 continents. I’ve lived in 3 countries. Along the way I’ve picked up new ingredients and new methods of cooking.
What are some of the most memorable vegetarian foods/meals you’ve eaten in your travels?
Everywhere I’ve been, confused waiters have stared at me for requesting food without meat. Still, I manage to find fabulous vegetarian food everywhere I go.
Here is a highly incomplete list of some incredible vegetarian foods I’ve had around the world:
- Tempeh satays skewered on lemon grass stalks in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- Delicious spinach and cheese stuffed gozlemes on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey.
- An incredible, rustic vegetable tagine made by our camel man in a tent in the Moroccan Sahara desert. Amazingly, this was the only time during my trip in Morocco that I was specifically offered a vegetarian meal – right in the middle of the Sahara desert!
- Stuffed giant zucchini flowers in Mexico were an amazing experience.
- The most outstanding Congolese spinach dish, and crisp- on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside Xhosa bread in Cape Town, South Africa.
- Buddhist vegetarian food made with imitation meats in Singapore was an unforgettable experience. I’ve also had one hell of an ingenious ‘monkey head’ curry made out of mushroom and jackfruit in Singapore.
- Helados (ice cream) in the most mouth watering flavors all over Argentina. The wine in Mendoza, Argentina was also amazing.
- In Reykjavik, I ate Skyr everyday – a thick, creamy flavored yogurt made from a culture the Vikings brought to Iceland.
- The best Srilankan string hoppers from a hole-in-the-wall place in Toronto, Canada.
- Chocolate crepes wrapped in newspaper in Nice, France. We snacked on them one balmy night, while strolling along cobbled streets, watching street performers.
- The $75 salad in Oslo, Norway wasn’t the best tasting, but was certainly unforgettable – its most I’ve ever paid for a bunch of leaves on a plate.
- Latvia introduced me to the pinkest think I’ve ever eaten – Latvian cold soup with beets, yogurt and boiled egg.
- The 14 vegetarian Thai dishes I learned to make at a cooking class in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Every one of them was exquisite.
- A spicy, meaty jackfruit curry and rotis in Fiji.
- Warm tapioca and banana pudding in Cambodia.
- Wedding food on banana leaves in Chettinad, South India, where most my ancestors come from.
In your opinion what are the top countries for vegetarian travel?
What are your favorite foods?
I enjoy Asian cuisine. I like bold, assertive flavors. And ofcourse, the good south Indian that I am, I can’t live without yogurt rice. I love Popcorn, olives, cheese, anything green especially kale, mustard greens and spinach and anything spicy – I add sriracha to everything. Did I mention olives? I’m obsessed with them. Cerignola and halkidi are my favorite olives. If I had a cat I’d name it olive. If I had a dog I’d name it olive. If I had a baby I’d name it olive. Ok..maybe not the baby..but you get the idea.
Your least favorite things?
I’m not the biggest fan of ripe mangoes. Yes, I’ve been told i’m weird! But just because I dont love them, doesn’t mean I deprive my readers of a perfectly good mango recipe
What ingredients do you always have on hand in your kitchen?
Olive oil, greek yogurt, sriracha sauce, brown sugar, white wine, garlic, fresh herbs, good quality curry powder, basmati rice, frozen spinach, tomato paste, vanilla extract, a big collection of hot sauces, canned beans, and balsamic vinegar.
What vegetarian ingredients can I use to mimic meat flavors?
Parmesan rind gives soups and stocks a great deep flavor, much like chicken stock. Vegetable bouillon cubes are great in rice and pasta. Save the soaking liquid after rehydrating dried mushrooms like porcini or morels and add them to stocks. I also use mushroom soy sauce, vegan worchestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and kombu.
Favorite kitchen equipment?
I love my Kitchenaid stand mixer. I cant live without my microplane grater, citrus reamer, cast iron grill pan, mortar and pestle, coffee grinder for spices, and my blender.
What camera and photography equipment do you use?
I use a Canon rebel XTi 5D Mark II and also a Canon 7D. I usually use a 50mm 1.8 lens for food and 24-70 2.8 for travel. Rarely, I also use lowel ego lights when there isn’t enough natural light. And a tripod.
All writing, recipes and photos in this blog, unless noted otherwise, are original creations of mine and are copyrighted. All rights reserved. If you’d like to use my material, recipes or photos from this blog, please ask me first.
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