Why start a blog?

I’m constantly playing culinary advisor to my friends and colleagues (especially regarding Indian food) so thought I’d start this blog to share my recipes and helpful tips with you all too! I’m hoping this becomes an easy reference for quick, healthy food with an emphasis on the recipes I grew up with and many that I’ve created over the years. Also, Indian food seems to still be thought of as labor intensive and complicated. So here I am, attempting to change that – one curry at a time  :)

So, why the name - NO SWEAT CURRY???

In addition to what I outlined on my homepage about creating a simple and quick approach to Indian food, there is another play on my brand name…I also wanted to offer the thought that Indian food does not have to be blow-your-top-off-spicy (did I really just write that?!). Those that know me, know that I l-o-v-e my food spicy; that my taste buds dance as soon as the chili hits my tongue, but the culinarian in me understands that for food to be appreciated and truly enjoyed, it has to play to the individual’s palate.. I will propose alternatives for different spice levels, as well as have an array of dishes that don’t have much of any heat in them and still be entirely delish!

How has your upbringing impacted your cooking style?

Born and raised in Durban, South Africa by 2nd-generation Indian parents really sparked my love for cooking, and bold dishes at that! My mom is an amazing cook and always produced delicious meals every single day, and I was lucky enough to enjoy the wafting aromas and lekker (“yummy” in Afrikaans) morsels from her kitchen throughout my childhood. My dad is an avid gardener and I’d always thought that it was the norm being able to harvest an entire salad dish or many exotic fruits at my whim from our extensive garden. Little did I know how fortunate I was, or that being exposed to an array of spices and fresh food so early in life would really arm me with a firm understanding of flavor and quality of food. Because of my upbringing, I am able to identify and comfortable handle a multitude of ingredients. This has greatly influenced the way I cook today for my family and friends, and has led me to bring NO SWEAT CURRY to you! 

Do you have any experience in the culinary industry?

Yes, although I’ve been cooking for family and friends since I was 14, my formal training only started when I was approaching 30. I attended culinary school and was trained in the classical French method. I started my first culinary job as an intern at Elizabeth Kennedy Catering. Boy, was that an education in itself! From the minute I unsheathed my knife, I was introduced to the fast paced world of upscale food served for parties ranging from a table of 10 to hundreds of guests attending big galas and celebrations!! These experiences helped me refine my cooking skills and really focus on my passion for food. I spent a few years also employed as a private chef to a couple living in our town that had specific dietary restrictions, which helped me develop a better sense of flexibility in my cooking methods. My last venture was chef liaison at the Treasure Coast Wine Festival – a huge 3-day fundraiser for local charities – which led me to work closely with celebrity chefs Ralph Pagano, Rick Tramonto and many others. For the past 3 years, I’d taken a hiatus from the culinary industry to focus on my kids and their needs. My baby boy was born with several food allergies, including eggs, peanuts and strawberries. To further keep our small household non-conventional, my now 7-year-old decided 2 years ago that she was going to change her diet to become an ovo-lacto-pescatarian (a mouthful, I know!!) Cooking delicious food for young children with restrictions has proved to be another lesson for this Momma in being able to adapt in the kitchen! As you know, every cloud has a silver lining, and through the process of cooking with my kids in mind, I was introduced to new ingredients that have now become staples on our dining table. I have newly imagined shortcuts, variations on standby meals and interesting ingredients in my arsenal to share with you! All this amazing exposure catapulted my zeal and ignited the spark that has led me to NO SWEAT CURRY.

What's your signature dish that seems to please the most?

Butter Chicken  :)

I use this dish to introduce my American friends and family to Indian cooking. Contrary to its name, my version only uses a pat of butter. The traditional recipe includes loads of cream but I’ve discovered that adding just a touch at the end, not only keeps this dish healthy but actually enhances the texture without overwhelming the flavor. It is also one of my versatile recipes that I can tweak to incorporate more veggies or substitute with fish or tofu for my daughter and other non-chicken-eaters. Try it out for yourself and let me know if you love it just as much as we do! 

Are the cooking classes just for Indian food?

Absolutely not!

While I will be offering several classes focusing on Indian recipes, I plan on keeping my classes as versatile as I can. Classes will range from beginners to accomplished cooks that just want to broaden their culinary horizons or learn new methods. There will be several options to choose from, but if you don’t see something you’re interested in learning how to cook, please feel free to make a request, or schedule a private lesson customized to your needs!

 

 

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