Nov 6, 2013

Tarla Dalal- India's First Celebrity Chef

Tarla Dalal was one of India's very first celebrity chef and recipe book author. From 1974, when her first cook book was published, to 2013, she has written over 100 books. Apart from books, she's had a couple of cooking shows to her name, has published magazines like 'Cooking & More' and ran the largest Indian food web site. She was also a recipient of the Government of India's Padma Shri award in 2007.

So how did it all start?

She started her career from home where she taught people how to cook. That was 1966. One thing led to another and before long she was writing cook books and eventually went on to become one of the top 5 best-selling cookery authors in the world, having sold over 4 million books, many of which translated in different international languages like Dutch and Russian even.

What kind of cook books is she credited with writing?

Tarla Dalal's books have covered every thing that you can possibly whip up in your kitchen- Gujarati food, Mughlai Khana, Kebabs & Tikkis, Non-Fried Farsans, Punjabi Khana (yes, these are titles of some of her books) including international cuisines like Italian, Chineses and others. She also has a mini series collection like Curries and Kadhis, Chips and Dips, etc. Not just that, she is also known in the healthy cooking

genre of books like 'The Pregnancy Cookbook', 'Delicious Diabetic Recipes', 'Zero Oil Rotis and Subzi', etc. 'Calcium Rich Recipes' has been her best selling book recently. Lastly, more recently, she had ventured into imparting her culinary skills to kids as well, publishing the Golgappu series, like- 'Golgappu Make a Roti', 'Golgappu Makes an Ice Cream', etc., the books that teach kids the farm to table concepts and recipes. 


Hosting Cook Shows

Tarla Dalal is known for her hit cooking shows like 'Tarla Dalal Show' and 'Cook It Up With Tarla Dalal'. In the later, anyone who has grown up in India would remember her ( lady with heavy gujarati accent) interactions with Sudhanshu Pandey's (the stud looking co-host who was probably among the first TV star to have beautiful biceps). They made quite an impression- whether or not I followed her recipes, I somehow found their chit- chat fascinating (or maybe I just found him fascinating, back then ;)).

According to India Today, India's leading news analysis magazine, Mrs. Dalal has sold the maximum number of books in any field as compared to any other Indian author and at a conservative estimate, her recipes have been tried in over 20 million Indian homes- a figure that would be the envy of pop stars and politicians. She passed away today, Nov 6, of cardiac arrest. She was 77. She has certainly left a rich legacy behind, and has thereby achieved immortality.


Source:, set up by her son, Sanjay Dalal.