Manju (13)

I was born and brought up in Kerala, the spice capital of India. From a young age, I was interested in cooking and spent hours experimenting in my mother’s kitchen.

I studied Home Management and Nutrition and gained a master’s degree with Honours. In 1988 I moved to Japan. Whilst doing research at Hiroshima University, I worked in a local restaurant and learnt the intricacies of Japanese and Oriental cooking. I turned my passion for cooking into a career by conducting cookery classes and spice workshops in cultural centres. In addition, I presented several cookery shows on local TV.

In 1999 my husband’s work led us to relocate to Singapore. Here I continued to conduct regular cooking classes for the local and expatriate community. My knowledge of Oriental and Southeast Asian food further developed during my five year stay in Singapore.

Finally, in 2005 we were relocated to London. Here I was delighted to be able to study at the prestigious French culinary institute Le Cordon Bleu London whilst simultaneously conducting cookery classes. I obtained a Grand Diploma, often called the passport to the culinary world. It was an intensive and comprehensive programme in classic French culinary techniques combining the Diploma de Cuisine and Diploma de Patisserie.  I enjoyed every moment of the course and the professional training I gained there has been indispensable.

My cookbook “Vegetarian – The Taste of South India” is packed with simple South Indian style recipes that are easy to replicate. It was chosen as the best vegetarian cookbook from India in 2012 by “Gourmand World Cookbook Awards”.  I am additionally honoured to be a member of The Guild of Food Writers.

My food photography work has been shortlisted for the world’s prestigious “Food Photographer of the Year” awards in 2017 and 2018.

I frequently organize bespoke culinary events and cookery lessons in London and Mumbai for food enthusiasts, home cooks and professionals alike.  I am always extremely proud to hear that my original recipes live in many households around the world.

Food has been a lifelong journey of exploration, experimentation and innovation for me, and I firmly believe that food doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious. Simple flavours that are put together with care and love can create wonders on our palates and that is what I cook, teach and write.