Life and times of celebrity chef Tarla Dalal

By Aparna Mudi | Updated: Nov 06, 2013, 21:02 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/ Aparna Mudi

New Delhi: Tarla Dalal is a household name. And for kitchen enthusiasts in India, she is practically a goddess.

Born in 1936, Tarla was brought up in Pune, Maharashtra. She married Naveen Dalal and shifted to Mumbai in 1960. She had once told a leading daily “I was 20 years old and could cook only DBRS.” DBRS? “Dal Bhat Roti Sabzi”. She started learning how to cook like every young Indian girl, and went on to become a celebrity chef and one of the most recognisable faces in the culinary industry of India.

With hundreds of books to her credit, her first publication was ‘The Pleasures of Vegetarian Cooking’ in 1974. It went on to become a major hit, and over 1.5 lakh copies were sold. Many of her fans were housewives who wanted to experiment with cuisines outside their comfort zones.

After penning down many recipes, hers is now the largest Indian food web site, and she used to also publish a bi-monthly magazine, ‘Cooking & More’. Her television shows – ‘Tarla Dalal show’ and ‘Cook It Up With Tarla Dalal’ were very popular and were followed regularly by men and women alike. She is known for her recipes that are not only multi cuisine, but also cater to changing dietary needs.

For her contribution, Tarla was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007.
At the age of 77, Tarla Dalal has passed away leaving many sad, and nostalgic about how they first learnt to cook.

May she rest in peace, and her teaching continue to be savoured for years to come.