I took a rather meandering route to the world of food writing. After spending twenty-two years in a career in finance, today I spend my time researching, cooking, and writing about the cuisine, traditions and culture of my home state Kerala, India. A move to the U.S. from India with my then graduate student husband many years ago opened the door for me to the wonderful world of cooking. I taught myself to cook by referring to the recipes that my mother sent me every week in her letters. My dream to get an American education and employment took me in a different direction for the next several years. But my interest in all things culinary has always kept me close to food.
During my many visits home, I studied our traditional cuisine from my mother and other native cooks who have lived and cooked in this region their entire lives. I spent many fascinating hours listening and writing down their verbal culinary histories that goes back hundreds of years. Started as a family journal for my sons, nieces, and nephews, my writings evolved into a web site – http://www.peppertrail.com and in 2007 I self published a cookbook Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts: Recipes and Remembrances of a Vegetarian Legacy.
It was an honor to be a presenter at the tenth annual Worlds of Flavor Conference - Rise of Asia - at The Culinary Institute of America in November 2007, and to have my recipes included in The Flavors of Asia published by the CIA. My articles on food and history have appeared in Flavor & Fortune, Food History Primer, Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl-an Encyclopedia and in the soon to be published Storied Dishes and the Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism. I am a correspondent for Heritage India, a magazine on Indian heritage and culture. I teach Indian cooking classes at Central Market Cooking Schools in Texas and I have taught at the Institute of Culinary Education, New York. Presently I am researching on the ancient recipes of India.