Remembering Tarla Dalal
India is a potpourri of diverse cultures. People from different places outside the sub-continent had been migrating to India since ages. It is generally thought that most of the migrants whether entering for commercial purposes, in search of greener pastures for their cattle which was the case of Aryans, or for grabbing and establishing their hold came generally through the Western corridor.
This was not the only way people entered India. Parsees came by boats and ships first to Gujarat and then spread to other parts of India especially Mumbai. Ahoms entered India in the North East. Arabs arrived in Southern India in Dhows long back.
Each arrival of the alien people brought with it the different cuisines like Mughalai, Parsee and others. Earlier when the people did not mingle with each other, these cuisines existed in the pure form. But soon people in this field began experimenting with mixing out of curiosity or substitution of ingredients not available at the new place and this fusion of different cuisine elements resulted in different kind of cuisines.
Tarla Dalal was a noted food writer and wrote over more than 100 cookery books. She is credited with bringing together many diverse cuisines from different parts of India and abroad. Her TV programs were very popular because of her way of teaching like a mother to her daughters and in a light manner. At the time that she wrote her books, she was the only source. She kept the flavours alive, the tradition alive. And her recipes still work.
She began cookery classes in 1966 in South Mumbai where she had migrated in 1960 from Pune after her marriage with Naveen Dalal. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007. She was India’s first master chef. She was the trend setter in the field of spreading the cooking knowledge and made it simple way. Thousands of girls must have kept her cookery books as ready reckoner in their kitchen.
She passed away in November 2013 at the age of 77 years.
As she passed away after a brief illness at the age of 77. Posted on her Facebook page by her team is a message:
“Dear All, We would like to thank all of you for your support and affection through the years of Mrs. Tarla Dalal’s career. She is no more with us as she expired in the early hours of this morning. We thank her for all the happiness that her talent has given to us and our families”
With all our love,
Tarla Dalal’s Team