I grew up in a Catholic boarding school in the Himalayas where the education was pretty good. The food however was so bad, I led a strike against the nuns when I became Head Girl!

Whenever I came home for the holidays, my mother would make all my favourite foods to make up for the months of suffering. Tadka dal, dry potatoes with cumin and onion seeds, hot rotis, masala chicken, okra, Russian salad, Chinese stir fry, sweet and sour cauliflower, pineapple pastries, kulfis and much more.

She was a great cook, producing such tasty miracles from her kitchen in no time. Her greatest joy was feeding people. No sooner than you were wiping your plate clean from a breakfast of bread pakoras than she would be asking what you wanted for lunch.

So you will be surprised to know that when I came to London in 1979, newly married, I had no cooking or housekeeping talents. Over the years, dear reader, I somehow turned into my mother.

I grew up enjoying such a wide variety of food. I have been lucky enough to travel and live in three such different countries – India, USA and the UK, picking up new flavours from each continent. A trip to the local markets and packing bags of spice mixes, salamis and cheeses when I am on holiday abroad is a must. I love to try different combinations, mixing spices and flavours and I always cook from taste. Recipes for me are a guide, no more and I encourage my readers to do the same and experiment.

There was never enough food on the boarding school dining table. My kitchen table now, usually has too much food. As a result there are always leftovers. So I am including lots of leftover ideas turning them into new meals and snacks.

This project started as a few posts on Instagram during the pandemic, where I quickly found a supportive community and it has grown from there. After more than thirty years of working in social care, I am giving myself time and space to pursue my passion for cooking good food. Long days at work meant that I learnt to cook quick tasty meals for my family. I’m sharing these with you as I know life is busy for all of us.

My joy is to cook for family and friends, and watch them eat around my kitchen table.