Some Lesser Known Facts About Tarla Dalal
- Tarla Dalal was born in a Vaishnav family. She was the eldest daughter of the family. She was interested in cooking since her childhood. When she was 12 years old, she used to help her mother with cooking.
- After she completed her graduation in 1956, she got married to Nalin Dalal in 1960. After the marriage, she shifted to Bombay (now Mumbai). They had three children. Talking about her husband, in an interview, Tarla said,
I was engaged to a man in the US. This was 50 years ago. He used to write to me saying he wanted to eat this and that; all complicated things I had never heard of. He was at Michigan University, studying Chemical Engineering. I was 20 years old and could cook only DBRS-Dal Bhat Roti Sabzi. To please her husband, a young woman will learn to cook the food he wants.”
- In 1966, her friends asked her to share the recipes with the young girls who were interested in cooking. She agreed to it. Initially, she started giving cookery classes to six students at her home. However, her classes became very famous in Mumbai and all the mothers wanted their daughter to take classes from her.
- After looking at the success of her classes, her husband wanted her to write down the recipes of the dishes she prepared. She used to write down the recipes and Nalin used to edit them.
- Her first book ‘Pleasures of Vegetarian Cooking’ was released in 1974. The book had sold over 1.5 million copies. She introduced people to many foreign cuisines. She used to teach the recipes of many non-vegetarian dishes into vegetarian dishes. Her other cookbooks include 100 Calorie Snacks, Acidity Cook Book and Popular Restaurant Gravies.
- Her books were translated into many languages including Dutch, Russian, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and Bengali in 1988.
- She also became one of the most sold cookbook authors of India. In 1987, she bought her own office and started her business Sanjay and Co. with her daughter.
- In 1988, she also made her own website named- Tarla Dalal. Tarla Dalal Website. Her website became the largest Indian food website.
- In 2002, her ready-to-cook food mix known as Tarla Dalal food mix also became famous.
- She was tech-savvy. She liked using the social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- One of her fans in Singapore in 2010 asked her why she did not have any videos of her cooking classes. She thought about it and as soon as she returned back, she started making videos of her cooking classes. However, on her YouTube channel, there are more than 400 videos. Tarla Dalal Youtube Channel
- Through her cooking, Tarla used to spread vegetarianism. She also taught people how to cook exotic dishes with simple ingredients.
- With the help of her cookery shows, she used to raise funds for cancer and asthma patients.
- She also introduced a magazine called ‘Cooking and More’. She also started making dishes that were healthy.
- Tarla Dalal died in 2013 due to heartattack. In an interview, her son Sanjay remembered her mother and said,
She introduced Mexican, Chinese and Italian food to Indians and transformed non-vegetarian recipes to vegetarian ones; she Indianised exotic dishes, simplified cooking and could rustle up a dish in a jiff”.
- Her son started helping her after completing his MBA in 1987. He used to manage her website. Even now, he handles the website, the publication of books, her classes and social media accounts. He further informed in an interview,
Once a woman told my mother she was a ‘big fan of her recipes’. They both chatted and in the end, the woman revealed she was Gursharan Kaur, wife of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was equally down to earth.”
- Sanjay`s daughter also manages her grandmother`s social media platforms and posts about the new recipes she tries. She often gets criticized because she uses eggs in some recipes but her grandmother never used eggs in any recipe. Talking about her grandmother in an interview, she said,
I was 10 when my grandmother passed away and I am only understanding her legacy now. I remember going to the Kala Ghoda fair in Mumbai with my grandmother and being surprised at the attention. I was confused about why people wanted to click pictures with my grandma. Now I understand.”
- Sanjay wants to carry forward her mother`s legacy. Even during the lockdown, virtual classes were held with 10 to 30 participants joining the class.
- Tarla hosted the show ‘Cook It Up With Tarla Dalal’ on Sony TV that was broadcast in South-East Asia, India, the Gulf, the UK and the US.
- Her daughter Renu said that Tarla used to make cakes, mocktails and delicious ice creams during their summer vacations.
- In an interview, talking about her mother, Renu said,
Her zest for life was unending, and she would always look forward to tomorrow, which is something I have tried to inculcate in my life as well. It is from her that I have learned to be an independent woman. She instilled in me the seeds of compassion, encouraged me to always be helpful and to try to bring happiness to everyone around me.”
- On her Instagram handle that is looked after by her granddaughter, she shares pictures and videos of new dishes along with their recipes. Tarla Dalal Instagram
- On her Facebook page also, she shares the recipe for new dishes that people can make at their homes. Tarla Dalal Facebook
- Her son Deepak also remembered her and said in an interview,
Even when I was studying abroad, she came and stayed with me. She also visited us in Pune regularly. Last week when she was here, we had a heart-to-heart talk and great family time. Lately, what she enjoyed most was spending time with her grandchildren. She was full of energy and loved her work immensely. She went out of her way to help people. Just last week, she was here with us. After returning to Mumbai, she was scheduled to go to Singapore for a cooking class. She died with her boots on.”