My passion for cooking began at a very young age. My curiosity often had me wanting to participate and contribute in the kitchen. I loved helping my mom while learning the craft and absorbing all the knowledge she would share with me about how a dish was prepared. My fondest memory of us together is her teaching me how to knead the dough to make rotis and me somehow ending up with flour all over my hair and face.
For the times that I was not in the kitchen, I would accompany my dad on his trips to the market and would ask the vendors questions on just about everything I could think of. I loved these trips, as we would always come back with a new spice, vegetable, or recipe to try out. These childhood experiences helped influence me in choosing my major in college, and I graduated with a BSc in Home Science. In my studies, I learned about food nutrition, gastronomy, family nutrition, and resource management, all of which added further insight and knowledge to my love of cooking.
In 1990, our family moved to Los Angeles, CA, where we owned a grocery store. For me, this was the equivalent to being in paradise. I had access to every imaginable ingredient I could possibly need to make any dish I could think of! I acknowledged the endless amount of possibilities, and it is at this point that I really began to let my creative juices flow
A few years later we moved to Atlanta, GA, where we bought a 24 hour diner. It is here where my academic knowledge and years of cooking came to fruition. We
introduced Indian food to an all American menu, with my butter chicken leading the way. In a short period of time, we were known for our 24 hour homestyle Indian menu! This introduction helped me finesse my recipes and cooking techniques, while giving our guests a home cooked meal experience.
We sold our diner in 2004 and moved to Toronto to be with our children and take on a lighter lifestyle. I immediately began to appreciate the cultural diversity and the openness towards Indian cuisine Toronto had to offer. As much as I missed owning the diner, I wanted to enjoy my retirement and still be a part of the food culture.
I began offering cooking classes to our neighbours and friends. I enjoyed this new opportunity to share my skills, techniques and tips I had learned over the years with them. I quickly realized that when others cooked my meals the instructions needed to be clear, efficient and easily repeatable. Alongside my classes, I offered my spice blends in pre portioned packets to make it SIMple and convenient for people to cook my dishes in the same manner they had learned it.
I am now delighted to share with you my spice blends and SIMple how to cook videos, and I know you too will be enjoying my recipes and mastering them in no time at all!
Sat Sri Aakal
sɑːt ˈsɪriː əˈkɑːl