Interview with Cookbook Author Monica Bhide
Monica sent me an email and asked me to check out her new cookbook, The Spice Is Right and I was thrilled when I received it. I have not done much Indian cooking and would like to learn some of the basic techniques and this is the book to start with.
I asked Monica if she would like to be in my Novice to Pro feature and she responded by saying, “I love your site, I think because I identify with it so much! I am not a professional chef, just a simple home cook who became a reluctant gourmet!!”
I think we can let her slide and feature her in Novice to Pro, just check out her cookbook, The Spice Is Right.
Monica, did you cook growing up?
Since I was a young child, I have always loved to cook. I think I inherited the passion from my grandparents and parents who are fabulous gourmet cooks.
What made you decide to become Professional Cookbook Writer?
I started documenting recipes years ago, particularly ones that were easy on the waist and the wallet and had a taste to die for! These were in a binder that I presented to my sister at her wedding a few years ago. The same binder then underwent a transformation to become “The Spice is Right
Where were you trained and how difficult was your training? Would you do it again?
I am not a professional chef by any stretch of the imagination, yet eating and entertaining have been a passion of mine as far back as I can remember. I have dabbled in catering, taken and taught cooking courses and love to entertain in large numbers. The focus has always been on fun, delicious and easy recipes.
Best piece of advice for home cooking enthusiast?
Teaspoons of spices are never too much, tablespoons of oil are just enough and a little imagination goes a long way!
Best cooking tip for a novice?
Never eat what you cannot lift : Courtesy Miss Piggy
My 100 year old mortar and pestle.
Funniest Kitchen incident?
When I was about 9, I decided to make chocolate mousse. In my hurry, did not read the recipe, it indicated I needed to boil the chocolate over hot water.. not in hot water. well we had frozen mousse for dessert that night! Of course this was the start of many such incidents!
Favorite food to cook with?
I love lamb. I wonder if it is politically correct to admit that these days!
What do you eat at home?
When I was working on the book, a friend said to me, all these menus in the book are fine, but what do you eat on a Tuesday night? SO the book does have menu, Our Daily Bread. It provides a view into what my home looks like on a Tuesday night. I love to cook with spices, so we often serve Malay, Thai and Indian food at home.
Thanks for the interview – RG