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Star Chef Tarla Dalal 

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Ms. Tarla Dalal

Everyone knows the STAR of "Cook it Up with Tarla Dalal"........a cookery show that airs twice a week on Sony Entertainment Television......Mrs. Tarla Dalal !

She is known world wide for her VEGETARIAN CUISINE ...and lovingly known as the Queen of Indian Cuisine !

Read all about her. Here are the categories. 

Career 

Tell us how your interest in cooing started and at what age?
I was born in Pune and I moved to Mumbai after my  marriage. My experiments in the kitchen began soon after I discovered that my husband was an avid food lover. He encouraged me to try cooking different kinds of cuisines at home.   
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Who were the biggest inspirations for your career?
My husband and his love for food.    
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What do you enjoy most about being recognized as gifted Indian culinary artist?
I enjoy cooking and creating new recipes. Recognition just came to me. I never consciously strived for it.   
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What has been your greatest success?
Being able to impart my knowledge to one and all.   
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What was - if ever your biggest setback?
I have none because I have always enjoyed building my business.     
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What have you done right that has made your career such a success and brought you recognition, media attention, and awards?
There were and still are a lot of cookbooks. What sets me apart is the fact that I try and create recipes for the common man or woman. I try and use readily available ingredients and give the recipes in easy steps.     
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Personal Preferences 

What are the tools of the trade you use most?
Hard work and dedication.   
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What are your favorite kitchen gadgets? Why?
Aprons of course,  so I have started making them under my own brand name -"Tarla Dalal Homeware". We make aprons, oven gloves, pot holders, tablecloths and throwovers and table mats. They are available at Tressorie, Akbarallys, Amarsons and Cinderella in Mumbai.    
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What are some of the skills that help all cooks/chefs succeed?
Patience, dedication and hard work.    
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Do you taste your recipe before you serve it?
Of course, each recipe that goes into the book is tested at least twice. Each recipe is tasted, improvised and then double tested to make sure it is standardized.    
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Which cuisine do you enjoy the most?
I like all kinds of vegetarian food.    
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Which Indian festival inspires you to cook up a storm? And why?
Nothing like that.    
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If there was one tip that you would like to share with our audience -  what is your tip for home cooks?
Cooking is not an art it is a science. Nobody is born a good cook. You just have to be patient and follow a recipe to the last word to rustle a tasty meal.    
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What are three of your all time favorite dishes / recipes?
I like all my recipes.

Please submit one of your favorite and easy recipe for our audience. 

This recipe comes from Ms. Dalal's book on chocolate.

MANGO TRUFFLE CAKE

Preparation time:   30 min. Cooking time:   15 min. Serves/Makes:  Makes 1 cake.

(Picture: Courtesy of www.tarladal.com )

For the chocolate cake
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup plain flour (maida)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda bi-carbonate
1/2 can (400 grams for full can) condensed milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
For the filling
1 mango, peeled and finely chopped
For the garnish
1 mango, peeled and sliced
8 to 10 red cherries
a few mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh cream, whipped
chocolate cream wafer biscuit rolls (optional)
For the truffle icing
2 cups (250 grams) dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup (200 grams) cream
To be mixed into a soaking syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
1/2 cup water
 For the chocolate cake

Sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and soda bi-carbonate. Combine all the ingredients together with 1/2 cup (100 ml.) of water in a bowl and mix well using a whisk. Pour this mixture into a greased 150 mm. (6") diameter baking tin. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C (360°F) for 20 minutes or till a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Un-mould and cool on a wire rack.

For the truffle icing

Put the cream in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Remove from the flame. Add the chopped chocolate and mix well using a whisk till it becomes a smooth sauce. Cool completely and keep aside.

How to proceed

Slice the chocolate cake horizontally into two equal parts. Place the top half of the cake on a serving plate and soak with half the soaking syrup. Spread a generous layer of the truffle icing and the chopped mango. Sandwich with the other half of the cake and soak this half with the remaining soaking syrup. Spread another layer of the truffle icing on top. Cover the sides of the cake with the chocolate cream wafer biscuit rolls. Decorate with swirls of whipped cream, mango slices, cherries and mint leaves. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.     Top

Advice from the Expert 

Is there anything else you can tell us about yourself, your career, or the profession that would be interesting or helpful to others aspiring to enter and succeed as a chef?
Same hard work and dedication. 
   
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What advice can you give to prospective students thinking about an education and career in the culinary arts?

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What advice can you give to busy working moms as far as cooking a nutritious meal is concerned?
Try and incorporate nutritious cooking habits eg. substitute whole wheat flour in place of refined flour. fresh fruits in place of canned juices, etc    
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Do you encourage cooking for all – boys and girls and at what age should they get started? And why?
Yes cooking is a necessity. Age is not a criteria to learn I receive emails from kids of even 9 and 10. My cookbook Cooking with kids is a huge success.     
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Your favorite food quote is…..

"Haste Khelte khana Pakao"

Ms.Tarla Dalal is also  India’s best selling cookery author since over 2 decades. She has written a total of 30 titles, several of which have been translated in various languages like Hindi, Gujrati, Marathi, Bengali and even Dutch and Russian!     

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