This week, we interview Mallika Basu, author of Miss Masala: Real Indian Cooking for Busy Living, and food blogger at www.quickindiancooking.com. She’s also shared some delicious recipes with the BOE.
Your blog has a fantastic title.. How did the blog and title come about? I learnt to cook when I left home in Kolkata, India, and moved to England for university. It was a slow and painful process, but I quickly worked out that it was not as time consuming and difficult as people often believed. I decided to start a blog to document how it was perfectly possible to fit home cooked, authentic Indian meals into a busy professional life over a glass of red wine in a London pub. My day job is in PR, so I knew I had to give the blog a title that said what it did “on the tin” and so Quick Indian Cooking was born!
It’s a dream for a blog to then become a book. How did that happen for you? Is that something you had planned? If only! I was on holiday in Peru and I wrote a chapter of the book. Once I was back in London, I sent said chapter to a friend who had just left Bloomsbury Publishing in London to go to Random House in India and then went off for a siesta. By the time I woke up, she’d left me a voice message saying she thought I had “voice” and also introduced me to a book agent. That bit was very smooth, but my first book proposal was rejected by 11 publishers. I finally turned my proposal into a longer version of my blog, and it got published by Harper Collins.
How has the response been to your book? It’s been fantastic. I get lovely emails and messages, even comments online, about it. There are a handful of negative noises, but you can’t please everyone all of the time.
What are you most excited about at the moment – another book perhaps? I have lots to be excited about at the moment. I have just been promoted at MSL Group, where I work as a senior Director of Corporate PR with a fantastic bunch of people. My little girl has just started school, so I am all over the PTA. And, of course, plotting my next book is never far off the agenda!
What is your favourite dish – to cook and eat?