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Coastal Delights

Mumbai-based home chef Raji Gupta, who is known for her popular coastal cuisine pop-ups, says how staying dedication and good organizational skills have played a key role in her success as a home chef.

Coastal Delights
Coastal Delights

Tell us about your memories of cooking...

Cooking to me has always been about family and love. My first fondest memories are from our family trips to our home in Ankali, a quaint little village in the Belgaum district. My mother and aunts used to cook mouth-watering seafood on an open fire, under a jackfruit tree. Hailing from a rich coastal culture, from Karnataka and Goa to the Malvan, Konkan and Karwar belt, I have been lucky enough to been taught so many authentic recipes. This inspired me to take my love for food beyond my own dining table. I am now professionally trained in many cuisines and techniques. With CTH certification from Palate Culinary Academy,  Mumbai, and  a course  in Thai food from the Blue Elephant  Cooking  School,  Bangkok, I am now ready to share my love of food with others.

Social media has completely changed the way food is perceived in India…

Social media has allowed me to connect with and get inspired by so many people around the world. Food on social media reminds us of something that I have always believed-that food is an experience. We eat with our eyes, our sense of smell as well as our mouth. I’ve always been active on Facebook  and Instagram,  and hope I can continue to do so.

Your pop-ups are also extremely popular…

Pop-ups are a lot of fun, because they push you to be a chef as well as a small business owner. It’s important to keep everything from the kind of food people of that area will enjoy, to simple things like electrical connections and availability of cutlery in mind. As long as you think ahead, maintain a budget and stay organized, all will be well!

What are some of the creations you are particularly fond of?

I can’t imagine choosing just one! While dishes like Mangalorean Chicken masala, Malvani Fish curry (made with the traditional lady fish), sukkha Bombil bhujne, soda (which is a bhaat made of dry prawns), prawns ambotik and solkadi are my favourites, I also enjoy playing around classic coastal flavours.


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