If your comfort food is desi dal-roti, adjusting to videshi cuisines abroad can become quite a challenge, especially if you’re someone who never stepped into the kitchen to cook. But some people can beat the odds, and such was the case with Madhur Jaffrey.


Madhur Jaffrey, often known as the First Lady of Global Indian cuisine, is credited for popularising desi cuisines in the West. We came across her story in a Twitter thread and couldn’t help but share her journey from a complete non-cooker to becoming a Padma Bhushan awardee for her contribution in culinary arts.

While speaking to Mint during Jaipur Literature Festival in 2020, Jaffrey opened up about how much she abhorred British food.

I hated British food. Every day, I would dream of the khade masale ka gosht and hing zeere ka aloo made by my mother back home in Delhi.

As fate would have it, her mother’s instruction led Jeffrey to experiment on her own.

And Madhur Jaffrey, an icon for South Asian cuisine was created.

During the course of her career, Jaffrey has published a dozen of cookbooks. Her first book, An Invitation to Indian Cooking, was published in 1973. In 2006, it was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame. She has also appeared in several cooking-related television programs.

Jaffrey’s recipes from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery that premiered in 1982 became highly popular popular.

In another online interview with Elle Canada, Jaffrey expressed the magic of Indian cuisines that is unlike anything one can find in the world.

If I compare it [Indian cuisines] to other cuisines, I will say it is one of the greatest. It’s not the only one: Chinese, Italian, French, Korean, Malaysian… I love all these cuisines, but I think [ours] is one of the great cuisines in the world.”

What’s crazy is that Jaffrey never set out for a career in cooking. Tracing her passion for acting, Jaffrey came to the UK. She has 48 credits to her name on IMDb.

Uppercrust India

However, her pivotal contribution to introducing Indian cuisines to the Western audience remains highly noteworthy. People trust her recipes to get the taste of mouth-watering authentic desi dishes all across the world.