Sarala (Surya Rao Palagummi) aunty as she was very fondly referred to by some of us dear to her would have been 87 today –
Sadly she has left us all with the beautiful memories of her laughter, smile, great food and awesome company – Our families have been experiencing these emotions with  our loved ones who have left us in the recent past!

I am very pleased that I had created the ‘Elders Corner’ category in the CWS website many years ago when the elders were  alive and active – I am very happy to say that the elders in this special category are those who I recognized then and ofcourse now…………
She was one of the elders who was very pleased with the sharing of recipes on CWS!

I found this letter hand written by her dated 11th of May 1986 where she had shared 2 recipes ….Carrot Salad with Raw Mustard seeds and Almond Kheer……

The secret to her happy contented and healthy life for almost 87 years  was that she was a stickler for keeping to the schedules be it brunch/lunch or dinner!!

You could at any given day check the time on the clock at dinner time – it would be exactly 8 p.m. for many many years that I have known her !!!( am talking since I knew her over the last 4 decades). 
Like most elders in our families, her recipes were easy to follow and definitely delicious!

The recipes for Pickles, Salads and Chutneys were the most scrumptious and easy to follow
She did not much care for sweet treats – except the Obattus (Bobattalu – (as they called it in Karnataka region) Her Bobattalus were a class in itself!

The links below are some of her specialties !!!


CookingWithShobha together with the Elders Past and Present Wish You and Your Family
A  Very Happy Healthy New Year!!!!!

Another Year has passed by……One more chapter ends…… our family

I would like to pen a tribute to a Great Cook, Strong and Affectionate Lady………….

‘You are the mother I received the day I wed your son
You have given me a gracious man with whom to share my life
You are his lovely mother and I his lucky wife!!!
A BIG THANK YOU for everything you have done from your kids and wonderful grand kids’

I would like to share some of the Wonderful recipes and Memories cooking with you!!!
These are in addition to the traditional South Indian everyday cooking recipes passed on to me by both mums and elders in the family!!!

Ompodi or Sev

Boondi Ladoo

Green Chilli Thokku

Sweet Somasi

Thank you for your support as always!!!


The 2 Most Wonderful Dads!

I would like to dedicate this post to both our loving fathers who left us after a long and fruitful life
They were legends who left behind a wonderful legacy for us to cherish!
We have delightful and brilliant memories because we gave it all we had – time, effort and money to spend our holidays over the last 3 decades with them either overseas or in Australia!


Dads- The Legends

If we were given a chance in life to start all over again, there aRe a lot of things we would change about our lives – but one of them, we would not like to change is Our Dads…………who have been through it all  – with us – lovable dads who were our friends, mentors, counsellors, educators and guiding lights!! 

Anyone can be a father but it takes a special one to be a Dad! And both our dads were extra extra special!

Appreciation of good tasty delicious food obviously came from the wonderful mums who dished it out to them and spoilt them!!  Most of the recipes in CookingWithShobha are ofcourse from elders in the family especially the mums!!  Some of the simple food that they appreciated and valued on a daily basis were the following:

Check out the recipes in the links below:

CWS would like you to share the recipes and the food as ‘sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly’

Keep sharing!!


A Rising Shining Star is born and with it a new Mother and Father Status !!!
AND a new Category
in CWS called………….New Mums Corner

Motherhood is a choice you make every day
to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own
to teach the hard lessons
to do the right thing – even when you are not sure what the right thing is
to forgive yourself over and over again………..

So to Al the New Mums or Mums to be out there – to put the new born kids’ interest at heart, CWS has created this new category!!
This category will have the traditional recipes followed zealously by our grandmas, great grandmas and ancestors from years and years ago!

Although balanced diets of this nature are considered as a myth even by some professionals, my sincere take on this is that this ‘special’ diet does a lot of good and definitely not harmful for the mother or the child as the traditional food given to new mums has been tested for innumerable years –

New mothers and fathers face a lot of anxiety and challenges especially in the initial months after child birth as the only way an infant can express any sort of discomfort is by crying……….. So to alleviate problems for the baby such as colic pain, indigestion and discomfort to name a few…. the traditional diet is followed very strictly for at least 6-8 weeks by the new mums especially when the baby is breast feeding!

I will endeavour to add more and more recipes to this category and other categories as well, which I have been trying very hard over the past 5 years!

Enjoy your new role as mum and the unimaginable perks that comes with the lovely smile that stretches to those innocent eyes of this wonderful amazing creation!!

Check out the new category:

Few important things to observe are:

The Do’s:
Do eat garlic, ginger, pepper, cumin and herbs in your diet
Do eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
Do eat generous amounts of Ghee – this is added to the dishes to aid in muscle and joint repairs
Do drink plenty of water
Do adhere to lunch and dinner times strictly
Do have oil massages for the head and body –   both new mum and new born on alternate days

The Dont’s
No Coconuts
No Root vegetables like potato etc
No Cabbage or Cauliflower
No Toor Dal
No skipping or late lunches or dinners
No deep fried dishes………..
No Green or Dried Red Chillies

Other tips –
Have the herbal medicine  every morning

Disclaimer: The recipes and tips mentioned are merely handed down by our mothers and grand mothers – therefore you can choose to follow it or not!!



To All My Dear Family members,Friends, Facebook Friends, Friends of Friends, and Subscribers……

Today marks the 4th anniversary of my cooking website ‘CookingWithShobha’  
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the overwhelming support from each and every one of you.
Your appreciation, encouragement, feedback and contributions transported the website worldwide!!
I am immensely grateful to all of you to help me achieve my goal of sharing these recipes with you!!!

Many of my family members and friends have acknowledged that the recipes have turned out well
They say “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”…….and it gives me great pleasure when I receive feedback from you to let me know that you followed the recipe and it worked out perfectly!

One such person very close to home and my heart was my very dear son……..
I was ecstatic one day when I received the following images from him who is a student living away from home – I was flabbergasted to see that he had made koftas for himself for dinner….
and added a little text saying “ Mum, if you add a teaspoon of raw sugar and it tastes awesome”

Following are the images that were sent by my son who took the trouble to take photos in stages!!! Obviously these were “feel good” images he wanted to share with me – a dish that is so very dear to him…..

CookingWithShobha Journey

I was reminded of the quote about cookery from Marcel Boulestin that
 “Cookery is not chemistry.  It is an art.  It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements”

Personally, it has given me a sense of joy, pleasure and fulfilment in sharing the recipes with all of you especiallythe youngsters, vegans, newly married, bachelors and the like.
The traditional festive treats and everyday recipes are very special to me as most of them have been handed down to me by the elders in the family.
As you know, the other recipes are from trying and testing out dishes in the early years of marriage and improvising them to appeal to my own kids, family members and friends!!!

I published the first recipe (Almond Bufi) on the website exactly 4 years ago and today I feel really elated that there are nearly 400 recipes 
I know there is a lot more work to do – maybe one day……when I retire from my day job…….

I particularly like to thank my family and friends in the US, Australia and India for their overwhelming support and taking the trouble to pass on the website details to others …..
Today, according to Google , the top countries viewing the website being United States, India and Australia

I wish to thank you once again for your never ending support and for spreading the word about CWS to your own family and friends!

Thank you All!



On my recent visit to Chennai last month, my dear cousin treated us to fine banqueting at its best at one of the exquisite restaurants……..
This boutique restaurant is nestled in one of the most wonderful neighbourhoods in Chennai – BESANT NAGAR.
The luxury of dining in this restaurant is available is most of the popular cities in India!
Besant Nagar is a popular suburb named after the theosophist, Annie Besant.  This place is knowns for the diversity in culture with the famous hindu temple, church and arts!
In addition to this the suburb can boast itself for the cafes, restaurants as well as the popular Elliots beach!

The restaurant is LITTLE ITALY, known for its Vegetarian Italian Cuisine, serves the most exquisite and a huge variety of Italian dishes and literally transports you to Italy!

Little Italy Besant Nagar Chennai

Little Italy Ristorante

My niece had ordered more than 15 vegetarian dishes and within a span of an hour or so, the empty dishes stared back at us as each and every dish was absolutely delightful………… We particularly enjoyed the quick, prompt and impressive service too!! Ranging from the exotic Zuppa Di Asparagus soup/s to the Insalata Mista Salad (tomatoes cucumber lettuce oregano mozzarella dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar) to the brilliant Pizzas to the variety of Pastas – this restaurant surely meets one’s expectations of Italian dishes!!

This restaurant serves Mexican cuisine as well but ofcourse we did not get a chance this time to savour the Mexican dishes – Maybe next time!!



Adelaide is one of the most beautiful cities in Australia with great  historic buildings, churches and parks……….It is hailed as the gateway to beautiful vineyards and great restaurants!!
An hour’s drive from Adelaide is the beautiful Barossa Valley……..After  we visited some of the  wonderful vineyards last week, we were ready to have lunch and  found ourselves in the very popular
‘Artisans of Barossa – Harvest Kitchen’ restaurant
This restaurant,  we were told was run by – Tracy Collins….who was in the Top 5 of the Masterchef competition in Australia  for 2014 – One could tell that there was a mastermind behind the innovative dishes served….
as the 
food was exquisite, delicious and mouth watering – Being vegetarians and particular about our food, we were totally zapped by the taste and flavour of the dishes!

All of a sudden the very modest, down to earth and lovely chef, Tracy Collins walks up to us from a very busy kitchen and is very eager to learn and share her experiences with the flavours of food in general.
She has an in depth of knowledge at the differences in the cuisines from the  North and South of India! Very impressive lady serving the most flavoursome dishes in her restaurant!! 

Please do visit her and the restaurant if you are in that neck of the woods!!


Tracy Collins - Master Chef Australia Top 5

With MasterChef Australia 2014 – Top 5 – Tracy Collins

You are in for a sumptuous and delicious lunch at the restaurant as I can vouch for the vegetarian dishes that were served!!



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