I grew up in Kerala, one of the states in southern India. When I was young, learning to cook was not one of my priorities. Learning to bowl leg spin and googlies (cricket lingo) seemed more important than learning to cook. My grandmother, mother, and sister, who looked after the duties in the kitchen of our joint family, also did not see any reason why I should learn to cook. This happy arrangement persisted until I moved to Canada for graduate studies. There, I discovered that vegetarians were a super-minority, and if I wanted tasty vegetarian food, I would have to prepare it myself. A Short Course in Culinary Experiments grew out of these efforts, where attempts were made to recreate the vegetarian cuisine of northern Kerala, with locally available ingredients. As it turned out, these attempts, aka experiments, were interesting, fun and remarkably, tasty!
Currently, I live in Baltimore, Maryland. When not planning or conducting culinary experiments, I do other sorts of experiments. These non-culinary experiments are done in a university research laboratory, and are directed at developing new photochemical techniques for applications in biology. As for my leg spin/googly bowling – forlornly, it never went beyond imitation cricket balls and dusty pitches in fallow rice-fields.
I can be reached at this e-mail address: murali[ at ]simpleistasty.com