Kaumudi Marathé is a journalist by training but a chef by choice. Born in Maharashtra on India’s west coast, she grew up in other parts of India and in Britain and North America. In her mother’s kitchen, she was fed an astonishing array of international foods.

When she got married and set up her own kitchen, Kaumudi started researching Marathi cuisine as a way to connect with her roots. It was only natural that she started Un-Curry in 2007 to introduce regional Indian recipes into the American consciousness. She believes their clean flavors and subtle spicing translate well into the Western culinary ethos.

Four years on, Kaumudi’s cooking style has evolved into what she calls California Indian: a unique blend of her native traditions with the fresh and wonderful ingredients of her adopted home.

For Kaumudi, food, family and memory are intertwined. Her first cookbook of Marathi food, Maharashtrian Cuisine: A Family Treasury (Bombay: Zaika, BPI, 1999) documents her family’s food history. Her latest cookbook is The Essential Marathi Cookbook (Penguin India, 2009). She also writes on a wide range of other non-fiction subjects and is working on fiction projects for children and adults.

Kaumudi lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Sanjiv and their daughter, Keya. For amusement, she runs, does tai chi, shops at farmers’ markets and entertains at home. She likes to explore new cuisines but when she needs some comfort food, nothing beats varan-bhat-tup (yellow lentils on hot white rice, drizzled with clarified butter) or steaming hot pohe (a breakfast dish made with pounded rice, onions and potatoes).