About

Namaste! Welcome to My Fancy Pantry!

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Shari and I reside in the lovely state of Minnesota.  In the city of Rochester, to be exact. I live with my husband, Piyush, and our two kitties–Penny and Harry.  

blonde indian, indian with blonde, indian with gori, gori girl, indian gori

Us

Before I met Piyush, I was a horrible cook. My idea of “fancy” was throwing a pound of ground meat in the slow-cooker along with a couple chopped potatoes.  If I was feeling really adventurous, I’d maybe throw a carrot or two in there as well.  It’s true!  My “crack-pot” creations were legendary!  …and I don’t mean that in a good way.

Luckily for Piyush, that all changed.  Once we were married, I started seeing food as a hobby instead of a chore–and that made all the difference.

Married on the shores of Lake Superior

I have also learned that I love unique ingredients.  In fact, I hoard them!  Lavender buds, black salt, homemade preserves, and probably every spice or masala you could ever need (Ever.) have a home in my kitchen.

 I enjoy learning about food, making food, and eating food!  I don’t discriminate (usually), but I do have a soft spot for a good, spicy Indian curry!

paneer tikka curry, paneer curry, indian paneer curry, paneer tikka masala, vegetarian curry

Restaurant Style Paneer Tikka Masala

Aside from what Piyush and I eat, I hope this blog will chronicle our world trips and our adventures around India…

The Taj Mahal on a foggy day

but it will mostly be about the food :)!

72 thoughts on “About

  1. Haley @ Cheap Recipe Blog

    Fun blog! I love the mix of recipes & home decorating tips. I’d love to try your strawberry jam. I made lavender lemon jam earlier this year and it didn’t blow me away, but maybe I just haven’t found the right thing to serve it with.

    Reply
    1. Shari Post author

      Lavender lemon jam? It sounds heavenly!!! I’m sorry it was a disappointment! If you try the strawberry lavender, you’ll have to let me know what you think!
      I’m glad you like the blog :)

      Reply
  2. smileysoyabean

    I’ve just stumbled across your blog and I’m so glad! I too have a spice drawer full to bursting, and I can’t resist buying more :) I’m looking forward to looking through more of your recipes and seeing what I can do with all of them now!

    Reply
  3. pipoi

    hii..i am a first timer on ur blog…r u n indian by birth..in d pic above..ur hubby is wid a lil child looks lyk..or may b v cant c u properly..plz explain

    Reply
    1. Shari Post author

      Hello! No, I am not Indian by birth. I am American, my husband–Piyush–was born and raised in India. In the picture above, it is actually Piyush and I on our wedding day. It was very cold (15 degrees F)…so I had my big winter coat on.

      Reply
      1. pipoi

        aww nice u r from america..but u r an indian?also if u hav a pic of ur own wud b nice to c..in dis pi u luk like a lil child haha belive me…plz if der is ne pic of urs alone do show us..

      2. Shari Post author

        haha..I get told I look younger than I am a lot. There is a photo of my on the homepage, on the right-hand side. I can add another in my About section when I’m back on my computer :)

  4. wifemothereventplanner

    Love your blog! I am very new to the whole blogging world (yes I’ve been under a rock for the past decade!) but I’m hooked! I am completely impressed by your Indian cooking skills. My mother would be proud! I’m also an Indian chick – but I married a gringo and had some gringo/indo babies. Can’t wait to read more of your stuff!

    Reply
  5. Allison

    Wow, I just found your blog and I already love it. I love Indian food, but haven’t been making it that much recently… but now I’m feeling newly inspired, so thank you! This (and some of the other blogs you read) will probably be my new favorite source(s) for Indian recipes from now on.

    Reply
  6. Miss Catherine

    I’m so happy I found your blog. you are so funny and insightful. I love the photo of your child with the shirt that says…”I’m cute my mom’s cute my dad’s lucky.”

    I’ll visit again for sure.

    Reply
  7. Astrid

    Great blog! Love your description of yourself – I’m the same, I love cooking, baking, preserving, brewing… and our laundry basket is pretty much neglected. My partner is totally obsessed with Indian food too so I’m going to use your recipes for inspiration to cook him a lovely meal or few :) looking forward to seeing more of your excellent posts!

    Reply
  8. pipoi

    okk i managed to see you hahah i still say u luk diffrnt in ur wedding pic ne ways soo nice talkin may b someday v will meet

    Reply
  9. Aoife.D

    I’m so happy that I’ve come across your absolutely wonderful blog, your photos and recipes look nothing short of fantastic!

    Reply
  10. Peri's Spice Ladle

    So glad to find your blog…the recipes look so delicious, I’ve already bookmarked a few to try out:) Love the use of Indian food elements running through some of your recipes…

    Reply
  11. Dinorah Guadiana-Costa

    I haven’t gotten into the blog-reading universe, but I came upon yours after seeing your yummy garbanzo bean salad. Sounds utterly fresh & delicious! Anyway, I want to congratulate you on such a nice site you have created. Your pictures of your husband and you are beautiful and I wish you the very best in all! I will be coming to visit your blog from now on because I also really like Indian food because it’s exciting, healthy and often vegetarian :)

    Reply
    1. Shari Post author

      Thank you so much for all the kind words! I truly appreciate them! I hope you try the salad, it’s amazing! I’ll be posting more and more vegetarian recipes on my site, so I hope you visit again!

      Reply
  12. Senka

    Hi Shari,
    We’ve recently launched the website RecipesUS.com. It’s a search engine that aims to gather all the best recipes from US websites and blogs in one place. We’ve noticed that you have a lot of great looking recipes on your blog that we would love to feature on our site. To read more about how it all works and to sign up with your blog, please visit: http://recipesus.com or send us an email on info@recipesus.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Kind regards,
    Senka

    Reply
  13. adeptula

    Great blog, Shari! I love Indian food, and I love that you have some vegan options on here. I already have ideas on what dishes to make soon. :-)

    Reply
  14. Simona Lidia Z.

    Hi Shari,
    I’ve just nominated you for the Best Moment Award because I really like your blog and recipes. I hope you don’t mind.
    My husband has lived abroad (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Tunisia) and loves using spices while cooking (we Italians do not use many, apart from red pepper in the south!).
    If you wish to get more information on the award, please go to:

    http://wherelemonsblossom.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/best-moment-award/

    I’ll stay tuned anyway!

    Reply
  15. tinywhitecottage

    Where have I been? I just stumbled upon your blog and really looking forward to trying some of your recipes. Your rose and pistachio cookie bars are what caught my attention and lured me in.

    Reply
  16. gautam

    Dear Shari,

    Such a sweet and endearing wedding photograph: SO MN! A fur-lined parka! YAY! And two Inuit rubbing noses, no less!! We are eagerly awaiting pics of your honeymoon igloo, now!
    Do you garden, and do you have space to grow some of your fresh herbs where you now live? I had no idea of Italian or Thai basil until I was 40 (!), and no fresh thyme or rosemary either. Although the Indian ajwain is supposed to taste like dry thyme, to me it has a specific aroma and use of its own; what do you think? Although we used lemongrass in teas, and Thai limes by themselves, combining those flavors in the ways Thais do came as a very pleasant shock to me. [I am allergic to the word "kaffir" and will use "thai" limes in its stead, if you will pardon me].
    So what are the herbs or spices that have been a shock to your palate at first that you have grown to like, and which ones are you still leery about? What about keora or Pandanus flower extract, usually artificial nowadays [at least the cheap versions]?

    Which are the most far-out spices/herbs/seasonings, fresh or dry, in your repertoire, Indian or any other? These can include stuff like water bug paste from Thailand, that I have read about but will never ever have the guts to try!

    Have you tried the spice mixes from India that use 2 species of lichens, called patthar ka phool, stone flowers? That is the weirdest spice I can think of, using lichens.

    Reply
  17. hadassah213

    I just stumbled upon your blog and I cannot wait to try your recipes. I am a a white blonde girl too and my boyfriend is Guyanese Indian who has nothing but Malayali( from South India) friends. I love Indian food and I cannot wait to try cooking your recipes and cooking for my boyfriend and his friends. Thanks for sharing! I am curious, was your wedding more western or more Indian?

    Reply
    1. Shari Post author

      Hello! I hope you enjoy the recipes and that they impress your boyfriend and his friends! :)

      My wedding was actually more western. We got married here, in America, in a very simple wedding. Neither of us wanted a big flashy wedding, so we married on the shores of Lake Superior and we all stayed at my family’s lake house.

      Later we had a reception here and also one in India.

      Reply
  18. florapamela

    Dear Shari

    Your tagline caught my attention, rather should I say the “Indian Kitchen” caught my eye.Your blog makes me feel at home and reminds me of my mom’s cooking!

    Reply
  19. Julie

    Man I wish I had found your blog a long time ago! I just discovered it earlier this week by googling “paneer tika masala” and boom! there you were. :)

    My father lived in Nepal for while so I grew up eating a lot of Indian curries. I also got to spend time in Nepal and my husband spent time in India. We have an Indian food addiction for sure!

    I just made a big batch of your curry base last night and am rearing to go with the paneer (currently marinating in my fridge) for dinner tonight! I’m sure it will be tasty.

    Thanks for all the great recipes (especially the vegetarian ones) – i can’t wait to try them all!

    Reply
    1. Shari Post author

      Julie, I’m so glad you found my blog. Welcome!

      I’ve never been to Nepal, but I traveled along the border of Nepal and India and loved every minute! It’s beautiful!!!

      I hope you enjoy the paneer tikka masala! Sometimes adding a little fresh lemon juice and a pinch of sugar will help increase the flavors. I’m currently reworking my curry base (trying to perfect it), so please let me know how it turns out for you! I’d love to hear!

      Reply
  20. Sadia Mohamed

    Hiii shari! Lovely blog u have got there. And the recipes are mind blowing. You are not an Indian and u make indian food like a pro. :) looking forward to seeing more of ur posts. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  21. VeggieGabster

    Incredible blog, Shari :)

    We’re quite similar in several ways despite the fact that you already have the amazing blog I want, several trips to India already under your belt and Indian cooking conquered.

    Just married my husband, Sagar, this past September. I’m going to India for the first time in less than 2 weeks. Although I’ve eaten all the splendors of indian food on your site and have attempted to cook half of them, mine will never look as amazing as your dishes! I told Sagar yours look like a gourmet chef’s!

    You’re my inspiration. Glad I stumbled upon your site. Looking forward to trying out your recipes soon and future posts!

    Reply
  22. KatelynnRachelle

    Love your story. I had to laugh a bit, because I’m married to an Indian, but really he’s Native American. There’s not much special food for me to learn to cook – but he is a picky eater. I will be following your cooking adventures from here on out!

    Reply
  23. Samanha Singh

    I’m so glad to finally find a blog like this! My husband is also Indian, he’s north Indian. His name is Akshat and I am an American. I’m just starting to cook Indian food so this is perfect! I can’t wait to try some of these recipes. I have a couple i’m good at like egg curry, jeera aloo, and chole, but those are the only ones i’ve 100% gotten down lol.

    Reply
  24. crendina

    you sure caught my attention, what a beautiful union of cultures! I’ll go read some Indian recipe (since I’m not so prepared about indian cuisine!)
    Nice to meet you!See ya!Cris

    Reply

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