A B O U T.

Welcome to My Fancy Pantry!

17972187_10109564559293440_799607115808769893_oLet me introduce myself.  My name is Shari and I reside in Rochester, Minnesota with my husband, Piyush, and our sons, Arjun & Rohan.  We also have two (very) neurotic cats, Penny and Harry.

With the addition of Rohan to our family, I have (reluctantly) become a stay at home mom.  Doing all sorts of mom things and drinking not nearly enough espresso on a daily basis.

arjun rohan

Life has surely changed since I started this little blog!

Because of how much my life has changed, I decided to start a new blog– Spiced Up Mom

I’m not really sure what will become of My Fancy Pantry.  There’s some good stuff on here. So for now, I’ve chosen not to actively update it.  New recipes and updates will be found on my new blog, but I will post here, as well, when I post something “foodie.” So you won’t miss anything!

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 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.

 I enjoy making, eating and sharing food with friends and family and introducing my (often) picky toddler to different flavors and cuisines.

 I don’t discriminate (usually), but I do have a soft spot for a steaming cup of chai and a spicy Indian curry! I’ve also developed a newfound love for coffee–pretty sure that happened once Arjun hit the “terrible twos.” Uffda.

Aside from sharing what I’ve learned and what I’m cooking, I hope to also blog about our trips, life with a toddler and our adventures around India…

The Taj Mahal on a foggy day

but it will mostly be about the food :)!


75 thoughts on “A B O U T.

  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.

    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 🙂

  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!

  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

    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.

      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!

  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.

  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.

  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!

  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

  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!

  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…

  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 🙂

    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!

  12. vinicooksveg

    Hi Shari, Loved some of your recipes. You have variety of food . Thanks for sharing. Would love to read your future posts.

  13. 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,

  14. 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. 🙂

  15. 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:
    I’ll stay tuned anyway!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

    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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

    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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. www. foodvagabonds.com

    Hey Shari, we discovered your Blog by accident as we were searching for a creamy and cardamon based curry recipe 🙂 Just want to say that we are so impressed by your recipes! What a lovely website! I am (Michael) living 6 month of the year in Indias North and sometimes need a change from the chapatis and bhunyia potatos 🙂 So your recipes will be cooked one after another here . Thank youuuuu!!! 😀 Best wishes from Bodhgaya, Michael and Elli

    1. Shari Post author

      Hello Michael and Elli! I am so happy that you came across my blog and have enjoyed my recipes! I understand needing some variety in the foods! Northern food is so delicious, but there is so much more to explore!

      The blog has, sadly, been neglected for quite some time now, but I have recently started another- http://www.spicedupmom.com
      I’ve put a few recipes on there and hope that one day soon it’ll have as much info as this little blog does! 🙂

      Enjoy the recipes! Thank you so much for the kind words ❤


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