by Fharzana Elankumaran
I came to Mountain View for the first time back in 2009 when my husband and I were house hunting. We weren’t able to find a suitable place for us back then, but we fell in love with Old Mountain View so much that we were determined to live here sooner or later. We moved to this beautiful neighborhood a year and a half ago and I have loved living here every single day.
They say that you should do what makes you happy for a living. I love to cook. Period. I have a very strong culinary background in Bengali and South Indian cuisines. I am from Bangladesh and my husband is from South India.
While I was trying to figure out what I can do with my skills, knowledge, and passion for cooking, I started to write a cookbook. My family and friends call asking me to give them recipes or explain to them how to do certain things in the kitchen. Often, they tell me how much more illuminating it is to see a demonstration than to receive directions on paper, which led me in the direction of hosting my own cooking classes. I started my boutique cooking school ‘I Heart Curry’ (iheartcurry.com).
In the process of figuring out where to teach the classes, I came to realize that I would very much rather host them from my own kitchen in Old Mountain View. A personal kitchen, as opposed to a test kitchen, has a certain intimate feeling. I don’t want my students to feel like they are in a rigid learning environment; I want them to feel comfortable. Cooking is very soothing and therapeutic once you get the hang of it – I want to convey that in my classes. Indian cooking is not complicated, it is very approachable.
My goal is to make you comfortable cooking with Indian spices, techniques, and show you how cooking with these spices has a deep Ayurvedic impact on your body and health. You will also learn to cook healthy food from scratch, not from prepared ingredients that are full of chemical additives. Take a look at my current classes on iheartcurry.com. I offer private, group, and custom classes as well.
I live in one of the best neighborhoods that I’ve ever come across. The neighbors have worked very hard to make it a culturally rich place to live in. I’m glad that I am able to make a small contribution in that regard. I have taught a few classes so far and am looking forward to teaching many more. Everyone is welcome in my kitchen – whether you are a novice or expert. You’ll gain a hands-on lesson on my recipes, techniques, and tricks from me – I hope to learn to be a better teacher from you.