Hi, I’m Padma Kumar, the founder, writer, and photographer of MyGoodFoodWorld. I’m so glad you’re here!
I wear many hats: I’m an early childhood entrepreneur, a recipe developer, and a blogger. I’m also a wife and a mum to two wonderful daughters.
I split my time between England and India. My home is in Chennai (Madras) when I’m in India, and Manchester when I’m in England 🏡
Cooking has always been my passion, and it became even more important to me when I had my daughters.
I taught them to appreciate healthy food (although they do have a soft spot for instant noodles!) As a mum, I’m proud that they enjoy a variety of good food 🙂.
As parents, I think we have a responsibility to give our children the gift of good taste and nutrition, as well as to help them make smart food choices and have a positive relationship with food.
I run an early learning center where I have helped many children and parents with different dietary needs, food preferences, allergies, and intolerances.
I have also helped them overcome their mealtime struggles (and other parenting challenges!). My recipes have transformed many fussy and picky eaters into healthy and happy ones.
My cooking is all about simplicity, ease, and flavors. I achieve this by using spices, herbs, and other pantry staples that are superfoods in disguise!
If you’re curious about me, my cooking style, and what I love to eat, you’re in the right place. But be prepared, it’s a long read. So feel free to use the links below to skip to the sections that interest you.
What you will find here
In this blog, you will find E-A-S-Y, healthy vegetarian and vegan recipes with a good mix of grain-free, gluten-free, and allergy-friendly food from India and around the world.
Don’t worry, healthy doesn’t mean boring here. Even my raw carrot salad is bursting with flavor!
I believe that everyday cooking should be easy, hassle-free, nourishing, and, of course, tasty. These qualities are reflected in all my recipes. This vegetable pulao and this mild bottle gourd recipe, are my definition of super simple deliciousness.
My instructions are simple and detailed enough even for a beginner cook.
What do I cook and eat?
Twenty years ago, I would have said “Indian and only Indian” without hesitation!
But now, things have changed.
In a nutshell, I would say that my cooking is 80:10:10 - 80% (still) Indian, 10% world cuisine, and 10% fusion cooking.
I’m a vegetarian by choice, and a lot of what I eat is plant-based. Sometimes, I like to have a gluten-free or grain-free meal.
I strongly believe that “you are what you eat”, so I mostly cook and eat good food with a good heart.
I often wonder what people mean when they say “I love Indian” because there is so much more to it than that! It is not a single cuisine, but a collection of many regional and sub-regional cuisines.
Indian food is a broad term that reflects the diversity and variety of the 1.4 billion people and covers a vast range of cuisines and dishes.
India has 28 states and 8 union territories, each with its own food culture and traditions. It is like having 28 different countries within one! And even within each state, there are variations in cooking styles, ingredients, and flavors.
India is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, influenced by its history, geography, religion, and climate.
More about my 80:10:10 cooking
My family comes from Andhra Pradesh, a state in Southern India where rice and spice are the staples.
I grew up in Jamshedpur, an industrial city in Eastern India where people from all over India came to work and live. There, I learned to appreciate food from different regions of India.
My cooking reflects the diverse food and flavors that I have experienced since my childhood - green beans and potatoes, from Bengal; this bhindi masala recipe with its bold flavors, and classic smoked eggplant curry from Punjab; cabbage poriyal, zucchini kootu and sauteed chickpeas from Tamil Nadu, and this incredibly delicious and unique bitter melon recipe and mint coconut chutney from my home state, Andhra Pradesh are family favorites and make their appearance at our dinner table regularly 😊.
As a family of foodies, we love food from other parts of the world as well - this Moroccan-inspired spiced vegan cous cous salad is one that I make quite often.
Italian food is something we all love the most (next to Indian food, of course!).
This super easy and hearty marinara sauce and this versatile vegan pesto are saviors on those days when I already have a lot on my plate and cooking is the last thing on my mind. This macaroni and tomatoes is our absolute favorite!
All of these dishes have found a place in our hearts and plates!
As a recipe developer, I love to experiment with flavors and spices and create new recipes. I rarely follow a recipe without adding my own twist to it 😆.
That is the story of my 80:10:10 cooking 😎
The food scene at home when I was growing up
I grew up in a big family, with 13 people, including family members and staff. We also had at least 2 uninvited guests every day!
My grandfather - a devout, pious man - believed that the Lord visits us in the form of unexpected guests to test our sense of charity and compassion. So we never let any guests leave without offering them something to eat.
As you can imagine, there was always plenty of food and variety around us! Yum!!
The staff at home were mostly from Northern India. They cooked dishes like this nourishing green moong dal with the goodness of mung beans and spices, and this simple and supremely delicious aloo palak.
And then there was the ‘fancy food’ (as my dad called it!) for us kids, which was anything but traditional Andhra food such as this street-style corn and peas salad, bullet naan, and vegan tortillas with herbs and spices.
That was the normal food scene in our household. And you can guess how it was during festivals and celebrations! 10x 😆.
The head chef - mum
I have to thank my mother for inspiring me. She is a wonderful lady with amazing culinary skills. She can make any dish delicious with simple ingredients 😍.
Like most ladies of her generation, she has spent most of her life in the kitchen, catering to all our food needs and demands (tantrums!) with tireless dedication, creativity, and joy.
She always had something new and exciting for us to try!
Growing up, every meal was a treat, thanks to her passion and enthusiasm! ❤️
Although she had some help in the kitchen for the pre and post-cooking chores, she was the master of cooking and she liked it that way.
What I admire most is that after years and years of cooking for so many people, every day, she loves cooking and creating new dishes, even to this day!
When my daughters were born, this is what she told me - “no matter how busy you are, make sure you cook fresh, even if simple, food for your kids”.
I have followed her advice and I cook simple, fresh food for my family, almost every day (although I have picked up some handy batch cooking and ingredients prepping tricks along the way 😃)
P.S.: I have a confession to make - I love cooking, but I hate chopping veggies! 🤷 Remember this sauteed okra recipe?
My entry into the world of cooking
Cooking has been my passion since I was a kid.
I remember making my first dish by myself when I was 14 years old. I wanted to impress my family, so I chose a complex recipe that involved stuffing and deep frying tomatoes (not very healthy, I know!).
During my school and college years, my love for cooking grew stronger.
I used to cook for my family, my friends, my teachers, and anyone else who would try my food!
The internet was not around then, and recipes were not as easy to find as they are now.
I used to look for recipes and ideas in cookbooks, magazines, and newspapers.
My mum was (and still is) my reliable guide and mentor.
I remember the first recipe that I created - it was an Indo-Chinese dish: vegetable dumplings in a yummy sweet and sour sauce. I served it with fried rice.
That day is still clear in my mind. I had some friends over for a meal and I wanted to make something special for them. They loved it and I was so proud of myself!
Note to self: Find that recipe and make it again.
Even today, every new recipe that I create gives me the same excitement as that first one! I enjoy the whole process - from the idea to the final dish and the many trials and tweaks in between. In a way, every recipe that I create is my baby!
You can reach me at [email protected]
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See you in my posts. Thanks for reading! 🤗