Meet Manali

Hey there! I am Manali, the cook and photographer behind this blog! I am so happy you’re here!


About Me and My Family

I was born and brought up in India. My dad is an Indian government officer and my mom is a housewife. I have 2 younger brothers and they all live in India. I am blessed to have a such a wonderful family, who have supported me in every decision of my life.

I live in Seattle with my husband, Sarvesh. I moved to USA in December 2011, a week after my wedding. Me and my husband were best friends for 10 years before we tied the knot [I guess we realized that we wouldn’t find anyone better than each other after 10 years!!]. Yeah we have a very filmy story, a Bollywood movie on it is definitely possible! ? Sarvesh is my biggest supporter, it’s his constant encouragement that pushes me to give my best to this blog and to everything else in life in general. And not only that, he also handles all the technical stuff on this blog. The blog design, logo, everything is done by him. I have zero technical knowledge so it’s all him.

About Cook With Manali

I started this blog in 2013 to keep all my recipes at one place. It was Sarvesh’s suggestion to start this blog so that I could have a record of all my recipes, rather than scribbling them on papers all the time. I thought it was a good idea since it would also help me kill some time. At that time, I did not have a work visa and was struggling to pass time in this new country. What started as a time pass, became my passion over time. I am a self taught cook, baker and photographer. Whatever I have learned is through trial and error. I have failed so many times but because I was so passionate about getting it right, I just kept trying till I got it right. That’s why I say if I can cook, anyone can. I had never baked a cake in my life till 4 years back and I know it’s difficult to believe it considering the number of baking recipes I have on the blog! We never had an oven in our house growing up, in fact ovens aren’t still very common in India but back then they were literally non existent. But I fell so much in love with the art and science of baking that now I literally live and breath it.

Cook With Manali is a vegetarian food blog. I have been vegetarian for almost 15 years now and my husband is a born vegetarian. Through my recipes I want to show everyone that vegetarian cooking is just as delicious and not boring at all! India has countless vegetarian and vegan dishes that I grew up eating and I share all those and much more on this blog.


My Background

They say sometimes it takes a lifetime to realize your true passion! It couldn’t be more true in my case, thankfully I realized it before it was too late. I was always a good student in school and college and cooking was probably the last thing on my mind. I wish I could say that I was in love with cooking and baking since my childhood but that would be totally false. I never bothered to enter the kitchen. It was only after moving to the USA that I started spending time in the kitchen. Long story short, I realized that this is where my heart lies. Now I can’t stop thinking about cooking, recipes and food photography!

* I used to be a bookworm in school, yeah those nerdy students who never leave the book, yep that was me!
* I am a medical doctor, I did my MBBS from India.
* I also have an MBA in Health Care from University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Keeping In Touch
If you have any questions or just want to say hello, please write to me at
I would reply to you at the earliest! You can also keep in touch with me through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Thank you for supporting me in this journey! ❤



178 thoughts on “Meet Manali

  1. hu Manali,
    Very nice blog… Loved the recipes.
    I am also thinking to start a blog for food and art… Ur tips on food photography are awesome.. Thanks a lot for that.

    1. Hi Hiral! Thank you so much, I’m glad you found that post helpful 🙂 Good luck with your blog 🙂 I am sure it will be wonderful!

    2. Hi Manali,

      I m Charu from Dehradun, India. It was very interesting reading your blog while baking banana cake in oven. I m trying your recipe…..hope it comes out nice.I started liking baking since few months only.

      1. Hi manali,

        I tried your recipe of banana cake yesterday. Cake was tasty but it’s color was not brown. The color of cake is very dull.What must be the reason

      2. looks like an oven temperature setting. was it baked completely? did you add the required amount of sugar? honestly if it was cooked through and tasted good, I wouldn’t worry about the cake not being brown. Too brown is also not good.

      3. You r right I baked the cake at is very tasty but the color is not brown.Thanks for reply.

  2. Manali.. I can very well relate to you.. It was like I didn’t know the difference between the diiferent kinds of dal before marriage but now cooking is my best friends too.. The only difference between us is that you are in US and I am in NZ.. Lol.. The story remains the same.. 😉

    I am so happy to have come across you through FB group.. Happy to have connected this amazing blog and the amazing journey of yours..

  3. Hi Manali,

    Just stumbled across your site via Society Magz. Love the variety and colourful pages. Lots of great recipes too.

    See you around 🙂


  4. Hi Manali

    I am approaching you because I found you through Foodgawker 🙂 Kind of fell in love with your beautiful pictures and recipes.

    I currently launched a vegan ebook by myself and wanted to ask you if you like to read it and maybe review it on your blog or Instagram? Of course just if you like it 🙂

    I would provide it to you for free of course.



  5. Hi came to know your blog while browsing the net and I must say that I was instantly hooked to it. The recipes here are explained in such a simple way that even a novice can become an expert. Keep up the good wwork!!

  6. Dear Manali,
    Since the time I got the link to your blog I have been a very frequent visitor here. I truly appreciate all the efforts you put in to make this blog so colorful and easy to cook recipes. I was wondering if you have any cookies recipe (that I can make in bulk) that is eggless and free of allergies causing ingredients like peanuts or any nuts. My kid needs to take in 3 dozens of these cookies to school the week of Dec 15th 2014.

    Later today I am planning on making the banana cupcake and short bread cookies. I also have the plans to try out the chocolate stuffed cookies with tutti fruity. Hoping to make either of these cookies to school. Will let you know how they turn out.


    1. Shree, first of all thank you so much for your kind encouraging words, means so much! 🙂 Regarding your query I can suggest these oatmeal cookies from my blog which I personally love – Replace 1 egg with 1/4 cup of mashed ripe banana in this recipe for eggless version. What kind of a cookie texture you are looking for? Soft or crispy? If crispy you can even try these or add cardamom to the same recipe and make cardamom cookies. Also you can make eggless chocolate chip cookies…I don’t have a recipe for it yet on my blog but I found these links for you – Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any more questions! Happy baking 🙂

      1. Dear Manali,
        I tried the Oatmeal cranberry cookies yesterday and it turned out good. I replaced the eggs with mashed banana’s like you suggested. I feel the taste of banana is too overwhelming. I would like to know if I reduce the banana measurement by half will it still taste good?

        I want to try the other cookies that you have suggested. Will give you the feed back once I try them.

        Thanks and regards,

      2. Hi Shree, thanks for the feedback. If the flavor of banana is bothering you try replacing 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of Cornstarch + 2 tablespoons of Water.
        The other option is to replace 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of Flax seeds [grind] and 3 tablespoons of water. You first need to grind the flax seeds and then add in the water till it’s smooth and then add it to your mix. However flax seeds have a nutty distinct flavor..I have never personally used them in baking so not sure how it would affect the taste of these cookies. Some people also use Chia seeds in the same way. I would suggest going for the cornstarch and see how it works! Good luck 🙂

      3. Hi Manali,

        I have to say that I enjoy cooking from your recipes. With this downtime, I’ve had no choice but to take myself to the kitchen and I’ve absolutely enjoyed cooking with your recipes. I tried the dal makhani today and it was 5*. The dal was so rich and spectacular and fresh in taste. No masala, just richness and fine flavours. My husband is loving the new found cook in me, and is heavenly pleased. Just as I am.

        Please keep it going and have me in on any new recipes.


  7. Hello Manali ,
    Its a delight to first, hear it from Aunty n then by visiting ur site…. Commendable…. I cant put it all in words..but in short , very happy for you n proud of you…. There’s a lot to be inspired by you…. God bless you dear…. Cheers
    Shruti (mona didi)

  8. Wao manali……….very happy to see this.
    all d very best sweetheart.
    nd do keep adding more recipes

      1. i do not understand how to read your recipes , what does 1,5 cup mean , is it 1 cup or 5 cups , i see alot of your recipes worded like this , i like your recipes but havng a hard time

      2. Hello Roslyn. Sorry you are having trouble reading my recipes. It is 1.5 cups. I will check my recipes to make sure it’s 1.5 cups and not 1,5. If it is like that, it’s only a typo on my part. Have a good day!

  9. Manaliiii diii

    So good to see your website 😀

    I’ve been bitten by the baking bug too. Will be fun to try your recipes :*

    1. Manali, I enjoyed your salted Carmel macaron experience so much. I fell in love with this cookie when I went to Paris in 2001. After first grinding up raw almonds to make my own flour,realizing I didn’t have it fine enough, I bought a bag of almond flour! ? After two trying experiences, I gave up. Reading your trial and error blog, I’m going to try again, because Carmel is my passion. Will let you know how this works out!

      1. Hi Pam! Thanks for writing in!! I hope you give these a try, yes macarons can be little tricky but so worth it 🙂

    2. What humble beginnings! And not mentioning that you are a credentialed MD and more until the end of your “about me” entry I found to be very appealing! All the best to you and your husband in your new country!
      I came for a simple rice recipe, but will be back for more of everything else!
      Dave B
      Nazareth PA

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