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! ❤



157 thoughts on “Meet Manali

  1. 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!

    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

  2. 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

        1. 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!

  3. 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)

  4. 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,

        1. 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 🙂

      2. 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.


  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. 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.



  7. Hi Manali,

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

    See you around 🙂


  8. 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..

  9. 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!

  10. This is the first time I’ve been introduced to your blog. The things that I’ve seen are very impressive. I will try these recipes and if they are as good as they look I will back for more. Thank you for sharing your talent and taste buds

  11. Hy its really nice and yummy recepies but could u plz tell me how to cook cakes without egg.. Choco lava cake

  12. Hi Manali, I just popped by your blog for the first time and have spent the last half hour pouring through you delightful creations! What an absolute joy! You are a truly talented baker. I will keep coming back for more, you can be sure!

  13. Hi Manali,
    Many thanks for the thin crust pizza dough recipe! I only found your blog two days ago and I just finished making this amazing recipe. It’s everything I dreamed of–a delicious, thin crust pizza dough that doesn’t require rising time. I can only imagine how great your Indian dishes must taste.


  14. Hi Manali,
    Stumbled on your website because of your awesome name! :-)). My kids love the mango lassi and excited to try more of your reciepes!
    I too find baking to be a de-stresser so can totally relate.
    Looking forward to reading more of your blogs!

    1. Hey there Manali! Wow how cool to meet my namesake! Thanks for dropping by and I hope you do try some of the recipes here. Happy New Year! 🙂

  15. hi Manali really pleased to go through your blogs and i have learn a lot but would be grateful if i could have all these recipes in one whole book that’s would have been awesome



  16. Hi Manali,
    Thanks for the wonderful tips 🙂
    Brilliantly written and simple to understand. I’m a newbie to food blogging and ur tips are going to be pretty helpful !

    1. Hi Chris! Unfortunately I am a vegetarian so I won’t be able to post Tandoori Chicken! I can definitely post the yogurt curry 🙂 Are you talking about “kadhi”, if yes then I already have some kadhi recipes on the blog. Just search using the search box!

  17. recipes worded so simply…superb pictures…personalised touch everywhere i go on the website.if i can put in one word – AMAZING!!
    way to go!!!

  18. Namaskaram -What a nice couple photo – looking happy! 🙂 And so good to have “your technical support so close to hand” looks nice, my husband too helps me with certain things:) 🙂 Will have to come back to study posts, right now its lunchtime here in Kerala and off I rush to my kitchen – you understand 🙂 But, I have joined you now as a new follower.
    Take care and have a good Hallooween week-end.

  19. Glad to have stumbled across you and your recipes, Manali. My husband is from Karnataka and his mom, besides being a vegetarian, does not eat eggs. I’m excited to try your blueberry/lemon, eggless cake for a friend’s surprise birthday.

    Thanks so much for sharing your cooking and for sharing with the wider community a bit about yourself.

  20. Apple Cinnamon Crepes are filled with cinnamon whipped cream and a delicious apple cinnamon filling and served with caramel sauce on top!

  21. You have such a wonderful blog. I found you when I searched up rasmalais. Wow lovely description and instructions. The Ras is cooking right now and I’ll let you know how that turns out. Next on my list is Litti Chokka. I want you to know that your love for cooking is evident in every word every picture. Thank you!!!

      1. The rasmalai was good but I think I need to try it out a couple of more times to get it perfect. My friends loved it. Thank you!!

  22. The rasmalai was good but I think I need to try it out a couple of more times to get it perfect. My friends loved it. Thank you!!

  23. Manali,
    I have to make sure not to go on your Facebook page when I’m hungry. Everything on there is amazing. You and your husband are a blessing and I am so grateful I found you. Please continue your tremendous work.

    1. Thank you James for the kind words and support. It means so much to me and inspires me to keep working hard! 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

  24. I followed your recipe on gobi aloo dish, and I must say it was soooo good! I couldn’t stop eating my own dish, and I rarely eat the food I make! Thank you so much for putting this recipe online, I literally stumbled on it when I typed in gobi and aloo on Google search!

  25. Hi Manali,

    Loved to go through the different recipes. How are you ? Why don’t you log in to IL nowadays ?

  26. Hi Manali!
    I recently got married and your blog is helping me a lot in experimenting in the kitchen to cook for my husband! 😀 thank you!!

  27. Hi Manali,

    Accidently stumbled upon your website cause i was looking for tasty veg recipes cause im a non veg basically, and for us non vegetarians its a bit tough to get the veg dishes right…but i can honestly say that whatever i have tried out so far is superb and by far the best vegetarian dishes i have tried out from other famous chefs. All the best!!hope you can add more and more vegetarian recipes in the months to come.

    1. Hi Karen! Thank you so much for your kind words, I am so glad to know that you enjoy the recipes that I share! I really appreciate the support! 🙂 I will keep sharing vegetarian recipes, please follow along! 🙂

  28. 30th oct 2018 67 years
    hi madam
    i have seen your recipe of rasmalai i want to prepare rasmalai for this deepavali you may be surprised to see gent making this but my wife (in heaven) left 5 years i used to cook my food my self i stared trial and error method and little by little now i am able to do all sort of my required stuff but i also try to make new items as and when i think i will make good rasmalai this time
    th you\
    v s mani

  29. Hello Manali,
    Received your wonderful book the other day. We have made a potato and cabbage recipe so far (so good). I am an expat Scot (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) Married to a South Indian and living in Dallas USA! I see you went to University of Aberdeen. I love finding new recipes to cook for my husband and I know, I will go back to this book many times. For a Scot to learn to cook Indian food can be intimidating and overwhelming, your recipes make it simple! Thanks for sharing your story and wonderful recipes!

    1. Hi Wilma! It’s so good to hear from you again! 🙂 If I remember correctly, we have spoken once on Instagram! Wow I did not know that you are from Aberdeen! I was there for 1.5 years while doing my MBA..beautiful city though a little too cold for my liking..haha..I am sure it must be so much of a difference (especially weather wise) for you from Aberdeen to Dallas! Thank you so much for following along,I am so glad to know my recipes make it easier for you to cook Indian food at home.. 🙂

      1. Thank you Manali! We are making the dark chickpea recipe tomorrow 😍 My family own a Scottish Shortbread Factory in Huntly Aberdeenshire (Dean’s of Huntly) so we all really love cooking! Thanks a million for all your wonderful recipes. Yes, I recall chatting on Instagram. I look forward (if brave enough) to share my efforts on the FB page. Happy Diwali to you and your family

        1. Scottish Shortbread Factory! Wow, that’s so wonderful! I would love to visit one! 🙂 Hope you like the chickpea and I hope to see a picture of finished product! 🙂

      2. Thank you Manali! We are looking forward to making the dark chickpea recipe tomorrow 😍
        My family own a Scottish Shortbread Factory in Huntly Aberdeenshire (Dean’s of Huntly) you may have come across them whilst there in ABERDEEN so we all really love cooking!
        Thanks a million for all your wonderful recipes. Yes, I recall chatting on Instagram. I look forward (if brave enough) to share my efforts on the FB page. Happy Diwali to you and your family

  30. Just wanted to say how really life changing your blog and cookbook have been for me. As a (nearly) lifelong vegetarian who grew up in a family of meat eaters, I never really learned how to cook veggie. I spent years subsisting on processed, frozen and restaurant foods. Discovering your blog and cookbook has revolutionized my diet and my kitchen. We no longer even go out to eat anymore because the things you taught me how to make are so much better. I really appreciate the thought and detail that goes into each of your recipes, and as I sit and eat my amazing pav bhaji and panchmel dal I thought it was high time to say a huge thank you.

    1. Liz, thank you so much for your kind words. As a blogger, nothing makes me happier than to know that I have in some little way helped someone to eat better. I am so glad to hear that! And thank you for taking out the time to post a message here, it means so much to me! 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  31. Hello and good morning!
    Hope you will be at your best!
    I believe Manali is a place also in India where people go like Shimla. Do not know mutch but I think a university is also there. So inspired by your name I went through your blog. It is a nice blog. Your hubby looks smart and cheerful guy. It is a waste of joy that you took 10 years to marry. Lol.

  32. Manali! Happy 2019!

    I just discovered your recipes and your blog. I am looking forward to making your Mexican rice dish later today and trying out your other recipes as well. I also enjoyed reading your story – very sweet and glad to hear you have such a wonderful man at your side. Great to “meet” you and will let you know how the dish turns out.



  33. I’ve just tried your Pav Bhaji recipe and although I only had about an hour to put it together before iftaar, it turned out pretty well. The way you’ve got your recipe/instructions laid out is fantastic!

  34. Hey Manali. I tried your Easy chole recipe and it worked very well. I will try other recipes on your blog too. Your story is inspiring. Please keep pushing new recipes on your blog. 😀

  35. Hi Manali
    Iam so glad that I came across your blog .I wanted to make vegetable biryani so i googled n I used your recipe. The dish came out so perfect!!!!!!! I can’t wait to try your other recipes.
    I couldn’t agree more with ure words that it takes a lifetime to realise your true passion,especially when one is intelligent. I wish you all the best gal !!! ..btw r u on you tube?

  36. Dear Mem & Dear Sarvesh,
    Good Day,
    Nice to know about you both.
    It really very nice that put smiles on peoples faces by helping with delicious recipes.
    People say : For Many People Happiness Starts From Stomach.
    God Bless You All.

  37. While in college, my daughter, from Indiana roomed with a girl from India. They had a very good relationship. She now has Indian friends in Washington DC, they are intelligent and fun people. At the tender age of fourteen she decided to be a vegetarian. So I’ve come to love Indian food. I cook all the time but I am still learning how to cook really good Indian food. I am also trying to learn how to make other ethnic foods like Asian. My wife sometimes asks “Can we have some American food?” Sure I like what I grew up eating at home but I like diversity.
    Like you Alexis took about ten years then married her good friend Rob Yu. Yes that is his real name. She chose well.

  38. Hi!

    I like your noon – Vegetarian cooking with the Instant Pot.

    Can’t wait to see all your recipes.


  39. Hi Manali,
    I made your baked Methi Mathri in the air fryer and it came out great. I was wondering if you have a chakli recipe that I can make in the air fryer which will turn out as crispy, not hard? I have made chakli in the air fryer using my recipe that I have but it is good only if you fry them.

  40. Hey, Your blog has been super helpful for a bachelor like me who’s learning how to cook edible food. Your chola masale recipe turned out great (though I added some amchur for more flavour) and I’m gonna try more of your recipes. Thanks!

  41. Dear Manali Jee,

    My favorite sweet is Rasmalai and today casually I was looking for it’s recipe, I found your website address in google search. I started reading and I read till end, I read every word and all instructions. Cooking is my hobby so casually I look for recipes, but this is first time I found that someone has wrote a recipe so nicely, so accurately, with all little details and with real experience which actually made me to appreciate your dedication and efforts and amazing way to help others to learn the same art.

    I have read several cook books and recipes, truly speaking no one has wrote so nicely, so accurately and wrote it with feeling that what kind of issues a first timer will face and all little instructions are it place.

    I just want to say I am your fan.

    I want to say thank you, for sharing this knowledge, this art with everyone. I will promise you that I will buy your cookbook, I will ask my questions if I have any and I will be frequent visitor on your website.

    I request you to keep it up, keep sharing, you are doing amazing job. God Bless You.

    With warm regards,
    Nikesh Trivedi

  42. Hi Manali, I am a Scotsman loving in Australia who missed the great Indian food culture of my former home. As you will know form your time studying, we have a rich and beloved Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities in Scotland and so I am used to great food form that part of the world. I found your Dal Tadka recipe and it was the best I have tried. Thanks so much and I will be sure to try more of your recipes!

  43. Manali, it’s so good to meet you. I’m a big fan of your recipes and have tried several of them. You write on very simple words which are easy to follow and remember.

    Thanks for your contribution in making me a better cook 😉

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