India’s most celebrated cookbook author Nita Mehta, had a burning desire to do something.
From cooking classes to cookbooks to restaurants, she truly has done it and more! Today she is into publishing, distribution, cooking academies and home appliances. She has also recently launched a bimonthly magazine Home and Happiness and opened her first restaurant in Ludhiana.
Nita Mehta’s Background
Nita Mehta is a home science graduate from Lady Irwin College, Delhi University and a Gold Medalist in M.Sc. (Food & Nutrition). She is all praises for Lady Irwin College, from where she received her basics, for her success today.
Nita was always passionate about cooking and thus experimented often at home, trying out new recipes for family and friends. Seeing the appreciation she received for her cooking, she decided to put her talent to use.She began with ice cream making classes at home on Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi in 1985, with around 30 students. Her first advertisement. for Ice Cream classes brought a tremendous response ! She received phone calls from early morning till late night. This started her journey to success.
Eager students kept pouring in to learn the unusual ice creams which Nita taught, like Mocha , Mint, Choco-chip, etc which were still a new fad those days. Later she introduced other courses like Multicuisne, Baking, Chinese cooking.
Encouraged by her students’ demand for new recipes, Nita Mehta decided to write a cookbook.
Nita Mehta’s Struggles
- Nita worked hard on the book, penning recipes late into the night, after completing her household chores. After a full year of grueling hard work, Nita’s book was complete in 1994.
- But she was in for a rude shock. There were no publishers willing to publish her cookbook! The market, in those days was dominated by foreign books with had glossy pictures and printing.
- Nita approached almost all the publishers in town to get her books published, but could not get someone to publish her book! Not one to be deterred, she decided to publish it herself.
- With no experience and a lack of finance and just faith as her friend, Nita set up her publishing house SNAB PUBLISHERS to publish her first cookbook.
- Her first cookbook ‘Vegetarian Wonders’ didn’t actually do any wonders. It took almost two years to sell the copies she had printed.
Sweet Taste of Success
But real success came calling in her second book ‘Paneer all the way’. Then there was then no looking back! She had printed 5000 copies and within a month she had to reprint.
Since then she has produced many best sellers.
Today, her Publishing House has published over 400 cookbooks which have sold over 5 million books, making her one of the highest selling authors.
Nita Mehta’s Success Secrets ( Formula for Success )
- Hard Work
- Do not give up
- Be passionate & Enjoy what you do
- Believe in yourself
- Dream Big
- Give Happiness to others for Mental Peace & Happiness
- Unity at home
Who’s behind her Success
According to Nita Mehta, behind every successful woman is a man definitely, in the beginning, but eventually it’s the whole family!
Happiness for Nita Mehta means : Being Stress free
Success for Nita Mehta means:
- Getting what you want
- Good Health
She looks up to: Martha Stewart
Nita Mehta’s Achievements
She has authored more than 300 books on various topics including many best selling cookery books. Many of Nita‘s cookbooks have won International Awards.
- “Flavors of Indian Cooking“ has won the Best Asian Cookbook Award at the Versailles (Paris) World Cookbook Fair.
- “Zero Oil Cookbook” was awarded the Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook
- “Chocolate Cookbook”, was awarded the Best Chocolate Cookbook
- “Cooking for Growing Children”, was awarded the Best Cookbook for Children & Family
Her Cookbooks are not only sold in India but also in USA, UK, Canada, South Africa, Singapore and the Middle East. Some of Nita’s Cookbooks have been translated into the Arabic language and also many regional languages of India
She has several cooking institutes under the name of “Nita Mehta Cooking Classes” in New Delhi (India), where she has trained several thousand aspiring individuals into expert cooks. In addition, she also creates recipes for food-related companies around the world.
They have tied up with a few food related companies . They have recently launched a bimonthly magazine ‘Home and Happiness’ and plan to open many more restaurants.
From a humble beginning of taking cookery classes at her residence as a housewife, in 1966 to receiving the Padmashree Award, Tarla Dalal has come a long way.
After marriage she moved to Mumbai from Pune. She knew just a few Gujarati dishes in the beginning. To please her family she started to learn and experiment with all kinds of cuisines. She also trained at the only cookery class in Mumbai and soon her friends began appreciating her recipes .They requested her to teach them but she admitted that she knew only around 20 recipes. On insistence she began her first cookery class at her residence and received Rs. 120 for the first month .That gave her a great feeling and thus began her Success Story. Her friends and her neighbour a publisher, encouraged her to write.
Today she has around 170 titles selling with translations into various Indian and few foreign languages. She is amongst the top 5 best selling cookery author. Her website is amongst the top 10 cookery sites in the world and the best Indian food website. Her show on Sony Entertainment Television “Cook it up with Tarla Dalal”was aired for 3 years. She has done many cookery shows in many major Indian and foreign cities.
She was awarded the Woman of the Year in 2005 by the Indian Merchant Chambers and the Padmashree by the President of India ,Dr.A.P.J.Kalam for her contribution in the field of cooking in 2007.