About Deena

Hi,Deena Kakaya I’m Deena and I am a food writer and I also run cookery classes.  My recipes are my own, have influences from the world and have a an Indian strand running through them.

Vegetables/vegetarian items are often regarded as side-dishes.  Pasta, pizza, risotto or lasagne…what else constitutes a vegetarian main meal, side dish or how do you entertain veggie kids and adults? Many would struggle with devising a colourful and lively, sense-rousing, and utterly delicious meal. What makes a meal to look forward to and that will really whet the appetite and enchant dinner guests, or ones family; a meal that is the stuff of blissful memories and brings happy faces together, excitedly at the dinner table.

‘More veg less meat’ and ‘meat-free Mondays’ are of increasing popularity as the messages are being infiltrated strongly through media.  We know that there is a strong ethical and religious drive as it’s better for animals to be vegetarian, but a regular or irregular vegetarian diet is being adopted for health reasons. Vegetarian food is not just for vegetarians; often a gorgeous and aromatic meat-free meal just happens to be vegetarian.  These days, an added impetus is that a meat-free meal is just cheaper.

Is someone who likes vegetarian food more explorative and worldly? Maybe so, but in any case we can always change the accent of a dish with new ways and new flavours. In fact you can completely transform a dish of aubergines using different spices and methods! Cooking foods using influences from the throughout world is akin to travelling…be it bringing out the adventurous side of us, or making us feel more educated…or even if it is just to show-off, it is fun!

Whatever the driving reason, there is more mass appeal for a meat-free meal.  My vision is to bring gorgeous veggie meals to life with new recipes that are very much my own in a way that touches people’s lifestyles. The ordinary person may not want a gastronomic adventure worth ages of effort every day.

My vision is to share rousing, sensational world-influenced recipes for you the open-minded busy person who loves to eat.  I’d love to know that you actually make these recipes, not simply read about them. Like me, many of my recipes have an uncomplicated Indian strand, but that’s the reality of modern cuisine, isn’t it? And I promise to share all this with you,with a story…its always more fun that way.

Keep telling me how you find the recipes, I love hearing from you

Warm wishes


deenamadhvani@hotmail.comJoin me on Twitter Join me on Facebook


12 Responses to “About Deena”

  1. A Heyes July 17, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    they look like good recipes. We will try them out and we’re not even students. We just love Indian food! How about a recipe for a good chapati?

    • deenakakaya July 17, 2009 at 3:49 pm #


      Thanks for the good feedback! A good chappati…sure, I can do that in another post…have to say, that chappati is more about technique (and practice) than ingredients. When my full site launches, I can do a video and hopefully when my classes start, that’ll provide opportunity to refine that technique!

      best wishes
      Deena Kakaya

  2. Nish July 24, 2009 at 4:00 am #

    Hi Deena, great site! btw u got any ideas how to spice up the india maggi noodles? i love ’em but i would like it to be cheesy too. any ideas? would appreciate that.

    once again osm site!

    • deenakakaya August 10, 2009 at 10:30 am #

      Hi Nish,

      Thank you for the encouraging words!

      Maggi noodles….wow that brings back memories! I used to improvise with instant noodles as a student.

      A quick recipe I use, is to simply fry off an onion with a couple of cloves of garlic and cumin seeds, a couple of red dried chillies, turmeric and then shallow fry some mixed vegetables. I reccomend green beans, cauliflower, peas and potatoes. As a student, I used the frozen mixed veg packets. I then added 2-3 chopped tomatoes and some cumin powder, corriander powder, garam masala and ginger. I then added about 1/2 litre of water, you can moderate according to how much gravy you like. I would then get this to simmering point and then, just put the noodles in and cook until they have softened.

      I have even tried instant noodles in thickened (from boiling) whole milk, sugar and cardomon and saffron…there was no sev available at uni!

      Let me know how you get on!
      Warm wishes

  3. Abhijeet Shinde November 11, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    Its really easy and tasty with healthy food. Thanks Deena

  4. Radovan August 7, 2010 at 6:26 am #

    Hello Deena,

    Everything about this website is fantastic! It’s so nice to see healthy Indian veg dishes that aren’t loaded down with oil or ghee. Your spin on some of the traditional recipes makes them special…, and makes me want to start experimenting in the kitchen!

    Keep up the good work!



  5. sheena Raval October 9, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    Love your recipes..and you write so effortlessley 😉

    Recipes sound so yummy..im going to have to try some out x

    • Deena Kakaya October 9, 2010 at 9:50 am #

      Thank you Sheena-so very Kind of you! I’d love to know what you think of the recipes when you try them 🙂
      best wishes
      Deena xx

  6. Leena Lakhani October 9, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    Deena… Your site is awesome!
    Really chuffed for you


    • Deena Kakaya October 9, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

      Thank you Leena, very kind of you!

  7. Jo Newman September 16, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    Hi Deena,
    We eat far too much meat and its great to get some ideas for using vegetables in different ways. The meals I’ve tried have been given a double thumbs up by both my husband and son- believe me this is a huge complement. Looking forward to more ideas.
    Thanks, Jo

    • Deena Kakaya September 16, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      Thanks Jo, I’m so pleased to read your feedback! Do let me know which recipes you try and I hope to see more feedback from you xx

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