For a woman who is known for her desserts, Carla can certainly throw down when it comes to savory. Indeed, only (only?) three of the nine (yes, nine) dishes that she prepared for us were desserts, but we certainly weren’t going to complain. But that’s just what happens when you have a veteran of Michelin-starred restaurants and most NYC area media outlets. You know, another day at the office.
For a detailed description of Carla’s professional experience, check out her website. When we talked with her though, we were more engaged with the story of how her cooking career came to be. She explained to us how when she was growing up in India, her father, a professional artist, nurtured her culinary aspirations during a time when women did not cook outside of the home. Carla, an aspiring young artist, wanted to work in a creative field, and her father touted the artistic qualities of cooking and was always encouraging her progress. Her ongoing creative development still drives her to recreate uncommon Indian diasporic cuisine in new and delicious ways.
For a reader-friendly experience, we decided to list Carla’s menu with bullet points, that way you’ll start drooling faster:
- Cauliflower Paratha with Sweet and Spicy Green Grape Raita
- Spicy Peach Chutney on Fresh Papri
- South Indian-Style Curry Leaf Potatoes
- Fried Okra Chip Salad
- Sambhar and Cornmeal Crusted Monkfish
- Rajasthani-Style Watermelon and Tomato Curry Salad with Cilantro
- Chai Panna Cotta with Chocolate Cake Crumbles
- Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes with Pineapple Curd Frosting and Fresh Pineapple Mascerated with Black Pepper
- Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream and Candied Almonds
Rest assured, everything was delicious. The standouts, though, were the watermelon and tomato salad, which absolutely sang when tossed with fried spices, and the chai panna cotta, which according to one client was “better than any cup of actual chai tea [he’s] ever had.” If you are not familiar with any of the culinary terms above, we recommend you go educate yourself. You have the internet, after all.