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


50 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

  8. Namrata September 30, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Hi Deena, you have a beautiful site. Very well written neat recipes. Have bookmarked a few. lookin forward to more.

    • Deena Kakaya September 30, 2013 at 10:11 am #

      Hello Namrata, what a lovely and kind message, thank you so much. You’ve made me smile! I hope you’ll try the recipes out and let me know what you think. Come back soon x

  9. ohiocook November 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Thank you for dropping by my blog.

  10. ohiocook November 7, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    thank you for stopping by my blog!

    • Deena Kakaya November 7, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

      Hi! It’s great to connect with you x

  11. theundergroundgourmet November 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    I have nominated you to the Versatile Blogger Award.
    The rules as per my understanding are;
    • Give thanks to the person providing your nomination.
    • Include a link to their blog
    • Nominate 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
    • Finally, the hardest, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
    All the best, Cheers

  12. thegoodfoodtheory December 10, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Hi Deena. Your recipes look delicious. I adore vegetarian food and always try to have meals that are packed full of vegetables! Thanks for liking my recipe and I’m definitely inspired by yours. Best wishes, Jade

    • Deena Kakaya December 11, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      Hello, thank you so much for the very lovely comment. I’m so glad that you like my recipes! Please keep coming back and I hope you’ll try them. I am enjoying your site and it’s great to connect with you xx

  13. thebestdressup December 15, 2013 at 4:58 am #

    ciao! luvFAB blog.

  14. Anita Menon December 15, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    I have been spending a lot of time today browsing your blog. Such an amazing collection of vegetarian recipes. I would love to try some of them for sure. I am so glad to have landed here.

    • Deena Kakaya December 15, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      Hi Anita, thank you for your kind and generous words! I’m very pleased and flattered that you are enjoying my recipes. It’s great to connect with you xx

  15. Ahila December 21, 2013 at 1:52 am #

    Hi Deena,
    I have enjoyed your blog posts as well as my interactions with you on my blog. Thank you for being a great blogging friend! I have nominated you for the WordPress Family Award (http://wp.me/p3Nc97-hM). Paying it forward is entirely optional.

    Happy holidays! – Ahila.

  16. annetbell December 30, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    Oh the cauliflower sounds marvelous. I fell in love with cooked cauliflower while in India . The rest of my life I only are raw!
    Many thanks for the follow. Please visit again soon and often!

    • Deena Kakaya December 30, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      Hello Anne, it’s lovely to hear from you. Thank you so much for your kind words. Cauliflower is marvellous at soaking up flavour isn’t it x

  17. Cheesy Biscuit January 2, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Love the look of your blog, would like to follow you but can’t find the button! Perhaps food overload is blurring my vision? Would appreciate it if you’d be able to point me in the right direction… Many thanks!

    • Deena Kakaya January 2, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

      Hi! Great hear from you. Two things to do, either o via your dashboard where I am following you and follow back, or email subscribe. X

      • Cheesy Biscuit January 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

        Thanks! Didn’t think of going via my dashboard!

  18. Selma's Table January 3, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    Hi Deena

    I am nominating you for the WordPress Family Award. Thank you for being so supportive – I have really enjoyed getting to know you! Acceptance is optional. A link to your blog and the rules for this award can be found on my post here – http://selmastable.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/awards-and-accolades-2013. Looking forward to reading your posts in 2014! x

  19. Damian Mcloughlin March 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    Hello Deena,

    I was wondering if you would like to try our new Dodo Chilli Dipping Sauce.

    Please let me know if you would like a free jar?

    Thank you for your time.



    • Deena Kakaya March 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

      Hello Damian,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I would love to try them, thank you for offering. Let’s talk over email deenakakaya@gmail.com


  20. Rhonda Sittig March 19, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    Hi Deena– Your blog is beautiful! Photos so bright and appealing and I love your way to explain it all. So glad I found it. thanks.

    • Deena Kakaya March 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

      Hi Rhonda, thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate it. It’s great to connect with you x

  21. apsara March 28, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

    Hi Deena, I don’t know why I did not follow your blog before! It is lovely, very beautiful photographs and well thought out recipes. Is there a way to get your posts in my reader and not just by email? I check my WP site more than my email 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya March 28, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

      Hi Apsara, thank you so much for the kind words. I’m so grateful. I’m self-hosted, so wont come up in the reader.

      • apsara March 28, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

        ok, then will follow by email 🙂

  22. sandy7sand April 14, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    Hi Deena…
    So nice to have discovered your blog through foodies 100 .. How have I missed it in soo many years…:(
    I m a vegetarian and run a vegetarian journal too.. Would love to connect ..
    Do visit my space … Sandhya’s Kitchen

    • Deena Kakaya April 15, 2014 at 6:03 am #

      Thank you for connecting with me Sandhya, I will be visiting your site soon x

  23. Deena Kakaya May 5, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Hi everyone!

    To those of you who have expressed an interest in coming along to my cookery classes, the dates for the next two classes are up. I look forward to seeing you soon

    See you soon

  24. CrazyGuyinThailand June 1, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    Hi Deena. Cool blog.

  25. Katie @ Whole Nourishment July 27, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    Hi Deena! Do you mind passing along your e-mail address to wholenourishment@gmail.com? I am e-mailing a few fellow whole food bloggers proposing a mini virtual collaboration, and I wanted to included you!

  26. D.J. Lutz July 30, 2014 at 12:40 am #

    I really enjoy reading your blog. It helps me validate my decision to go vegetarian/vegan. So my readers might get to know you, I nominated your blog for a Liebster Award. If you choose to play along, here’s the link: http://vegancookingforyou.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/is-the-liebster-award-dairy-free/

  27. Henry CROFT June 21, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

    Great recipes on here Deena – keep it up!

  28. Joseph Gregorio July 11, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

    Hi Deena,

    I have to say there are some awesome recipes on here. I really appreciate you sharing them.

    As a vegetarian myself, I can now be more inventive in the kitchen without resorting to bland and dull foods.


    • Deena Kakaya July 16, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

      Thank you for the kind and generous comment Joseph, really glad you like the recipes!

Let me know what you think about this recipe

%d bloggers like this: