Mridula Baljekar grew up handling, eating and sharing spicy food. She describes her grandmother’s kitchen as ‘an Aladdin’s cave with colourful spices in glass jars smiling at you’. Inspired, Mridula has created her own hauntingly fragrant dishes using her own spice jars. She started delving into the intriguing world of spices when she was offered a job as an Indian cookery teacher at her local adult education college. She enjoyed creating recipes based on the memories of her mother and grandmother’s kitchens. Her students were delighted with the recipes and encouraged her to write a cookbook. Her first book, The Complete Indian Cookbook was launched, which sold over a million copies worldwide. Mridula went on to become a Consultant to Tesco, advising and devising chilled Indian ready meals which led to live food demonstrations and appearances. Mridula has presented 52 cookery shows on TV; she has cooked for royalty, politicians and celebrities and has published 27 cookery books.