Trudy Ann Tellis grew up in Bombay (Mumbai), India, sampling the city’s foodways in all their diversity. At home, her Grandma Mona prepared southwestern coastal Indian meals. Every summer, they’d stay in Mangalore, Karnataka, at their family’s ancestral home, ‘Homestead.’ In this home, Trudy Ann’s great-aunt Mary ruled the kitchen, making fabulous meals that made the most of the city’s coastal bounty. When Trudy Ann moved to North America, she couldn’t cook, but remembered the taste of her family’s favourite dishes, working to recreate them from memory. She also missed the flavour and quality of the tea blends she used to drink at home in India and began to perfect her own recipe for masala chai.
Trudy Ann shared her love of afternoon tea with North American friends, first in San Francisco, California, then in Vancouver, British Columbia. She served them fresh, hot masala chai, along with biscuits and savoury treats. It was in Vancouver that her tea business truly began, which expanded into spice blends when Vancouver Farmers’ Market asked if she could fill a gap in their offerings.
This cookbook has its roots in those blends of teas and spices, but it couldn’t exist without a gift that Trudy Ann received from her mother in 2015 – two fragile notebooks filled with handwritten recipes from her grandmother, aunties, and great-grandmother. Her mother, Prafulla, had painstakingly recorded these over the years.
Inside Trudy Ann’s Masala Kitchen you’ll find many of these recipes, along with others inspired by Mumbai’s many cuisines and other parts of Eastern and Southern India. There are recipes to please meat-eaters, pescetarians, and vegetarians alike, with chutneys and desserts to round out a meal or fill a tea table. Trudy Ann shares her recipes for several of her family spice blends, tips for making the most of her recipes, soaking and sprouting, substitutions and improvisations, and a glossary of ingredients. The only thing that’s missing is a cup of one of her famous tea blends.
Trudy Ann Tellis received her Masters in Education from Syra- cuse University, NY and was an inner city school Special Education, Full Inclusion teacher in Oakland, California. She now lives with her family in Vancouver, BC.
Trudy Ann’s Chai has been featured in Maclean’s Magazine speaking about authentic masala chai, The Georgia Straight on her connection to Vancouver Farmers’ Markets, and OptikLocal Telus to demonstrate the perfect cup of chai. www.trudyannschai.com