About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley!

I’m the writer and recipe maker here at My Heart Beets. Thanks for reading my blog!

Let me introduce you to the rest of my crew. My husband, Roby, and my two little boys are my taste testers. These three picky eaters help me decide which recipes are “blog-worthy.”

I think you’ll love everything you make from my site, but if you don’t, you’ll have to take it up with them.

(I’d love to share a beautiful professional family photo here on the blog, but whenever we take those, one of us is usually crying in the photo, lol. Maybe one day, but for now, this selfie is the best I’ve got 🤷🏽‍♀️).

my wild family

Here’s our story.

My husband Roby and I have been good friends since high school. We both went to the University of Virginia, and after a couple of years of being just friends who would occasionally and awkwardly hold hands – he asked me to be his girlfriend. On our fifth dating anniversary, he proposed. And a year later, we were married. Twice.

You might be wondering what this little love story has to do with cooking… well, a lot.

You see, we were both born in the US to Indian immigrants. I grew up in a Punjabi family eating delicious North Indian Food, and I was completely unaware of how varied Indian cuisine was until I started dating Roby. He introduced me to South Indian Cuisine, specifically Keralite food, and I fell in love (with both him and the food).

Soon after marriage, I felt the desire to learn our family’s recipes. The problem was that when I’d call to ask for measurements, my mom and my mil would tell me they cook “andaz naal” which basically means they eyeball everything. Anyone with Indian parents knows they don’t measure ingredients (ever) and so trying to recreate their recipes is tough.

My solution to this was… to pester them. 😂 Whenever I’d visit home, I’d follow my parents and my in-laws around the kitchen, taking notes and asking questions. I would sometimes “help” them as they cooked, measuring their ingredients before they threw them into the pot. I started paying close attention to ratios as well as how things were supposed to taste. I used this information, gathered over several years, to test and develop many of the recipes that I share here on my blog and in my books.

I continue to learn a lot about cooking from my moms, but it’s my dad who helps me perfect my recipes.

I’m convinced my dad is a supertaster (he has a powerful sense of smell, too) – he can try a dish once, tell you exactly what’s in it, and most importantly, tell you what to add to make it even better. I have my dad taste test a lot of my recipes, especially my traditional Punjabi Recipes. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to test certain recipes before getting my dad’s approval (Gajar Halwa, Chana Masala, Rajma – the last one he approved, and then a year later, changed his mind and told me to try and “make it one level better.” Sometimes I think he just likes to keep me on my toes 😂 ).

There’s one more thing I’d really like you to know about me, and that is, my “why.” The reason I share my recipes here is because I want to help make Indian food accessible. If you’re Indian and are looking to feel more connected to your culture or to eat food reminiscent of the cooking that you grew up with, I hope to help. If you’re new to the cuisine, my hope is that you’ll embrace it, and introduce it to family and friends. I believe that food brings us closer, and I think when we’re all a bit closer, we’re all a bit happier.

I’m thrilled you’re here and excited for you to give my recipes a try. If you make a dish, please leave me a comment to let me know what you think!

If you’re new here and wondering where to start, give one of the recipes below a try. Also, be sure to check out my Onion Masala Series – it makes cooking Indian food a breeze!

New Here? Try These!

Here are some reader favorites:

Reader Interactions

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Comments

  1. Laura Thiemann says

    I have been “stalking” the blog for a few years now finding new recipes to use up food with as little waste as possible. My first recipe and probably one of my absolute favorites is the Carrot Top Sabzi. I share the recipe with everyone, especially at my farmer’s market!

    Anyway, I too am an “eye-ball it” type cook but I absolutely appreciate starting with some type of measurement before adjusting to taste.

    Keep up the excellent blog. It is truly appreciated. And I 100% agree that food is a universal connector for us all. Thank you for sharing!

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Laura, I’m glad you like the blog and my recipes! I’m always looking for ways to reduce food waste, so it’s really nice to know you like the carrot top sabzi and have been sharing it with others 🙂 Thank you for the kind words!

  2. Florida Fun says

    You have such a cute name for your pretty and efficient website (that I can actually remember it) and so far, I admit that I need to try more of your recipes. Usually, most items must be ordered far in advance due to the pandemic. I have just managed to obtain everything for your mango cheesecake. I know it will be fabulous. I have made different versions of your 2 ingredient cheesecake several times before and it works no matter what I add.

    My first version of your mango cheesecake is in our Instant Pot and I can hardly wait to try it. I ordered mango lassis most every time I ate at an Indian restaurant, so the yogurt/mango combination is one of my favorites.

    Instant Pot has an app where people may contribute recipes. If you haven’t already done so, you might want to send in this recipe.

  3. Gertrude says

    Hello Ashley. Have I missed something or deleted you? I have not received any emails for approximately a month. I know there are plenty of recipes to try but I do miss your lovely posts. I purchased an instant pot now and cannot wait to try your recipes. I am certainly nervous especially with my family background being German and my Husband is from Hungary …. BUT we love Indian food. We have a large population of Sikh and Hindu Faiths in the area along with many Asian countries represented; so that spices and vegetables are getting easier to find. After our European styled food, I am afraid I am very Canadian West Coast and my favorites are vegetable pakora and chickpea curry. I know very basic but I am so excited to try new things. I love your shortcut hints too and have been sharing them with friends. A dear friend of mine is from the Netherlands and she is married to a man from Sri Lanka. We have many conversations about spices and dals and everything food related. Thank you for all of your hard work in sharing all of the recipes and stories. Your Family stories about the older members in the Family are just delightful and so rich with love and laughter. Be well. Gertrude from Abbotsford, BC

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Gertrude, thank you so much for checking in and also for the kind words! I’ve been taking it a bit easy this summer – working on improving some of the behind-the-scenes issues on my site but plan to share more new content soon. It’s nice to know I’m missed! I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of my recipes – please let me know how they go! I just shared an aloo pakora recipe you might like and I have a few chickpea curries on the blog too. 🙂

  4. Bethany says

    You are so pretty! You look like Indian Anne Hathaway. Lol meaning that as a compliment!
    Love your blog. ❤️

  5. Wilton Cersey says

    You could certainly see your skills in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

  6. Troy Malcolm says

    Hi Ashley,
    Hope you are well, l was just wondering if your slow cooking is done in the instant pot or a “normal” slow cooker, I have enjoyed your goat curry recipe in my old slowcooker and enjoyed its amazing flavour.
    Kind regards Troy

    P.s all the the Instant pot recipes from your App that I have made,have come out perfect, and it does pay to make a big batch of onion masala 🙂

  7. Chris Rodriguez says

    Hello,
    Made the ground lamb and potatoes today. My wife and kids ate it all up! Really delicious, turned out amazing !! Thank you !

  8. Raja Selvanathan says

    Got into cooking Indian food since I started working from home last year and my wife says (trying to be nice) that I do a decent job. Instant Pot is my utensil of choice. In your “Butter Chicken” IP recipe, there is no butter , but 2 tbsp of ghee. If I do not have ghee, should I use same 2 tbsp of butter? Thanks!

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