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!

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Comments

  1. Keith says

    Dear Ashley, greetings. I am Jamaican & very fond of Indian cooking, my family comprises of 4 girls & 3 boys. One of my boys, O’Neil is a chef & so I’m excited to introduce your recipes to him so he can experiment with his customers about Indian cooking. I’m sure he will welcome this new adventure, in cooking up “A Storm” lol, nevertheless say hi to your dear family for me, bye now.

  2. Megan says

    As a woman who was born and raised in a small town in the Midwest United States, I appreciate your blog so much! My family adores Indian food, especially northern Indian cuisine, and your recipes allow me to make it! 😍 You also rescued my over-boiled aloo masala today – it’s now a soup. Keep up the wonderful content!!

  3. Julie says

    Hi Ashley,
    You’ve changed our lives with your Patiala recipe. And, thank you so much for the Nomato Onion Masala. My brother can now try your recipes for his wife, who cannot gave tomatoes.

    Any plans to develop a recipe for Chicken Chettinad?

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Julie, that’s so great to hear! I’m glad you like the Chicken Patiala recipe so much and happy to hear that your brother and sil are enjoying the nomato masala – thank you for sharing! I have Chicken Chettinad on my list – I hope to share a recipe soon!

  4. Mala says

    Hi Ashley, I just love your recipes! They are awesome and best of all, kids don’t complain that I am making Indian food again! 🙂 I also jumped on the Instant Pot wagon ….can’t wait to try out your the recipes in that section!!

    You have done an amazing job with your blog…keep them coming xx

      • Barbara Wade says

        Hi Ashley. I just made my 3rd batch of onion masala. I usually add it to dal but was wondering if I could add it to a simple, basic tomato soup recipe (using canned tomatoes) to add some pizazz? How about any other ideas for using it in other traditionally “American” dishes? Love all of your recipes and refer people to them all the time!

        • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

          Hi Barbara, that’s so great to hear! Yes, I’d definitely experiment with other recipes! I think it’d be great in tomato soup or with any dish that calls for tomato sauce. I have a recipe for lasagna that calls for onion masala as well as a masala pasta recipe that you might want to try. Let me know if you do!

  5. Phil says

    This is my first time visiting your website. I love Indian food, but have never really cooked it. At age 76, I’m trying to eat healthier, and to cut down on meats. I got into your website while looking for a “dictionary” of Indian food terms. Then WOW – your site just unfolded into a wealth of information.

    I have looked at a lot of websites over the years, and I would like to say this to you: THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE AND WELL STRUCTURED WEBSITES I HAVE EVER VISITED! You have done a wonderful job with the entire site, not to mention your recipes and commentary.

    Peace and Love to your entire family!

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Phil, wow thank you so much for the kind words – I really appreciate it 🙂 I’ve spent a lot of time on this website and so it’s really nice to hear that you find it organized and helpful. I hope you’ll let me know what you think of the recipes you try!

  6. Kitty says

    Someone on another blog recommended your site and as an Indian food enthusiast, I signed up. I must say that I am disappointed. Without an Instant Pot, you basically can’t try most recipes. Are you getting a kick back or something?
    I am a COO of an e-commerce, and recognize the monetary value of ad. Having said that, you have allowed Google to hijack your site.Yes, ads make $$ for you but they are an annoying distraction.
    Wish I had something positive to say but the combo of both issues leads me to unsubscribing as quickly as I subscribed.

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Kitty, I have a lot of non-IP recipes that you can make. The IP is a game-changer for Indian cuisine which is why I share a lot of IP recipes – you can read this post I wrote here if you’d like: https://myheartbeets.com/5-reasons-why-i-love-cooking-indian-food-instant-pot/ If someone buys an IP using my affiliate link then yes, I get a small commission but that doesn’t come close to covering what it costs to run my website. The ads are what allow me to blog full-time – I know they can be a pain. Sorry to see you go, but if you try a recipe – I hope you enjoy it.

      • ms100 says

        It’s disturbing that people are complaining about your IP recipes. If you’re an aficianado of IP, that’s your perogative, it’s your website. If you’re a decent cook, you can adapt them to stovetop easily enough. It’s sad that people are so demanding and civility is lacking.

  7. AG H says

    It’s been a little while since I have visited your website for recipes. When I first found your blog, everything was paleo. I thought you were dairy and grain free and were posting traditional Indian Cuisine that was paleo. Is this not the case anymore?

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi! Oh boy, it has been a while haha – happy to have you as a long-time reader. I do have a lot of paleo-friendly Indian recipes on the blog as well other Indian recipes 🙂 Anything, in particular, you’re looking for? If so, happy to help if I can!

  8. Eshellah Calhoun says

    I absolutely love Indian food. I spent two years in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai. When I would come back to the US, the food was so tasteless. I’ve been experimenting with cooking Indian food. Thanks for all the recipes.

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