Why is your name Ashley? Aren’t you Indian?

There’s always a lot of confusion about my name. I’ve seen questions (on my social media) like, “what’s an Ashley” or “is Ashley a brand of condensed milk?” and have gotten many questions over the years about why my name is Ashley (as if I have any control over my name 😂 ).

I’m used to the questions though – I’ve been getting them since childhood. My parents named me Ashley because they were new to the US when they had me, and after dealing with their share of racism (like many immigrants), they decided to name me Ashley in hopes that I’d fit in. A few years later, they were more comfortable and named my younger brother Rishi. I think my mom still feels a morsel of regret over my name and while I’ve always wondered what my name would be if they had waited to have me, I like being an Ashley.

You should know that a name doesn’t always determine your ethnicity (obviously). My Keralite husband’s name is Roby Thomas. Funny story, his family assumed (because of my name) that I was Keralite before they met me. Well, they ended up getting a Punjabi girl 😂. Anyway, now I am Ashley Singh Thomas and I share a lot of Indian recipes on my food blog.

How often do you blog?

I try to blog at least once a week, sometimes twice if my kids go to bed on time (hahaha). If you want to stay up to date with my latest posts, sign up for my newsletter.

Why do you share so many Instant Pot recipes? What size Instant Pot do you use?

Because I’m obsessed with my instant pot. Would you rather have dinner ready in 15 minutes or in several hours? Trust me, you need this appliance in your life – you can thank me later.

I test all of my recipes using a 6 quart. Why? Because that’s the only size they had when they first came out and it’s the perfect size for my family. Also, I already spend a ton of time recipe testing – if I had to test every recipe in every sized pot, I’d never get anything done. If you’re wondering about the model I have and love – it’s this one.

Why am I getting a BURN sign on my Instant Pot?!

There are a few reasons this might be happening, but the first thing I’d suggest checking is your sauté setting. When you sauté, make sure your setting is set to “normal.” If you sauté on high, it can sometimes result in more burnt bits at the bottom of your pot. For my recipes, I always sauté on normal mode, unless I specify to sauté on high.

If you prefer to always sauté on high, be sure to stir more often and deglaze the pot with a bit of additional water before pressure cooking.

If that’s not the issue, check your seal, the silicone ring, or the valve on top.

I have a question about your 3-ingredient Gluten-Free Naan!

You and about a million other people, which is why I wrote an entire paleo naan FAQ post dedicated to answering your questions 🙂 There’s also a video in the post!

I have a question about your 2-ingredient Cheesecake!

What is it about my easy recipes getting so many questions lol 🤷🏽‍♀️ Check out this 2-ingredient Cheesecake FAQ post if you have questions about my Indian cheesecake recipe! And be sure to watch the video to see how easy it is to make!

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Steve says


    I’m planning to do try some recipes this week, could you translate the cup in European metrics ? Is this valid : 1 cup = 240 ml ? 1 cup rice = 190 grams ?


  2. Shanthini Jayanthan says

    Hi Ashley
    I have a question about the Power Cooker Plus 8 quart Pressure Cooker I received recently. I have had my IP 6quart since March of 2017. Not sure I need to give that away and start using this new one. I cook mainly for two of us even though I cook more and freeze.,
    Any major differences or can I get used to this new one. Thank you

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Shanthini, I would keep the 6 quart – a lot of my recipes as well as others on the internet are tested using a 6 quart. I don’t own an 8 quart – I have a family of 4 and the 6 quart is perfect for us. Hope that helps!

  3. Willow says

    Would you please explain “naturally release pressure” that you say on many of your recipes. Do I leave it on “keep warm”? Or do I turn it off?
    I understand “open the valve to release any remaining pressure”
    Thank you so much Ashley!
    I’ve LOVED every recipe I’ve tried of yours!
    I even bought “Indian Food Under Pressure”, and I’m wondering… Are you going to make another book for us?!?! 😁

  4. Irene says

    Hi, I want the hard copy, but with COVID and freight to South Pacific, it makes more sense to buy an ecopy. My question is can I print a copy for myself. This is only for my personal use as looking at a hard copy is easier than staring at the screen. I do not intend to share the copy either so that I do not infringe copyright laws.


  5. George says

    Hi Ashley,
    I’ve made several of your Instant Pot dishes & I have onion masala in the freezer as we speak. My question is: Can I use frozen onion masala in the chana masala recipe?

  6. Alex says

    Hi. I’m brand new here. My question is this — for years now, I’ve had a fascination with Indian food. It’s by far the best tasting food EVER. My problem is it’s also quite possibly the worst for your health. Many, if not all Indian restaurants I’ve been to (I’ve tried a lot) soak their food in oil. I’m not okay with this. I’ve been on a quest to find a way to make Indian food without oil, but I haven’t found a way….yet….

    Is there a way to make Indian food without oil? And if so, does it still taste good? I don’t use oil to cook and I’m a vegan, so I have to be creative.

    Any ideas?

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      I find Indian food to be healthy when homemade. All restaurants (non-Indian as well) use a lot of oil, butter, cream, salt – to help make the food taste good. When you cook at home, you can control the amount of oil you use. You can use minimal oil for most recipes.

  7. Lavini says

    Hi! I love your site. How did you choose which kind of instant pressure cooker to get? Also which oils are your favorite to cook with in terms of healthiness and flavor? Thanks!

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Lavini! I have and love my Instant Pot Ultra – I’ve tried several models and use that most often. As for oils, I like to use avocado oil as a neutral oil for everyday cooking and then for certain recipes I like to use ghee or coconut oil.

  8. Latisha Connors says

    Hi Ashley,

    I am curious why you use meat in your recipes when there are healthier/more ethical alternatives available.


Show More Comments

paneer lababdar

Ashley's Secrets



Favorite tips & tricks to

easy & delicious Indian cooking