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

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  1. RS says

    Hi Ashley,
    Love your website and also just got your book.

    I wanted to ask you if there are any additional instant pot accessories that you recommend getting. I know that you make a couple recommendations through out some of your recipes, but was wondering if you could summarise it in a list here for others that are curious. Thanks in advance!

  2. JR Copley says


    What a great well-organized site you have here! I’m a long time InstantPot owner and I’ve been trying to expand into Indian cuisine. New arrivals are appearing in my spice cabinet: hing! kamal namak! amchur! Even my local Indian market didn’t have ratan jot…

    My question is about what oils you rely on. Some oils will bring a distinct flavor and will be specifically called out in recipes (mustard, coconut, sesame ), but are there oils you would specifically recommend for or against in the case of general purpose use (i.e., not deep frying)? Avocado, olive, canola, peanut, basic vegetable; are all suitable?


    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi JR, thank you for the kind words! Love that you’re expanding into Indian cuisine 🙂 To answer your question, if I don’t specify an oil/fat (ghee, mustard, coconut) in a recipe, then any neutral oil will work. My go-to neutral oil is avocado oil due to its high smoke point. Keep me posted on what you think of any recipes you try!

  3. Lisa Banker says

    Hi! I love your recipes but always get the burn message when making the chicken biryani. What should I adjust so that I can get the chicken biryani right?

  4. Re says

    What size is the instant pot which you have been using in the recipe. I would like to buy one and want to make sure I get the correct size since on face book one post said that it gives a burn notice

  5. Susz says

    Ashley, I JUST found out about you…stumbled across you actually. Just bought your cookbook and can’t wait to cook. So very impressed with what Inhave read and seen. Thanks so much. Susz

  6. Alicia Mariscal says

    Our family loves your Indian food recipes, thank you! For the recipes noted as Instant Pot, what would the cooking instructions be if we were to make the recipes in the slow cooker or stovetop?

  7. John C says

    I’m assuming it is possible to make these recipes (which look terrific) without an instapot. By, for example, sauteing sauce ingredients first then adding chicken for the green pour over receipe. Is that right?

  8. Sashaa says

    Hi Ashley,

    I was just wondering if you could kindly clarify if when giving your recipes which require measurements in cups, do you use actual measuring cups itself or standard household cups (like water/tea mugs etc)?? Silly question I know but I don’t want to make errors with minor mistakes.

    Thanks in advance 😊

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