Maya Kaimal is an award-winning cookbook author and a leading authority on Indian cooking. Her first book Curried Favors: Family Recipes from South India won the Julia Child Award for best first book. Her second book, Savoring the Spice Coast of India: Fresh Flavors from Kerala, focused on the food of the region of South India where her father was raised. She has been a guest on the Today Show, the Food Network, Martha Stewart, and the Splendid Table, and has written feature articles for Food & Wine and Saveur.
Traveling frequently to Kerala from the age of nine, Maya’s fascination with Indian food began in her Aunty Kamala’s (pictured) kitchen. It was there she first experienced the heady aromas of fresh curry leaves crackling in hot oil with mustard seeds and dried chilies. At home, in Boston, Maya learned how to cook her own Indian food from her physicist father Chandran Kaimal—an excellent cook with a knack for writing foolproof recipes. Her American mother Lorraine, equally talented in the kitchen, also helped nurture her love of food.
At Pomona College in California, Maya found herself cooking for friends, and then for co-workers in New York City where she worked as a magazine photo editor. She realized that home-cooked Indian food made a lasting impression on people—especially those who had only tasted it in restaurants. This awareness led her to write her first two cookbooks, both collections of family recipes.
In December 2001, Maya Kaimal and writer Guy Lawson were married in Manhattan with a sumptuous Indian feast. She soon left publishing and saw the chance to take her passion one step further, by cooking home-style Indian food and packaging it for other busy food lovers. She and Guy launched Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods in 2003. The following year they had twins, left their Brooklyn life, and moved to Upstate New York where they currently reside.