About Me

Hi, I’m Tanvi! Thank you so much for visiting my blog! A question I often get asked is, what is “the hathi?” Hathi means elephant in my language. The word hathi is part of my maiden name, now my middle name. Thus, the literal translation is: The Elephant Cooks. I currently live in Portland, Oregon with my husband, Srini, and our three rambunctious chickens. Srini is my full time recipe taste tester and provides me with unconditional support through all of my culinary victories and failures.

I was lucky to grow up eating some of the best Indian food in the world, courtesy of my amazing parents. I spent my childhood perched on the counter, watching my parents make one scrumptious thing after another. As I got older, I was a much more active and eager participant in the kitchen. When my parents started teaching me how to make Indian food, I was shocked at how straightforward many of the recipes were. Unbelievably complex flavors came from a few spices and some basic techniques! Thus, my aim with this blog is to introduce you, the reader, to Indian recipes you probably won’t find in your local Indian restaurant and hopefully demystify Indian cooking and flavors in the process. I promise it isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds! You don’t even need that many spices to start with, and you might even have most of them in your pantry now. A good place to start is with my “How to Build an Indian Pantry” series.

In addition to Indian food, I also have a bit of a cookbook addiction (at last count, over 70!). I read them cover to cover like engrossing novels, and will definitely be sharing some of the dishes I cook from them. I also like flexing my creative muscles from time to time, and will be posting new recipes as well.

In my non-blogging life, I’m a pediatrician and sleep doctor. Due to my science background, I also have a keen interest in food science. I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I hope to share some interesting food science tidbits from time to time. I received the absolutely incredible Modernist Cuisine at Home and am planning a new series on the blog exploring food science in more detail as I cook through the book. Stay tuned!

A note about links: Some of the links in my recipes are affiliate links meaning that I get a small amount of compensation if you click through or purchase. It’s an almost negligible amount, but I appreciate the support! 


  • Reply Lauri July 30, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I just stumbled across your blog, and I want to make everything in it! I love the science you bring to the process. I like to sit and read Harold McGee for fun. Anyway, I will certainly share your blog with my friends. It’s always gratifying to find someone who has a passion for exploring!

    • Reply Tanvi | The Hathi Cooks August 14, 2015 at 10:58 am

      Hi Lauri! I’m so happy that you are enjoying the blog and please do share with all of your friends. I’m hoping to start a series soon to explore food science in a bit more depth, so stay tuned!

  • Reply Laura August 4, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Hi Tanvi,

    I just stumbled across your blog while looking for a chai recipe. I was amazed to read in your about me section that you are a pediatrician. I will be entering medical school soon and I have been worried that I won’t have time to cook beautiful recipes like the ones you have on your blog. Out of curiosity, did you still find time for cooking great meals during medical school?

    Thank you for this wonderful blog!

    • Reply Tanvi | The Hathi Cooks August 4, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Hi Laura! First: congrats on starting medical school! It’s a long road, but it’s well worth it at the end. All the best to you.

      With regards to your question: I was able to find at least some time to cook quite a bit during medical school as I used it as a study break. And, you have a delicious meal at the end! It’s not easy to do it every night or even once a week once 3rd and 4th year rotations start, just cause your clinical obligations will be high, but I’ve always found cooking so relaxing, so would often spend time off doing that (and sleeping). Please let me know if you have any questions about food or medical school or residency moving forward. Happy to help if I can!

  • Reply Vyju Kadambi December 8, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Cannot believe I found you here! Amazing! — This is Vyju, by the way.

  • Reply Tilly Chirobokow April 5, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Tanvi
    Many months ago I was given a cup of your Chai Tea by a friend and can honestly say I have never, ever, had a Chai Tea as deliciously taste provoking as this one! My friend got fed up with me pestering for more so finally gave me a little bag of the mixed ingredients and I have been making Chai Tea for every visitor who crosses my threshold – with a warning there’s a kick to it! Now finally my friend has given me the link to your site so I have the original recipe. Thank you, thank you, thank you….I’m in tea heaven! xx

    • Reply Tanvi | The Hathi Cooks April 5, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      Hi Tilly! It is so lovely to hear from you and even more wonderful to hear that you are enjoying my chai recipe! Thank you for your kind words. They really made my day!

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