photo by Mary Dee

About me

My culinary journey

photo by Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik

Hi friend! I’m Pankaj. I cook and I teach authentic regional Indian cuisine. Inspired by the holistic approach of Ayurveda and the work of Weston A. Price, my food and nutrition philosophy includes organic, sustainably-sourced and nutrient-dense foods made with warming spices, fresh vegetables and fermented foods. I offer private lessons, group cooking classes (for 4 guests or more) and personal chef services tailored to your taste and dietary needs. I would love to show you how to cook colorful, nourishing foods that cultivate joy in the kitchen including:

  • Wholesome lentil, rice and millet dishes, packed full of seasonal vegetables for hearty meals year-round
  • Whole grain, fresh-baked flatbreads and snacks commonly served in Indian homes
  • Brightly colored salads, sprouts, chutneys, sauces and Indian-style pickles to flavor any meal
  • Fermented and cultured foods including homemade cheeses, yogurt, buttermilk and other organic dairy products.
  • Fragrant spice blends to accent all kinds of sweet and savory dishes
  • Simple, elegant and lightly sweet desserts and refreshing drinks to satisfy any palate.


I’m a bread baker and cook from India, living in Oakland, California. I grew up in a family of healers, in a culture that believed that food is sacred, a blessing and a gift. I’ve pursued my passion for baking, cooking and serving good food in the kitchens of Cheese Board Pizza, Three Stone Hearth and Arizmendi Bakery and have been invited to teach Indian cooking at diverse venues like Oaktown Spice Shop, SF Cooking School, Artisan Baking Center, and Kitchen on Fire. In a previous life, I worked as an MITtrained urban planner and environmental consultant.

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    Say hello!

    Please feel free to contact me via this form, email me directly at or call me at (510) 368-5916 for more information about my services and rates. You can also follow me on Instagram @curry_leaves_and_rye to find out about my upcoming group class schedule. I look forward to cooking with you!