Nalin Dalal was an Indian chemist who is known for being the husband of popular Indian chef Tarla Dalal.
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
There is not much information available about his family and parents.
Wife & Children
Nalin got married to chef Tarla Dalal in 1960.
Together, they had three children, two sons, Sanjay Dalal and Deepak Dalal, and a daughter, Renu Dalal.
He died in 2005 at his apartment in Napean Sea Road, South Mumbai.
- Although Nalin occasionally consumed non-vegetarian food, his wife Tarla managed to convince him to transition to a vegetarian diet. The Week
- Tarla and Nalin tied the knot in 1960, but at first, Tarla wasn’t keen on marrying him. When Nalin and his family visited her, she prepared gulab jamuns and intentionally added an excessive amount of chilli to it. Surprisingly, Nalin still chose to marry her. Before getting married, Tarla expressed her ambition to achieve something significant in her life, and Nalin wholeheartedly supported her aspirations, never hindering her from pursuing her passion.
- According to Nalin’s sister, Anjana Shah, Nalin and Tarla were seen as an unconventional couple. Nalin was highly educated, while Tarla, though a graduate, was described as a very modest and unassuming person. Despite the contrast in their backgrounds, with Nalin’s family being modern Gujaratis and Tarla coming from a humble and traditional home, she effortlessly adjusted to her new family and motivated them to embrace Vaishnav customs.
- According to Tarla, during her engagement period, Nalin would write to her from Michigan University expressing his desire to eat dishes that Tarla found unfamiliar and complex. At the time, Tarla was only 20 years old and knew how to cook basic Indian meals like dal, rice, and vegetables. However, in order to satisfy her husband’s culinary preferences, she said that any young woman would learn to cook the dishes he desired. Inspired by her husband’s desire for diverse dishes, Tarla embarked on a culinary journey to learn various cuisines and experiment with fusions. In 1966, her friends approached her with a request to teach young girls who were enthusiastic about cooking. Tarla agreed and started conducting cooking lessons for a small group of six students in her own home. However, her exceptional teaching spread quickly throughout Mumbai, and soon enough, mothers from all around the city wanted their daughters to be a part of Tarla’s renowned cooking classes.
- As Tarla’s cooking classes became more successful, her husband Nalin, who had lost his job due to a lengthy factory strike, saw an opportunity to support her passion. Despite the lack of computers in the 1970s, Nalin, a skilled quality control engineer, used typewriters to create resumes for job applications. During a conversation with Tarla, he realized that he could assist her by typing out recipes that could be shared with other women. Motivated by this idea, Nalin encouraged Tarla to compile her best recipes into a book. Tarla would write down the recipes, and Nalin would edit them. To ensure the accuracy of the recipes, Nalin arranged for someone to test them, and the dishes turned out delicious.
- Tarla’s first book was published by Arun and Sudha Mehta of Vakil and Sons. They decided to sell the recipe book for Rs. 35, and it quickly gained immense popularity, not just locally but also in Africa and America. The book sold more than 1.5 million copies. In an interview, Tarla mentioned that she once visited Nalin’s factory and noticed him enjoying non-vegetarian food with his colleagues. As a vegetarian herself, she became curious about what made non-vegetarian dishes so appealing. She sought advice from a friend and started creating her own vegetarian recipes inspired by the flavours of non-vegetarian cuisine. Tarla became known for introducing people to various international cuisines and her talent for transforming non-vegetarian recipes into vegetarian alternatives. Apart from her well-received cookbook focused on healthier 100-calorie snacks, she authored books on managing acidity through cooking and recreating popular restaurant-style gravies.
- In 1987, Nalin’s son and wife, Tarla started a business called Sanjay and Co., which they operated together with Nalin’s daughter. His son took charge of managing Tarla’s website in the past, and he continues to oversee various tasks such as maintaining the website, publishing books, organizing cooking classes, and managing social media accounts. Tarla’s granddaughter is also involved in managing Tarla’s social media platforms and shares update about new recipes she tries. However, she receives criticism from some people because she includes eggs in certain recipes, whereas her grandmother never used eggs in any of her own recipes.
- Tarla achieved a remarkable feat in 2007 by becoming the only Indian woman to be honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri award for her outstanding culinary skills.
- In 2023, a biographical film titled ‘Tarla’ was released, portraying the life of his wife. The movie starred Huma Qureshi as Tarla Dalal and Sharib Hashmi as Nalin Dalal. In an interview, Sharib talked about playing the role of Nalin and said,
When I was playing Nalin Dalal, I could see him in front of my eyes. I could relate to him. I wanted to be like him and wanted to have his qualities in me. In fact, I would say it is very important that husbands in today’s world should have these qualities. I had a lot of fun playing this character.”