I write about food, travel, fashion, art and culture for many publications.  They include Condenast Traveler (US edition), The NationalFinancial TimesDestinasianGourmetTime, and Silkroad.  In the past, I’ve written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Town & Country, British Airways Highlife, Cathay Pacific’s Discovery, Singapore Airlines’ Silverkris, Knowledge@Wharton, Departures, Food & Wine, Saveur, Newsweek, Beliefnet and House Beautiful.

I write a weekly column for Mint Lounge, an Indian business daily which is affiliated with the WSJ.  I also write a column for The National, based in Abu Dhabi.  I used to write the Hinduism column for Beliefnet, which has my columnist page here and six pages of my articles here.

I write books that are available here

I have taught a course to the Executive Post Graduate Program at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.  I have also taught philosophy at Neev, a preschool in Bangalore.

A long time ago, I used to be a commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered Weekend.

My essay, The God of Small Feasts, that was published in Gourmet, won the James Beard Foundation’s MFK Fisher Award for Distinguished Writing.  Ruth Reichl, who got me into food writing was there at the awards ceremony, which gratified me greatly.  My first book, “Monsoon Diary: a memoir with recipes,” was published by Random House (US) in 2003.  It was a finalist for a James Beard Award.

I graduated from the Columbia Journalism School with a Master of Science degree. The school awarded me a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship given to the top three graduating students in the class. I can be reached at shoba@shobanarayan.com

My bio here

67 Responses to Home

  1. pradeep ku praharaj says:

    it is fantastic reading your page But may I ask u something? Can an employee be a freelancer?If yes: How?

  2. Jharna says:

    Hi Shobha,

    I am currently pursuing my MBA in marketing and was conducting a study on regional music preferences of the youth. I happened to read your articles on Carnatic music and was interested in connecting with you for the same. Let me know the best way to reach out.

  3. Ashwitha Mukundan says:

    Hi Ma’am,

    Firstly, the deserved kudos for your wonderful book ‘Monsoon Diary’. I haven’t read a narrative this enchanting and captivating.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. Hi! I am Ashwitha from Coffee Day Hotels and Resorts. Also known as The Serai Resorts, it’s a chain of leisure luxury boutique resorts. The Serai Resorts gets its name after the Turkish word that means ‘Palace of Sultan’. The tagline ‘Life Awaits’ summarizes the knind of experiences The Serai delivers and would like the guest to take home!
    The Serai Resorts is located at 3 exotic destinations in Karnataka: Chikmagalur, Bandipur and Kabini. The Serai Bandipur and Kabini are both wildlife resorts in the lap of nature and wilderness while The Serai Chikmagalur is a leisure resort set amidst acres of coffee plantation.
    All of afore mentioned destinations are unique and less explored. Did you know Chikmagalur is the coffee country of India and is home to acres of coffee indulgence? Yes, it was Chikmagalur where the first coffee seed was planted by Baba Budan. Bandipur and Kabini are very unique and wonderful themselves. They are home to various species of Flora and Fauna. While The Serai Bandipur is located within the Bandipur National Park, The Serai Kabini is set on the banks of river Kabini.
    You can log onto http://www.theserai.in for more elaborate information on The Serai Resorts.
    It would be pleasure to host you at any of our resort at your preferred destination.
    Looking forward to a positive reply.
    Thank you! :)

    • Dear Ashwitha:
      Thank you for your note. I have visited The Serai in Chikmagalur when it opened. I have also visited Bandipur and Kabini. The reason I didn’t respond to your email is that I do these FAM trips only after I get an assignment from an editor. So give me some time to pass on these details to see if any editor is interested. The problem is that they are not ‘new’ and most travel editors look for “hot” new properties. You are persistent :)
      I wil respond to your email when and if I hear back from an editor. Best, Shoba

      • Ashwitha Mukundan says:

        Thank you so much for your revert. I hope you had a lovely time at The Serai Resorts.

        Will look forward to hearing from you. :)

        Thank you!

  4. Rupa says:

    Dear Shoba, I am part of the Corp Comm team at Sobha Developers. We are celebrating the completion of our 20th Year in India. We are planning to launch a commemorative book. I was just wondering if you do author such books and if yes, we can meet to take this forward. Thank you.


    I thought you might like to know that your lovely book Monsoon Diary made it all the way to my local library in Johannesburg, South Africa. I’m vegetarian and although we have a strong tradition of Indian cuisine in this country, I’ve never really tried to cook it. My vegetable curry is quite similar to the vegetable stew in your book, but although I’ve eaten a vegetable bhaji and lots and lots of samoosas, I’ve never made them myself. We have a vegetarian shop up the road I haven’t even been inside, but I will very soon. Thanks for a wonderful and inspiring read.

  6. Uma Krishnan says:

    Hi Shoba,
    We met at the Bangalore Lit Fest last Sunday. I’m one half of the couple who you said were typically Bangalorean because we had bought a bagful of books! Just finished reading ‘Return to India’ and wanted to say that though I have not experienced your angst at straddling two cultures, I could still easily identify with so many emotions and situations you have painted so wonderfully with your words. Reading your book was like suddenly bumping into a long-lost friend. Thank you!

  7. dapper says:

    I just finished your book, and have to say that is rather wonderful. I love the way you skip from patently “Indian” experiences to those in NY, and vice-versa. We live in LA (have been here for 12 years now), and are enjoying the (relatively) laid-back Californian lifestyle. However, the yearning to “go back” increases day by day – and yes, its much stronger after we had a baby. The “dryness” of the US, especially when you have a kid (and have to arrange for play-dates as you wrote about) is something that is very difficult to get used to.
    Hopefully we will also move back soon!

  8. Indian says:

    I just read your return-to-india book. I suppose you are not a materlistic person who change color for own comfort. First you deserted your parents and pumped your fist when your plane landed at US. when your spouse found a reason to return India, your adviced that parents are not forever. I don’t think you kids will look after you when you no longer younger. And when your Kids wants values & cultures you brought them here in india and want them to return US for college. It seems like you are using india as an escalator to move floor-by-floor.
    YOu have wrong perception about todays INdia. It is a country which is for its own citizens(not for immigrants). Take for instance, the onion that indian consume. The government makes sures that it is sold to its people rather exporting it and making sure its imported when prices soar here. Thus assuaging both Farmers and its citizens. You take Indian Tax structure. Unlike States(30% fixed tax), It has a Tax slabs so that people you earn less are not affected with high tax. I earn 10 Lakhs and pay 10% tax as prescribed by government. What else you want from this country. You are screaming about Indian Infrastructure and its system. India’s own dis-advantage is its advantage. It has a system where foreigners/immigrants cannot easily put up themselves here as easy as in western countries; thus helping the citizens to take advantage of the growth seeing now. Offcourse, we are in snail pace for changing the system but we are solid steady. it is a democratic country where everybody’s voices are heard and have to be heard. It is citizens who has to bring the change by their doing rightfull duty. If shit flowing in your house then you go to roof or you clean your house?

    As long as congress is here, agriculture will be here, As long as agriculture is here, Farmers will be here and As long as Farmers is here, god & its cuture could be seen & prevailed. I dont think this is applicable to US where technology and machines are prayed. When everything dries up, the so called immigrants, who docked at US, will think about moving to another country where they still be mutants without an identity.

    This is Wrote not in the intention of hurting you. But your narrow-minded book is hurting me; comparing India with US. US started its developement from 19th Century but India started at 1990. Being poor and extreme diversed culture; for any government, it takes few decades to change the system by overcoming the poverty, giving education and building world-class infrastructure. Am happy that I could now see the green-shots of those here.

    I have high respect for your guts, breaking the barrier and chased the cheese on late 1980′s

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