About Ummi Abdulla
Ummi Abdulla is an established cook, known for her expertise in Mappila Cusine Constantly innovating, she loves devising new recipes and has travelled around the world as a food consultant for some of the biggest hotels in the business— from Taj and Oberoi to the Leela group of hotels. The first person to popularize Mappila cooking around the country and outside it, Ummi now has innumerable ardent fans, who are testament to her impressive culinary skills. She has been featured in the BBC Good Food Magazine, Times of India, NDTV Food, The Hindu, The Indian Express, Chennai Chronicle, and a host of other publications. Preserving fast disappearing traditional recipes for classic dishes that are unique to the Mappila community is her passion and mission. Ummi has devoted most of her life to spreading awareness about the little-known culture of the Mappilas and their centuries-old culinary traditions
Brought up in a large and traditional Mappila family, cooking came instinctively to Ummi Abdulla. Some sound practical training in cookery at the Chennai Institute of Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition gave a scientific basis to her natural expertise. By the time she turned 30, she had set up a pickling unit in Chennai that specialized in pickles, jams, squashes and masala powders. She started catering service, mainly for traditional dishes such as Biriyani, Pathiri, Meen mulagittathu, which came to be a popular choice for parties and get togethers in Chennai. She has also done cookery programs on radio and television.
Her husband, Late Mr. V. Abdulla, was her constant source of inspiration, motivation, and critique. An established name in publishing, he insisted that Ummi compiled a book of Mappila recipes; something that had never been done earlier. The book, christened as “Malabar Muslim Cookery”, opened a window to traditional Malabar fare and was an instant success. Her second book, “The Epicure Cookbook” was a combination of her own award winning recipes and variants of traditional dishes from different parts of the world. Since then, she has written 4 more cookbooks. Her latest book, “A Kitchen Full Of Stories” is a collaborative effort along with her granddaughter, Nazaneen Jalaludheen and is a cookbook complete with elaborate recipes, tips and stories from her culinary journey.
Ummi's corner started as a social media platform by her to converse about food - Mappila and otherwise. She uses the platform to document her discoveries about food, to reach out to a larger audience for feedback and to learn about other food cultures.
After her husband’s demise, she moved to her family home in Calicut, where she now resides. She continues to run her catering service and also her experiments with food. For Ummi, cooking is an art. And, like all art forms, it can only be perfected with patience and passion.