Pooja Makhijani

Pooja Makhijani is a writer and editor in New Jersey. Her bylines have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Real Simple, The Atlantic, The Cut, Teen Vogue, Bon Appétit, Saveur, and BuzzFeed among others. Her essay, "The Path to an American Dream, Paved in Vienna Fingers," was named Notable in The Best American Food Writing 2019.
Crushes and Cake and the Summer I Turned 15
The vanilla cake I made was real. The boyfriend? Not so much.
Jul 6, 2022
How a Multigenerational Household Cooks and Eats Together While Balancing Different Diets
The Way We Eat
We talked to Rachita Sharma Pate about her daughter’s favorite foods, the passing of food traditions from one generation to the next, and how family preferences often determine what’s for dinner.
Aug 22, 2021
After a Year of Pandemic Living, I Baked a Wedding Cake (Just for Me)
Personal Essay
I made a multi-tiered celebration cake because I could.
Feb 13, 2021
Joy, Love, and Abundance: Why I’m Making “Seven Vegetables” for Diwali This Year (of All Years)
We usually celebrate Diwali with friends and family, welcoming visitors with tea and sweets or reveling in others’ homes. This year we can't do that, but this dish will signify that closeness and bounty.
Nov 13, 2020
The Great Desi-American Road Trip
Somewhere along Interstate 95, in the middle of Virginia, the pun-laden signs began. I sat shotgun, alongside my father, in our Dodge Caravan. It was the summer of 1989, and nine of us, including my father’s sister and her family and a cousin on my mother’s side — all visiting from India — were en route from central New Jersey to Orlando, Florida. This was our family’s first trip to states south of Washington, D.C.
Sep 2, 2017
4 Indian Breads That Are Better than Sourdough
When it comes to bread, we’re with Oprah (we love bread!) and our admiration isn’t restricted to tangy sourdough loaves or crusty baguettes. Nearly every culture has strong opinions about bread products (see: Why the English Muffin Is Vastly Superior to the Bagel), and India is no exception. Flatbreads, in particular, are an important staple in South Asian cuisine, especially in the wheat-growing states of Northern India.
Dec 27, 2016
The World’s First Robot Roti Maker Is a Win for Feminists Everywhere
In the 2002 romcom Bend It Like Beckham, Mrs. Barma admonishes her daughter, Jess: “What family would want a daughter-in-law who can run around kicking football all day, but can’t make round chapatis?” South Asian popular culture is replete with such hijinks — of women and their mastery, or lack thereof, of making chapatis, the whole-wheat griddle breads that are ubiquitous in cuisines of the Subcontinent.
Oct 10, 2016
The One-Two Punch in South Indian Cuisine
“What kind of Indian are you?” my now-husband said to me in college when he learned of my low (read: non-existent) tolerance for spice in my food. His palate preferred piquancy and pungency. “A bad one?” I answered. Geography was partly responsible for the discrepancy. Our South Asian-American families hail from opposite ends of the subcontinent: mine from Sindh in present-day Pakistan, via Maharashtra; my husband’s from Kerala, on India’s southwestern coast.
Aug 18, 2016