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Astrology of a Chef: Maya Kaimal Cooks Fresh Flavors From Kerala

DateSeptember 1, 2016

Maya Kaimal is an American-born author who won a Julia Child Award for Best First Book for her first cookbook titled Curried Favors: Family Recipes from South India. She has also become a successful online entrepreneur with a product line of sauces, snacks, cookbooks and t-shirts, all celebrating and sharing her heritage on her father’s side from Kerala.

astrology-chef-maya-kaimal

Kerala is a southwestern state in India famous for its beauty and spices. Kaimal credits childhood visits to her Aunty Kamala’s kitchen in Kerala on trips to India with her father as the origin of her passion for Indian food. She presently lives with her husband and family in upstate New York.

She notes, “My family comes from the southern tip of the subcontinent where the cuisine is more tropical, featuring coconut milk in the place of dairy, fresh curry leaves instead of toasted spices, and more emphasis on rice than bread. These distinctions are shaped by climate, geography, and each region’s history of contact with outside cultures.”

Kaimal’s cookbooks do seem to be well received. One online reviewer wrote, “I really love Maya Kaimal’s method for approaching recipes and her way of listing out ingredients. She makes it clear, concise and easy to prepare Indian dishes – even for a beginner. I highly recommend this book for someone just starting out. Extra kudos for the photography in this.”

Birth chart features the Planet of Joy and grounded, earthy energies

As a disclaimer, I have not purchased her products, nor do I own any of her cookbooks. However, I do enjoy stories about accomplishments. My curiosity about Kaimal was piqued for two reasons: (1) she has followed her passion and become a successful writer, and (2) she has leveraged her talents into establishing her own business.

I was interested to see what planets lend Kaimal support for her continued enthusiasm for culinary arts. I ran the chart for Maya Kaimal for May 21, 1965 at 10:14 PM EDT (UTC -4.0) in Boston, MA, USA (42n21, 71w3) in Goravani software using settings similar to AstroVed’s (Calc Type = Full, Moon from Earth’s = Center, Nodes = Mean).

The source for Maya Kaimal’s birth data comes from AstroDataBank which rates the reliability of the data as AA (an excellent rating) with the source being quoted from her birth certificate/birth record.

To be honest, I was not surprised to see her chart shows a well-placed Venus!

Venus is the planet that gives us our ability to enjoy the world through our senses, including through tasty food. Venus is sometimes called “the Planet of Joy.”

Kaimal has Venus in a favorable location as Venus sits in Taurus, an earth sign that Venus rules. Anytime a planet sits in a sign that it rules, this gives the planet a good dignity and helps that planet manifest more easily things related to that planet’s agenda.

Taurus is a grounded, luxury-loving sign. This sign is symbolized as a bull with four feet firmly on the earth.

Not only does she have Venus, ruler of the arts (including culinary), in Taurus, she has three other planets also sitting in Taurus – the Sun, Jupiter, and Rahu. These additional planets accentuate the down-to-earth outlook and the love of comforts that emanate through the environment of Taurus.

venus

In her chart, Taurus is the sixth house, counting clockwise in the South Indian style chart from her Ascendant of Sagittarius as the first house. The sixth house is known to sometimes give rise to difficult things such as enemies, debts or illness. However, it is also known as a house of service. When a person engages in service, the sixth house can also be a house that points a way to happiness.

As Venus rules her sixth house and also sits in her sixth house, this placement gives her support for not just giving good service through her culinary work, but for truly enjoying her work. Regarding her business success, the combination of the ruler of the sixth house sitting in the sixth house is said to support an ability to hire staff. Kaimal’s website lists several people on the team in her business.

The Sun gives life-affirming energy, and in the sixth house, he can give a person the drive to succeed. The Sun in this placement can illuminate a person to have analytical skills, something useful in writing out steps in recipes in a clear, logical manner. The Sun in the sixth house is also said to help improve a person’s stature.

Jupiter in the sixth house can support service-related work including knowledge sharing. Cookbooks are a form of information sharing that a reader may return to again and again. Jupiter can give energies of success to an author for such teaching efforts. He can also enable a person to become well regarded.

Rahu in the sixth house can grant original thinking in a service area and allow a person to benefit from foreign influences in performing service. He has helped Kaimal’s efforts to bridge cultures and to introduce her family’s beloved southern Indian cuisine to the West.

Even beyond three planets joining Venus in the house of service in a sign that Venus rules, she has two planets in stars ruled by Venus:

  • Mercury is in Bharani, a star of creativity
  • Mars is in Purva Phalguni, a star of relaxation, sometimes called “the party star” (and what is any party without food as part of the celebration?)

To summarize, Kaimal has six planets either in a house ruled by Venus or in a star ruled by Venus, and her Venus has good dignity sitting in its sign. Her strong connection to Venus supports her enjoyment and love for sharing South Indian cuisine.

Sidereal Birth Chart of Maya Kaimal (South Indian style layout of chart)

sidereal-birth-chart-of-maya-kaimal

Her Moon is in the star, or Nakshatra, of Shravana. The Moon rules this birth star, and this combination accentuates the nurturing qualities of her Moon. Shravana can give blessings for money, and her Moon is in the second house of finance. Shravana is associated with Vishnu, an archetype who can help with wealth creation. Her birth star, as well as her Moon, give her mental and emotional support for focusing on developing her financial potential.

Second house is also related to things a person does for survival, and so food has a connection to second house. The Moon placed in the second house is said to help a person become a good cook and to take pleasure from food.

Also, the second house is related to family. For Kaimal, her family has been an ongoing source of inspiration and encouragement to learn south Indian cooking and make money from her interest in the spices and recipes.

Maya Kaimal’s Birth Chart Planetary Positions – Houses As Viewed From Ascendant (AC)

House House Ruled By Sign – Gender, Element Deg/Min/Sec Nakshatra (Star) Star Ruled By
Lagna (AC) 1st Jupiter Sagittarius – masculine, fire 5° 24’ 13” Mula Ketu
Sun 6th Venus Taurus – feminine, earth 7° 24’ 31” Krittika Sun
Moon 2nd Saturn Capricorn – feminine, earth 20° 39’ 25” Shravana Moon
Mars 9th Sun Leo – masculine, fire 20° 50’ 21” Purva Phalguni Venus
Mercury 5th Mars Aries – masculine, fire 16° 25’ 12” Bharani Venus
Jupiter 6th Venus Taurus – feminine, earth 13° 22’ 21” Rohini Moon
Venus 6th Venus Taurus – feminine, earth 20° 5’ 18” Rohini Moon
Saturn 3rd Saturn Aquarius – masculine, air 22° 43’ 60” Purva Bhadrapada Jupiter
Rahu 6th Venus Taurus – feminine, earth 21° 8’ 19” Rohini Moon
Ketu 12th Mars Scorpio – feminine, water 21° 8’ 19” Jyestha Mercury

As mentioned earlier, whenever a planet sits in a sign it rules, it has good dignity. Kaimal’s Saturn sits in Aquarius, a sign Saturn rules. A well-placed Saturn can give disciplined work ethic. He sits in her third house of communication and aids her in taking care with her writing as well as the administration of her business.

Mars is a masculine planet that helps a person take action and get things done. Mars has fiery qualities. In Kaimal’s chart Mars sits in the masculine, fire sign of Leo. This helps this propel her competitive focus. A robust Mars helps power her passions. Her Mars in the ninth house of the father has energized her relationship with her father and the land of his heritage and given her stamina and direction with her culinary goals.

Saturn and Mars help her manifest results from following her Venusian enthusiasm with cooking.

Publishers Weekly describes her second cookbook, Savoring the Spice Coast of India: Fresh Flavors from Kerala, as placing emphasis “on ingredients such as coconut, tamarind, brown mustard seeds and curry leaves.” Their review notes:

“Bold flavors are relished in Kerala, even at breakfast….

Eight different dhals are offered, and entrees are as varied and inviting as Stuffed Fish with Sweet and Spicy Masala (masala is simply a spice mixture), Peppery Chicken Curry, Shrimp Biryani (a casserole with rice) and the ever-popular Lamb Vindaloo, this original version tempered with minced golden raisins. Rice, breads and chutneys also add welcome infusions of taste. This is an immensely appealing book for anyone wishing to expand an Indian repertoire.”

Bon appetit!

Written by Valli Wells

Valli is available for ½-hour and 1-hour Live Astrologer Consultations (LAC) at AstroVed (USD global version only). She encourages people to create a free account at AstroVed and run free reports about their own Birth Chart, Birth Star, Moon sign, and Planetary Influences. This is a simple way to begin to make friends with astrology. She invites everyone interested to learn more about Vedic astrology to join a newly formed Facebook group for Astrology Club – AstroVed.

Reminder: All the planets like it when we help others in need. Please consider making a donation to Dr. Pillai’s non-profit charity Tripura Foundation.

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