Raji was born in India and raised in a wealthy Indian family. Her mother was a diplomat in India and looked down upon cooks. As a child, Raji got involved in theatre, music and all kinds of art forms. So Raji started out as a medical technologist. Her first husband was a doctor, and she also managed his medical practice, but cooking to her was an emotional experience.
In 1969, she came to the United States. And in Washington, while at Watergate, it was Great Chef Jean-Louis Palladin who taught her the sophisticated French techniques such as a croustillade of crab with Arkansas razorback caviar and blackberry chutney.
In 1989, Chef Raji opened The East India Company in Memphis, Tennessee, serving what she called Franco-Indian food. In 1992, she changed the name to “Raji”, and in 1994, Great Chefs taped her for their Great Chefs – Great Cities series for the Discovery Channel.
In January 2001 she opened Tamarind on East 22nd Street in New York City’s lower Manhattan as the executive chef. She passed away a year later at age 52.