Growing up in a typical Indian home, cooking was strictly forbidden for me and my brother. I watched in awe as the swift handling of the spoons and spatulas, inhaled the sizzling aromas, and eagerly waited to swallow the appetizing finished products. Cooking was described as a highly specialized area of expertise that was handled well by maids and mothers. It was a field in which I never sought to be interested and no such idea was ever encouraged. Maybe all well-nourished children choose to live in this bubble until the day they leave home.
Such independence initially feeds on restaurant meals; takeout, junk food and cup noodles for a considerable period of time. But eventually, the longing for homemade food becomes a cause of depression in its own right. And then the shocking truth reaffirms. You are useless in this area and doomed to a life of financial independence but bad food.
This was my case until I discovered the wonderful world of happy food bloggers. Google can come up with any recipe you desire, but these kind angels go one step further. They have been exactly in your shoes and know what you are going through. Their blogs feature classic and exotic recipes that have been painstakingly retold and deconstructed to make it easier for novice cooks still looking to get the burner working (at least I was). These stages are completed with images and peppered with hilarious anecdotes, culinary history, cultural bites, and tips and tricks to make your culinary journey smooth and inspired. Below is a list of food blogs and their authors that can not only turn you into cookbook wonders, but also open your eyes to the art of cooking.
Fast Indian food by Mallika Basu
Mallika’s story is as typical as it gets. She moved to England at the age of eighteen for college and was pining for the country’s Dal Chawal before the year was out. She had never been in the kitchen until she was a master’s student. From then on, necessity became the mother of ingenuity. Her blog is a hilarious and often satirical account of her life as a high-flying businesswoman in London trying to cook up healthy and tasty food while maintaining her active social life. Through all his scrapes and successes in every post emerges a delicious Indian recipe that has been simplified beyond recognition. However, it remains faithful to its taste and its authenticity. His blog is the food bible of any expatriate, whether national or international. She is also the author of a fiery cookbook “Miss Masala: real cooking for an active life.
My cooking with tamarind by Sumayya Usmani
Sumayya Usmani, a gorgeous lawyer, became a full-time professional foodie in order to follow her passion. His blog aims to showcase and promote traditional Pakistani and Muslim cuisine and give it the recognition it deserves. Pakistani cuisine is often confused with Indian cuisine and therefore overlooked. She highlights the variety and exoticism of her country’s cuisine in recipes so enticing that they captivate the reader. Try names like Banana Cardamom Coconut Samosas with Chai Chocolate Drizzle, Sindhi Mutton Biriyani with Sour Plums, Potatoes and Dried Pomegranate, Pistachio and Lemon Sea Salt Barfi, Beet and Jaggery Raita, Nargisi Koftays, Okra Pakoras and Star Anise and Saffron Mince Magpies. Her food photographs are as much a work of art as the dishes she creates. She has been featured in many newspapers and TV shows around the world and her recipes have a cult fan base.
edible garden by nags
Nagalakshmi, or Nags as her fans call her, runs a very successful cooking blog that showcases, hands down, the most delicious South Indian recipes on the web. That aside, the site is full of delicious and deceptively simple chocolate desserts and creative instant snacks that are sure to satisfy any midnight cravings. She works with Google and loves living in beautiful Sydney, which she says is a foodie’s paradise. Her food blog story is endearingly simple: “One fine day, I came across a food blog. I thought that was pretty cool. About a month later I had mine even though I barely cooked at the time. A wedding, a husband, 2 moves, a 10 kg weight gain, and almost 7 years later, I cook a lot more and I also enjoy myself. Her recipes for chili paneer, sesame potatoes and biscotti are her favorites.
Cook in a curry by Maunika Gowardhan
Unlike the other bloggers on this list who accidentally fell into food fame, Maunika Gowardhan is a chef and food writer by profession. She loves to travel across India and collects authentic vintage recipes that expressly represent the vast and varied regions of the country. Here you will find Hyderbadi Mirchi ka Salan, Malwani Chicken Masala, Sindhi Koki, Goan Kulkuls jostling for space with Chingri Maccher Malai, Unni Appams, Kannada Huli and Kashmiri Dum Aloo. The recipe index reads like a map and it’s also dedicated to bringing old, little-known dishes to life as well as celebrating the truly famous and classic recipes that belong in every home.
Pepper And Mint by Torie
This last special mention belongs to a lady who did not grow up in a South Asian household. Torie, born in Britain, discovered the wonders of Indian cuisine when she married an Indian and received a MIL as a dowry. The fact that she loves to cook is evident not only in the lovingly purchased, tried and tasted recipes, but also in the fantastic touching images on her website. Each image is a simplistic work of art in progress. Indian recipes are not its only strong point. She mixes it with Asian, Continental and local dishes that come together to form an eclectic, artistic and sweet image of domestic life.
I hope it was a salivating read. Now go feast.