This week on Super blogger Sunday we have Meera from Enjoy Indian food sharing her experiences on blogging. From a very innovative start of having a family cookbook complete with pictures and recipes as a word document to a recipe blog that shares many traditional, regional and healthy recipes, Meera has been really creative in her efforts and must be truly appreciated.
EC: Tell us something about yourself
Meera: Hello, My name is Meera. I live in the United States. I am an engineer by profession. I have a 5 year old daughter. I have two cooking blogs - Enjoy Indian Food and Enjoy World Food. I will complete 2 years of blogging next month. I was fond of cooking from my childhood and collected tons of recipes. I used to tear off the blank papers from the old notebooks and scribble the recipes from family, friends and TV shows. After coming here, as I was craving for my mom's food, I decided to create my own family cookbook using microsoft word.
So I used to write down the family recipes and click pictures, add to the collection. I had even given it a catchy name "Meera's Family Cookbook!". :)
I had also created an EXCEL spreadsheet with columns of veggies/beans/lentils, under each, I wrote how many different ways that ingredient can be cooked!! It was just my hobby. and this was before I discovered food-blogging.
EC: How were you inspired to start a food blog ??
Meera: As I mentioned, I had just too many clippings, notes, scribbles, papers and one fine day, I decided to get rid of them to control the clutter around the house. My husband, suggested to start blogging, instead of throwing everything away. That's when I thought of blogging. Just a few months earlier,I had discovered Nupur's One Hot Stove while searching for a recipe. It was inspirational. Thus, I thought of creating my own blog.
EC: Do you cook specially for the blog?
Meera: Yes. There are so many events that go on around the blogsphere. If I know that a certain event is going on and if I have time, I certainly cook something special for that event.
Many times, some traditional recipes come to my mind and make me nostalgic and I feel they need to show up on my blog. I almost fear that they soon will become extinct. So I cook those recipes - which probably I wouldn't have otherwise.
EC: You have tried various cuisines from different states of India..You have an amazing collection of traditional recipes too.. what are your recipe sources ??
I am from Mumbai - one of the cosmopolitan cities of India. As a result, I have friends from all over India. That's how I have tasted several regional cuisines of India.
Also, the recipe booklets that accompany mixers/pressure cookers are a good source of regional Indian cuisine. I try from there too.
For the traditional recipes - my own family encompasses Maharashtra, South Canara & Gujarat. We have family deities in Goa. So I learnt all the traditional recipes from all these regions from my grandmothers, mom, aunts, in-laws. As my family cooked their traditional food, they always embraced new cuisines with enthusiasm. As a result, I think, our food horizon got widened from the early childhood!I think when you eat/cook food from different parts of the world, you start respecting the whole world. I want my daughter to taste the food from different parts of India as well as world, thus feeling connected to India and the whole world.
EC: Do you think blogging has widened your perspective and exposure?
Meera: I was always aware of the fact that Indian cuisine has a variety. but just looking around the blogosphere, what each blogger brings to the table, it's simply mindblowing. I never knew it before. I am still learning this and realize what I know is just a tiny drop in the ocean. Give one simple vegetable to cooks from different states of India and each cook will be able to produce at least a handful and unique recipes using that one basic vegetable. I find it very amazing. I also discovered new tastes, new oils, new spices, new techniques. I know it's impossible to master the entire gamut, but it's fun learning it.
EC: Have your recipes been copied anywhere without your permission..How would you deal with plagiarism ??
Mostly, my readers have informed me about the copied recipes, photos or sometimes even the introductions to the recipe. It's just beyond me why someone would copy the work and pass it on as their own? I mean, what's the fun in that? Why not explore their own family recipes? I do understand that the traditional recipes are similar but how can one copy word to word including photos? I generally send the email or leave comments to the bloggers doing it. I was shocked to see my picture staring at me from the wellknown food sources, advertisements etc. But sometimes, I just don't know what to do when dealing with these bigwigs. I think we all should join our hands together to fight against plagiriasm.
EC: You have been posting almost daily since the time you started your blog..How do you manage this ?
Meera: When I started blogging, I hadn't decided that I will write almost daily. But as my blog started shaping up, I discovered that as I write that simple, humble recipe, i get a feeling of a bliss. It's that feeling of emotional well being. Since I am away from home and country, I feel deeply connected to my roots as I explore a recipe, upload a photo and scribble about it. Cooking for me is a stress reliever and not a chore. I really enjoy this process.
EC: Your favourite vegetarian recipe
Meera: It's impossible to select just one since all the recipes are dear to me. But still, if I have to choose just one recipe - Pav Bhaji