Meet Padhu of Padhu's kitchen this week's edition of Sunday super blogger series. She has a collection of more than 200 recipes in about a year and half of blogging. The pictures and garnishings on her recipes are eye catching. Read more to know about her while she shares some interesting and useful tips about garnishing which makes food a visual treat.
EC: Tell us something about yourself and your hobbies
Padhu : An optimistic and a creative person, mother of 2 adorable children and a person with diverse interests willing to explore ideas and learn something new. My inquisitive mind has made me venture into various fields like waste management, art & crafts, organic gardening, Beauty, cooking, Yoga, web designing etc. I started my first website on Health and Beauty Tips in early 2007 which focuses on Natural Health & Beauty Care.
I have also conducted hobby classes and art camps for women and children and my most unforgettable experience was conducting craft camp for the special children.
With respect to managing job and family, my family has always been my priority. Being a self employed woman, I am able to adjust the timings to suit my needs. Mostly I work after my kids leave and make it a point to be with them when they are back.
My food blog was started in August 2009. I make it a point to post once or sometimes twice a week. I do not cook specially for the blog but only post recipes of what I cook for my family. But I do bake specially for the blog.
EC: Who and what inspired you to start food blogging?
Padhu : My children used to appreciate and love my cooking very much. In order to make them happy, I started cooking variety of dishes for them. They loved it very much. I wanted to maintain an online diary of those recipes tried and tested in my kitchen, so that they could refer later, when they settle down elsewhere. Thus Padhuskitchen was born. What started as a hobby has become a passion now.
EC: What changes has blogging brought in your life ?
Padhu : Although I have attended baking classes before marriage, being a fitness freak I have never shown much interest in it. But now after seeing all the blogs with so many cakes and muffins, I am tempted to bake now. I have learnt many things about international cuisine and baking. It is nice to keep in touch with people of same interest.
EC: The pictures on your blog are so beautiful. Give us some tips for good photography
Padhu : Thank you very much for your compliments. At present I am using a Sony DSC –T20/T25. When it comes to food photography, I am just a beginner. I make it a point to click pictures during day time in natural light and never use flash.
For me more than food photography, I love food art, fruit and vegetable carvings and food presentation. I feel presentation of food is as important as taste and smell. I will share with you a few tips on garnishing from my experience.
First of all you don’t have to be a chef or an expert in the field to make garnishes, anyone can do it.
1. Make sure your garnish matches with your dish. Use only the ingredients you have used in the dish for garnishing. For e.g. you can garnish carrot rice with 2-3 simple carrot flowers.
2. Make it as simple as possible. Do not over do it or clutter the plate with decorations. A simple tomato rose garnish for a raitha or salad makes it look appealing.
3. Make the plate look colorful - Mix and match colors
A colorful plate looks pleasing and inviting to the eyes. For salads, you can mix carrot (orange), tomatoes (red) and green bell peppers to make it look attractive. Just sprinkling coriander leaves over tomato rice makes it look colorful.
4. Fruit salads can be kept in a melon basket or a pineapple boat at the centre of the table.
5. As far as possible use edible garnishes.
6. Use white plate for colorful dishes and a colored plate for light colored dishes.
7. You can cut vegetables and fruits into different shapes using cookie cutter and serve to make it more attractive.
With little imagination anyone can make the food look presentable and attractive.
EC: Tell us about your "How to" series. What are your recipe sources and plans for your blog for the year?
Padhu : “How to” series was mainly meant for a novice who has never tried cooking before. I also have plans to share very simple and basic recipes.
Most of the recipes in my blog are passed on to me by my mother and aunty. Some of them are from friends, neighbours, TV shows and magazines. I love traditional food very much and I feel it is losing its importance now a days. So I want to bring back traditional recipes, festival recipes and also have plans to post quick and healthy Indian recipes which can be prepared in a jiffy during the morning hectic hours.
EC: Can you give some tips for new bloggers to make their blogs popular?
Padhu : Have your own style, stay focused and most important is you must have passion and interest and of course persistence is also required.
EC: Your favourite vegetarian recipe
Padhu : Love all the recipes posted in my blog. Since I have to choose only one recipe, I am going for Tomato soup
Thank you so much EC for giving me this opportunity. I feel honored. I was featured as a budding blogger in your site 1 1/2 years back, now I feel so elated on being featured as a Super Blogger in the very same site.