A few months back I received a mail from Ms.Pankaja, a journalist from The Hindu. She heard about theyumblog from her colleagues and wanted to write about us and a few other bloggers.
Thank you Pankaja for writing about theyumblog.
Just how many desperate cooks are out there? Plenty, as Latha, Lakshmi, Srivalli and Ashok tell Pankaja Srinivasan. Their food blogs have saved marriages, pleased the gods, hunted down paatis and appealed to fussy kids
“You truly are a God-send! …I’m just learning to cook…I’m away from India and there’s no one to guide me……Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for all your posts! (please put recipes for karthigai urundai also…)”
Breathless messages such as these await Latha Maami daily on ‘The Yum blog’. Grateful cooks have been writing to her since 2007.
Tired of being left out of all the Internet activity around her, Latha Narasimhan decided she also wanted a piece of the action. “I wanted to do something online too. But first, I had to learn how to operate the computer,” she admits wryly. She decided she would put down the plentiful recipes she had noted down while watching her mother cook. Today, Latha’s blog has nearly 25 lakh hits. (She blogs with her daughter Lakshmi). Latha is anxious to preserve traditional recipes.
“Deepavali marundhu, food for the new mom, the pregnant woman… We should not lose those recipes. Putting them on my blog ensures they stay around.” She collects recipes from the older cooks she knows such as her invaluable source, Parameshwari Akka, who lives in Kulithalai.
It is not just frantic ‘how-to-make-puliodharai’ posts that Latha receives. Sometimes it is her opinion on a microwave oven, and once there was an SOS asking help to tie a nine-yard sari! During festivals she has to clear last-minute doubts. “I am usually running from kitchen to computer all day long,” she says. Lakshmi loves the idea of blogging with her mom. She says, “The Internet offers such a wonderful, democratic way to document, preserve and share.”
Thirty-seven-year-old Srivalli has two blogs, one daughter and twin sons. So a lot of what goes into her ‘Spice your life’ blog is kid-tested and approved. “My daughter has always been a fussy eater. So I had to come up with ideas to encourage her to eat. My boys, on the other hand, are fine with whatever I make. But I have noticed that when I say that I have made something especially for them, they eat better,” she says. Her other blog, ‘Cooking 4 all seasons’ features everyday food. Srivalli says her blog is like a journal. “It records my adventures as a cook, mom, and a person passionate about food and writing.” Her chocolates, chicken biryani and sponge cake have won admirers and she is surprised how many people want to know how to make rasam! Grateful newly-weds have told her that her blog has saved their marriages. In Spice… Srivalli holds a blogging marathon in which participants post a recipe on 14 consecutive days on a particular theme. So if the theme is paayasam, bloggers have to post a paayasam recipe every day. They also have to read all the posts and leave comments on them. “Members tell me that the marathon pushes them to be regular bloggers and eggs them on to try new dishes. The marathon is a year old now.”
Paal kozhukattai is a light sweet. It can be prepared using either with milk or coconut milk. It can be served as a evening snack.
- Rice flour – 1/2 cup
- Water – 3/4
- Oil – 1tsp
- Milk – 1 cup
- Jaggery – 2 tbs
- Cardamom – 2 nos (powdered)
- A few strands of saffron