Sunday, December 12, 2010

Super blogger Sunday : Simran of Bombay Foodie

Meet Simran of Bombay foodie blog this week in the Super blogger series...She has been blogging for a little less than 3 years now and has posted more than 300 recipes. Dont forget to check out her interesting collection of cookies recipes.

EC: Tell us something about yourself

Simran: I have been interested in cooking for as long as I remember. In fact, I have notebooks with recipes that date back to my high school days. Then, 5-6 years back, I started reading food blogs. Then around 3 years back I thought, I should do this myself and started writing Bombay Foodie.

I do have a rather hectic job which is why I call myself "A banker by day, a baker by night". I enjoy baking after work and there have been times when I've finished baking bread at 2 am.

I post 2-3 times a week on an average. All my recipes fall in two camps - (i) easy cooking : everything from starters to main course to desserts you can cook without too much effort and (ii) my baking adventures. I started baking at the same time I started Bombay Foodie, so this blog's captured everything I've baked (unless it's a total disaster!).

EC: Who and what inspired you to start food blogging ??

Simran: I was inspired by some great blogs to start my own. The first blogs I ever read were Chocolate & Zucchini and 101 Cookbooks. But the one blog I really fell in love with, and the one that inspired me to start blogging and baking was Tartelette.

EC: How do you think blogging has changed your life ?

Simran: It's given me a huge circle of friends passionate about food. Now, when I hear of a food related event in Mumbai, I know I can count on one of the city's bloggers being eager to come along. Or, if I am having trouble making appams, I call Srivalli and she can set me up with the best recipe.

I also combined my other hobby - reading - with food when I started a book club called "This Book Makes Me Cook". Every month, our group of 20-odd members picks a book and and cooks recipes inspired from it. I've read several great books in the last year I wouldn't have discovered on my own.

EC: You have a good number of cookies recipes on your blog. Pls give some tips for first time bakers and which is the recipe that you would suggest for the first attempt.

Simran:
Tip No. 1 # Don't be scared. Baking might seem like rocket science from a distance but baking cookies is actually quite easy.

Tip No. 2 # Follow the recipe exactly, at least the first few times. Once you get a knack for baking, you can adjust recipes to suit yourself but try some time-tested recipes first and then figure out what works for you.

Tip No. 3 # Most cookie recipes call for eggs but don't let that dissuade you if you are avoiding eggs. I bake all my cookies without eggs and almost all cookie recipes adapt easily to eggless baking.

Tip No. 4 # Unless the recipe says otherwise, all your ingredients should be at room temperature.

Tip No. 5 # Use a heavy baking sheet to evenly bake your cookies, line with parchment if you don't have a nonstick sheet and make sure you don't crowd the sheet. Almost all cookies spread during baking so spacing the dough on your baking sheet is critical.

The one cookie recipe I would recommend to first-time bakers is the shortbread. I've baked this tens of times, with consistently good cookies in every batch.

EC: What are your sources for recipes and do you follow them exactly ?

Simran: I have a lot of cookbooks, I read a lot of food blogs and I collect recipes from every source I can find (even the ones on the pasta package or back of cocoa powder jar). Funnily enough, I almost never follow these recipes exactly. I invariably change the recipe to suit what I would like or to use what I have at home rather than go looking for every ingredient.

The only recipes I follow to the last detail are baking recipes, specially if I am baking something for the first time.

EC: Have your recipes been copied anywhere without your permission..How would you deal with plagiarism ??

Simran: Not to my knowledge. But then, I think of my blog as a recipe sharing place anyway, so I wouldn't be too worried if a recipe or two showed up somewhere.

EC: Your favourite vegetarian recipe

My mom's recipe for Chhole.

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