Friday, September 20, 2013

Rendez Vous With A Foodie - Sowmya of Nivedhanam

Every 7th and 20th of a month,you guys would have noticed that am inviting few of my new buddies to share their guest post in my space, seriously am blessed to get this much generous friends in this virtual world.Twice a month am introducing newbie bloggers to this immense blogging virtual world, just to showcase their blogs with their guest posts they prepred specially for me. Since ever i started this event, its running with huge success and all my guests never surprised me with their humble and delicious dishes.Today is one more fantastic blogger who never stopped sharing many traditional,wonderful bakes and many more stunning foods.

She is none other than Sowmya of Nivedhanam, i came to know Sowmya through this virtual world before a year. Actually as a co blogger, i love to visit her space to read all her dishes but seriously i want to know more about the lady behind the blog. Thank god, now she shared more about her and i was surprised to know that she lives in Bangalore now.Dunno why but sincever i came to know her for me, she is a blogger who blogs from abroad. May be coz she shares many dishes from various International cuisines that too with many ingredients which are quite rare to get easily in India.

As a blogger, Sowmya is just an amazing person who never stops encouraging her fellow bloggers, even she is tied up with many stuffs, trust me if she follows your space even after a week she will leave her encouraging words. By the way if you are searching for a fusion or something traditional or else eggless bakes, dont forget to go through Sowmya's place and am sure you will definitely get hooked to her fantastic space called Nivedhanam.

Lets hear from Sowmya..

1)Tell us about your blog and you?
My name is Sowmya Chandrasekaran. I am from Chennai currently living in Bangalore with my husband and my little daughter. I was in Chennai until my marriage and then moved to US and now back in Bangalore after 8 years in US. I have done my masters in Finance and Computers and was a working women in Microsoft as Assistant Controller - Finance until my daughter was born. My entry into the kitchen started after marriage and as I learnt this beautiful art of cooking, it has become my passion. I love photography (although an amateur) and enjoy taking pictures of people, food and places. I am a strict vegetarian and the same is my blog. I combined my passion of cooking and photography and started taking pictures of the food I prepared. Initially I took the pictures to share it with my family as they were all curious as to what am I cooking (Since I did not know anything in cooking)... Then I slowly started to present my food and then take pictures of it.. Since I have the habit of writing down procedures of what I do, I followed the same for the recipes. Any new recipe I did, i wrote it down and slowly I have a collection of tried recipes. I then wanted to share my recipes, so the idea of a food blog was born. In my 9 years of marriage, I have tried a lot of new cuisines and different type of food. I learnt to see and understand the ingredients of all that I buy from Bread to Complan. 

2)Before and after blogging, tell us what blogging changed your life?
With blogging I have lot of new friends virtually whom I know their name and their blog.. For some I have seen photos. But the bonding is beautiful. Before blogging I never cared to present my food in a 
great way.. It will be garnished well.. Now it has props, beautiful servingware etc.. I am also trying more foods with the events and the groups I join like Blogging Marathon, Vegan Thursdays, Eggless Bakes, Home Bakers Challenge etc.

3)When and what motivated you to blog about food?
My passion towards cooking and photography. My husband and my parents encouraged me a lot.

4)There are a tonsof blogs/pages on food these days, what accordingto you is the speciality of your blog and the food you cook?
I try to have a variety in my blog from Baking to South Indian daily food to traditional Indian cuisines. I also try to write them in a very very simple manner and for some I try to include step by step where the steps are critical. All the foods are approved my picky eater husband and very picky eater daughter. All my cooking is vegetarian and eggless. I try to have at least 4 – 6 posts per week so a lot of recipes to check out.

5) When it comes to cooking, who is your inspiration?
My mom definitely. 

6)Every newbie blogger faces tons of challenges when its comes to blogging, tell me about one of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome it?
I should say I am still learning. One challenge that I overcame was the Recipe Index. It was a mess trying if I do not update it manually. Now with Sapna's code and my husband's help I am having an automated 
Recipe Index which makes me lot more comfortable.

7)What is your best recipe and your favourite recipes you have blogged till now?

8)Few tips about food photography?
Natural lighting is the best and take as many photos as possible and delete the ones that are not good.

9)What is your budget for the props,do you have any or else do you manage with your household stuffs?
I never buy background cloth or paper. I mostly use my duppatta!!! For other props, there is no specific budget. I generally always visit the kitchen section whenever I visit the store and I always love to buy new and interesting stuff. I try to minimize it and also use the ones from my house.

10)How do you plan your blog posts? Do you post rarely,regularly or once a week?
I try to post at least 4 times a week. When I do a recipe, I generally write it donwn immediately and it goes into my drafts. Once I process the pictures, they are added to the draft and have them ready.

11)Do you have any other passions apart from food blogging or blogs you own?
I love photography, travelling and chatting. I spend a lot of time with my daughter. When she is back from school, I am almost only with her... We love to read books, play games (of her age) and also tell her stories.

Basil Pesto Pasta..
Pasta is an Italian dish which is very popular and there are so many varieties available... I did this with Whole Wheat Penne. Pesto Pasta is pasta made with pesto sauce which is made from basil. It is rich, creamy and quick to make with start and finish taking about 15 minutes. The pesto also has a very fresh flavor from the green leaves. This recipe serves 2 to 3 people. Pesto is an uncooked sauce. I used coriander instead of Parsley. Pesto sauce stored in an airtight container can keep in the refrigerator for a week.

Basil Leaves – 2 cups
Parmesan Cheese (grated) – 2 table spoon
Salt – 1 1/2 tea spoons + ½ tea spoon
Olive Oil – 7 Table spoons
Pepper – ½ tea spoon
Parsley / Coriander – ¼ cup
Pine Nuts – 2 table spoons
Pasta – 300 grams
Water – 2 liters

Wash the basil and parsley and put them in a plastic bag and beat them with a rolling pin for 30 seconds.. This will release a lot of flavor.

Heat water and once it comes to a boil, add 1+ 1.2 tea spoons of salt.

Add the pasta and cook until done (one minute more than the prescribed minute in the package)?

Toast the pine nuts on low heat stirring occasionally in the beginning and continuously the last minute for about 8 minutes until golden in color.

Blend together basil leaves, parsley, garlic cloves, ½ tea spoon salt, 5 table spoon olive oil and the toasted pine nuts to a smooth paste. I used hand blender here and it worked like a charm. Add 2 more table spoons of olive oil and mix well. Add black pepper and cheese and set aside.

Once the pasta is done, keep 1 cup of the boiling water aside and drain the excess water and keep the pasta in the serving bowl.

Add the pesto sauce and mix well..

If needed add the reserved water (1 table spoon at a time) and mix well and serve hot!!


Magees kitchenworld said... Reply To This Comment

Delicious recipe, Nice to know about sowmya:)

Priya Anandakumar said... Reply To This Comment

Lovely and delicious pasta, nice to know a lot more about Sowmya...

Sanoli Ghosh said... Reply To This Comment

Nice to know about Sowmya. I know she has an amazing collection of recipes. Loved this wonderful write up Priya akka.

Menaga Sathia said... Reply To This Comment

Nice 2 know abt sowmya...lovely recipe!!

nandoos kitchen said... Reply To This Comment

Lovely pasta. Glad to know more about Sowmya.

Hamaree Rasoi said... Reply To This Comment

Great to know Sowmya. a great tribute from one foodie to another.

cookbookjaleela said... Reply To This Comment

Nice to hear about sowmya. Healthy Pasta looks yummy

The Pumpkin Farm said... Reply To This Comment

wow Priya, this is a beautiful concept, helps us peekaboo in the lives of people we think we already know of, this is my favorite pasta recipe as well

Asiya Omar said... Reply To This Comment

Priya,Nice to hear about Sowmya.Yummy recipe too.

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Thanks a lot for having me Priya..and a big thanks for your kind words!!


divya said... Reply To This Comment

wow..looks inviting...nice to hear about sowmya......