Not only that her food blog Archana’s Kitchen has been the lucky one to be featured in Google India’s first television campaign!
A BSc in Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Archana has worked for almost six years in the software field, many years as a yoga teacher and now for the last six years she’s donned the cap of a Home Chef, author, food writer, food consultant, photographer, a mother and a homemaker.
The Lifestyle Portal chatted with 35-year-old Bangalore-based Archana about her love for cooking, food blogging and everything that revolves around healthy vegetarian cuisine.
She says, “What makes Archana’s Kitchen unique is the dedication to share healthy, exotic, simple vegetarian cooking, accepting feedback from all the fans and understanding their dietary needs has been my primary focus.”
How did it all begin?
Spending most of her growing up years in Coimbatore offered little exposure to cuisines around the world. But for a family who loves to eat and cook, including her father who would cook up fabulous Sunday lunches once in a while planted the seed of good food and healthy eating habits in Archana.
“My mother was especially fond of cooking and experimenting with a variety of cuisines from around the world. She collected a zillion recipe clippings and never failed to try them all. She would cook with so much love to a food addicted family like ours while ensuring they were packed with nutrition,” recalls Archana.
Bet her mother did not stop there. Archana and her brother had compulsory days of cooking and working in the kitchen.
She says, “With a formal training from my mother which involved years of compulsory cooking and learning healthy cooking and eating habits has made me what I am today. My baking days started when I was nine years old and then it moved on to chopping vegetables and then cooking basic food.”
Life moved on and eventually, Archana moved on to many cities and countries. Her repertoire on a variety of cuisines, cooking skills and smell for secret ingredients grew and it continues to grow even now. Work life stopped and motherhood began, which started giving her time to idle away.
“This idle time gave me a brilliant idea to start writing a recipe book. As these thoughts were evolving, Blog Cooking had started taking over books and recipes were all over the Internet, which is when I decided to join the world of bloggers,” adds Archana.
She continues, “Ever since I started this blog, I have been trying to perfect my recipes every time I cook. My kitchen became a “test kitchen” and this began showing in my recipes as well. Each time I cooked, I wrote, and again when I cooked I re-wrote the recipe. So every single time I cooked, I would make a change of ingredient to the recipe and viola another recipe came out of it!”
The Internet is a place of full and complete learning if you are willing to dive into the world of unknown. Being confident and also learning to accept that we all make mistakes help us to overcome the challenges we face.
Archana explains, “Cooking is a very meditating experience for me and over the years of self-imposed training I have overcome many challenges. I have never had formal training in baking, icing and fondant making, but through the help of recipes over the Internet and videos on YouTube, I have mastered the art.”
Her speciality cooking
Archana doesn’t shy away from trying out new ingredients, cuisines and recipes as long as it is vegetarian. Having travelled across several countries she understands how a dish would taste based on the ingredients used. So the inherent willingness to try something new and challenging is what she looks for all the time.
She further adds, “Having said that, I love to cook according to seasons and it changes with each passing and repeating season. I might have learnt something new in the past and would love to try it out when a season comes by and my family and children have also begun to think according to seasons as well.”
Archana’s Kitchen and her story was an inspiration for the Google Chrome TV commercial that was Google India’s first ever TV campaign. She has also been featured as a Guest Chef at Zee Khana Khazana with Chef Gautam Mehrishi as part of this campaign.
This campaign turned out to be a great inspiration for many women in India who can use the Internet from home to advance themselves professionally and personally like they way she has done. “It has opened many channels for me as well. I now wear the hat of a Food Consultant and a culinary trainer where I conduct online video training sessions as well.”
Deciding on what to cook
Archana’s cooking style is extremely focused and planned. She marks her calendar for the days she wants to cook a special meal. This helps her to remain focused if she plans to try new recipes and also help her blog followers try out something new.
She adds, “I cook based on the mood with which I wake up and I cook based on the season. I do plan what to cook for the Friday, Saturday and Sundays for the special family lunches or dinner with friends and I also plan with new ideas from the magazines and the various scrapbook recipes that I have collected over the years.”
Apart from her successful food blog, you can also catch her latest recipes on YouTube. Her dedication and passion for food and culinary arts have led her to become a Marketing Consultant for high-end kitchen equipment brands like Rommelsbacher, KitchenAid and Smeg Ovens.
“YouTube is a way many are able to connect with me from around the world to learn something new and also cook healthier meals. My new project is now to create video recipes of all my text content. The project has begun and hoping those will also help much more cook healthy for a better future,” concludes Archana.
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