A Talk with Food Blogger Anita Das (@mrscookbook)
Hello, Weekenders! Hope everyone had a rocking Durga Puja and Dussehra 2019! But the festivities are far from being over because… Diwali is coming folks!! And boy aren’t we excited again? Like every other festive occasion, Diwali is also about spending time with friends and family and its also largely about FOOD!
Food is an essential part of our culture and tradition and we make the best of this on special occasions. Thus to grace this tradition and celebrate the festive spirit in the truest sense of term, we bring for you a savoury and delicious chat with some food bloggers who are trulu doing wonderful work.
These bloggers are not only cooking delicious food but also, teaching us about different cuisines, the history and stories of a particular dish/food tradition, food presentation and food photography. Along with this they also provide many tips and tricks to help us cook better. They will also provide insights on how we can amp up the food scenario this Diwali. So keep reading.
Today, we have with us the lovely Anita Das. It is said that following your passion can help you deal with trauma and sadness. This is understood by leaps and bounds when you get to know Anita. A single mother and a businesswoman, she is juggling all her struggles and life like a boss and how! Read on to know more about her
Follow her in the following places –
Instagram – mrscookbook
P.S. All the pictures and videos are owned by ©Anita Das and reproduction in any form, without prior permission, is prohibited
Q. Please introduce yourself.
Hello, my name is Anita Das. I have a food blog/page on Instagram @mrscookbook. I am a homemaker, businesswoman, mother to a beautiful grown daughter and 4 years old adorable puppy. I am born and raised in Kolkata. Did my schooling and University here as well.
Q. Would made you start your food blog/page? Please share what is your Instagram profile all about and how did your journey start?
I started my Instagram food blog/page back in September 2015, after getting encouragement from my daughter. I couldn’t continue it for too long. I had to stop in the late 2016 as I was to taking care of my very ill parents and husband. After my husband and my parents passed away last year, I restarted my Instagram food blog/page in July 2019. With the trauma me and my family went through, doing the food blog has helped me heal by providing me a platform to channel my passion and love for cooking. It also has given me an opportunity to preserve my mother’s recipes.
Q. Is being a food-blogger your full-time profession or are do you work elsewhere?
I am a businesswoman and homemaker during the daytime and food blogging is my passion.
Q. What would you consider your biggest achievement so far?
Biggest achievement was to be part of a collaboration with Weikfield and receiving over 4000 likes on one my posts, when I only had around 5000 followers. It was truly overwhelming as this happened in less than 2 months of me restarting my Instagram page. It made me realise that people were interested in good food, traditional recipes and also my work.
Q. What is your signature dish that represents who you are as a cook?
My signature dish is simplified Mughlai Biriyani and I love making it for my daughter. It represents me as a cook as I do a lot of traditional recipes but still give my own personal touch to it.
Q. When you post a new recipe on the page, is that usually part of your home menu or do you sometimes have to prepare extra meals?
Most of the posts on Instagram are meals my family likes and eats regularly. But occasionally, I also cook specials dishes that my followers have requested.
Q. How do you manage your family life along with other commitments and running a page?
It is very difficult to juggle all of it together and at times it does get overwhelming. But I do plan ahead, prioritise and manage my time to make sure all aspects of my life get the necessary attention. And in all the daily chaos, my biggest supporter is my daughter, who has been helping me run the page.
Q. What are the top five ingredients that you would say is essential in all kitchens?
Almost all my dishes will have at least have 3 of these ingredients: Garlic, Bay leaves, Milk, Salt, Green Chillies.
Q. What is your favorite kitchen gadget or tool that you can’t live without?
My cooking is mostly for busy people. That’s why I find Pressure Cooker very handy
Q. What are your favorite regional cuisines or specific foods? Name a dish you always wanted to make but haven’t had a chance to make it yet.
So in Regional dishes: Bengali Food – Posto Bora, Rajasthani Food – Kadhi, Gujarat Food – Dhokla, South Indian Food- any form of Idli. I always wanted to make Rajasthani Laal Maas but haven’t had a chance to cook it yet.
Q. Which other world cuisines have you tried and what do you like about them? In your experience what is the basic difference in the eating lifestyle of Indians as compared to rest of the world?
Q. What other activities are you a part of apart from being a food blogger? What are your hobbies?
Food blogging is one of my favourite things to do. I also enjoy gardening. I have a home garden where I grow my vegetables and herbs. I love practicing Yoga and watching shows on Netflix.
Q. Please share your experience with different brands you have worked with?
To be honest, I am still a relatively new Food Blogger. As a result I haven’t had the opportunity to work with as many brands. From the few brands that I have worked with, it has been a great experience.
Q. As Diwali is approaching soon, could you please suggest few dishes which will be ideal to try out during the festivities?
For Diwali celebrations, my family enjoys Gulab Jamun, Kheer, Laddos in sweet dishes. And Samosas, Pakoras, Dahi Bhalla as savoury snacks.
Q. There are a lot of shoddy people on social media who either try to discredit others or stalk them. How do you deal with such people or negativity in general? Does it bog you down or affect your mental peace?
I have learnt to keep it separate. It’s hard and sometimes it does have an effect on me. But as I have grown older, I have learnt how to deal with negative people all around. And it is the same both offline and online. While there are negative people around, there are plenty more positive people, and those comments and messages keep me going.
Q. Local Bazaars or Supermarkets – What is your preference when it comes to choosing fresh ingredients for the kitchen?
All my ingredients come from three main sources: online grocery store, my local bazaar, and my home grown garden. I like the convenience of online grocery stores. I also enjoy buying fresh produce and one on one with the venders. I try to support local businesses when I can and humbly request everyone to do so.
Q. Can becoming an Influencer be taken up as a profession for future generations? How to not get lost amongst the masses? Any tips?
Yes I very much think so. I don’t personally like the word influencer as such. But being a blogger and sharing your passion and ideas is always appreciated. It may sound clichéd, but for me being true about yourself helps the people to connect with you more. And if you ask for a tip, if your content can help people in any way, it will attract people to you and also help not to get lost in the masses. As very few bloggers actually share real things.
Q. What are your future plans for your page and profile? Are you happy with the way it has shaped up?
Honestly, there are some plans that I can’t share at the moment. But I am enjoying how the page/ blog is shaping in the 3 months of me restarting my Instagram page.
Q. Lastly, any word for our blog? Thank you for your time!
It’s a very interesting and diverse blog. Keep up the good work!
Thank you, Anita for taking out time to talk to us, and having such a wonderful and heart-to-heart conversation. We look forward to your continuously bringing more deliciousness to our feed! HappyDiwali!