This is an interview with Nisha, a full-time digital marketer and part-time food enthusiast. She is a big foodie and enjoys both cooking and eating. Her cooking style, in her words, is rustic and fuss-free, so when you visit her website (https://masala-mojo.com/), there would be a hectic amount of recipes that would be ready in 30 minutes or less. She loves cooking healthy food using locally grown seasonal food. She loves adding a twist to classics or trying new flavors and combinations. Some of the new flavors and combinations failed, but some have been successful. Here below is my interview with her:
W.: What made you start your blog? And what made you start cooking and sharing your recipes on your blog?
Nisha: I started cooking out of necessity when I was working. We had an amazing cook who left and we couldn’t find any decent replacement. I started cooking out of need. I knew how to make a few regular Indian dishes and I started with those and everybody seemed to like them. My actual food journey and experiments began when I got married and got a full-fledged kitchen of my own. Now, I would try different things to test what worked and what didn’t.
My friends and family started loving my recipes and would ask me for those. Also, If I made something once, I wouldn’t remember the recipe after a few months. So I decided to create this blog as a journal of sorts where I would pen down some of the recipes that people loved the most. Since it was purely for me, I started it in 2015 I lost the motivation and didn’t write more than 2 recipes. It wasn’t until 2017, that I hunted down the credentials and started looking at my blog and started taking it seriously since 2019. It was again due to the motivation of some close friends. I haven’t looked back since I have slowly and steadily created Masalamojo which is a treasure of some 200 recipes (and growing) that I truly love.
W.: When you started sharing your food journey, you were a little skeptical at first? Why is that? And what made you more confident throughout your food journey?
Nisha: I was very skeptical. Initially, all my recipes were only for me. But then people started asking me for recipes and I started sharing links of my blog. I was super scared and had questions like what if they couldn’t recreate the recipe like me, will I be considered a fraud? What if the details aren’t correct? I would question myself all the time. Also, I am a very hands-on cook, I usually don’t measure things to the T while cooking. Writing recipes and sharing them with others needed a lot of patience and measurements/procedures from my end, which I found very difficult to follow initially.
What made me confident was the fact that the hard work paid off. People have started creating my recipes and loving them. They showed confidence in me which in turn made me more confident. My biggest source of confidence is my husband, who has been exposed to a lot of experiments from me which don’t all turn successful, mind you. He has been encouraging me all along and is my biggest cheerleader. My mom is my biggest inspiration and she is an exceptional cook too.
W.: Tell us some of your signature dishes, as well as the taste of the dishes.
Nisha: One of my most loved recipes is Appe/Paniyaram recipe, which is incidentally also the first recipe on my blog which I posted in 2015. People have been most fond of my pickles and chutneys and hence my South Indian style Peanut Chutney, Stuffed Mirchi Achar and Instant Awla/Gooseberry Pickle recipes have been the most liked recipes.
Some of her Appe/Paniyaram dishes, including Peanut-Coriander Chutney and Semolina (Rava) Appe
Other than that, some of my signature recipes are my recipes with a twist. I love adding my own signature to a lot of classics and they turn out to be lovely. Some of my most loved recipes are my Masala Chai Madeleines, Lemon – Pistachio Kalakand and Garwahli Kulthi/Horsegram soup.
Masala Chai Madeleines
W.: What are some of the takeaways you hope the readers will fell/achieve after reading your blog/cooking your dishes.
Nisha: If I could inspire people to realize how easy it is to cook healthy food at home, it would be my biggest achievement. Masalamojo is a story of ‘My experiments with food’ which I have picked up from my friends or while traveling and trying new things. I try to make things healthier and create quick and easy versions of the recipes. My biggest happiness comes from the fact that people try out my recipes and find them easy to follow. A lot of people get inspired to try the recipes because of their uniqueness or just by the simple fact that a few steps can lead to creating a simple yet amazing. This is my key takeaway. Upon receiving requests, I have recently added sections for party food, food for diabetics, gluten-free recipes onto my blog. They are still work in progress but I feel happy to be able to cater to people’s special needs.
W.: What are your goals in the future?
Nisha: My goals for the future are making my food available to people. I have received a lot of requests in the past but I have never ventured out because of my own inertia and fear of failure. I would love to see myself overcoming that soon. Additionally, my blog is far from perfect and I would like to reach a place where I am able to document everything that I create at home and make it easier for people to follow them.
W.: Any final comments/thoughts for our readers?
Nisha: My final thoughts are that cooking is fun and easy. Don’t be overwhelmed, a little effort from our end would take us a long way in being healthy. Our eating habits have become really bad over time due to convenience and lack of time, but if we paid a little attention and modified our habits a little bit, we could be healthy and fit for a long time. Cooking is an art and science and is so simple and rewarding. I would love for you to give Masalamojo a try and assist you in your cooking journey.
We thank Nisha for answering these questions and to accept this interview with us. Find all her recipes on her website: https://masala-mojo.com/
You can also find her on her Instagram account, where she posts a lot of pictures of fascinating dishes: https://www.instagram.com/masalamojo/
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