Shital Kakad (51) has been blogging for the last seven years and has an itch to do more. She says, “I discovered blogging as a medium quite late in my life. It began as a hobby but has now turned into turned into a blessed profession.” Today, her blog has 25.2k follower. Here, she gives a glimpse of life as a food blogger.
» What inspired you to write a food blog?
A friend of mine casually mentioned about food blogs and my hubby encouraged me. I was always interested in food-related information. My obsession with food kick-started my passion to record the food that we all love, spread my love for cooking with like-minded people. I like to share my thoughts in an organised way.
I used to make food for family and friends often and it snowballed and I started getting more inquiries. Once I started getting a good response, I launched Shital’s Food Cottage and my website www.shitalkakad.com.
» What is your culinary expertise?
Traditional Indian cuisine with emphasis on Gujarati food that I have learnt from my husband and my family. Street food including chaats, vegetarian international fare as well as egg free cakes and bakes.
» Can you elaborate on the range of your blog?
My blog is pretty extensive and is about Indian and global vegetarian, egg-free food. You will find traditional Indian recipes, Gujarati meals, bakes, snacks, recipes for mocktails, Italian, Mexican, and Asian dishes.
» The pandemic has thrown a curveball in everyone’s life. How did you cope with it?
I have a food studio at Juhu, Mumbai, which has been shut down since the first lockdown. We have not been able to conduct any events and that has been the biggest disappointment. But food orders are steadily coming in, and I am grateful for the love people have showered on my food. I also launched an e-magazine, Chai Shai Aur Baatein, during the pandemic to continue our conversations around food and lifestyle.
» What has been your most successful post?
Whole wheat Kulcha, Eggless Walnut Date bread, Gujarati Methi Pak have been the leaders.
» Describe your writing process, from concept to publishing.
I make a list of festivals that are coming up and jot down recipes that I need to work on. It starts with the making of the dish first, followed by making it presentable for a photoshoot and then comes the writing part. In between festivals, I write about kitchen experiments, so that my readers have a lot of variety on the blog.
» How do you attract new readers?
I do my job sincerely and ensure I post regularly. My followers have grown organically; I am genuine and true in all my interactions with my readers. An honest blog will always reflect your passion.
» What would you do to improve your current content?
I would like to structure my blog better and post more recipes from different parts of the world. Due to the bi-monthly publication of my e-magazine, I haven’t been able to post as many recipes I would like to but on the other hand the magazine has been getting a sizeable viewership and excellent recognition.
» What is the age group you are targeting?
Sixteen above. In this Covid era, food is the next “big thing”.
Gulab Dudhi Kheer
1. 1 litre milk (approximately 4 cups)
2. 1/2 cup sugar
4. 1 cup dudhi (bottle gourd) grated
6. 2 tbsp gulkand or edible rose petals
8. Few stands of saffron (optional)
10. Almonds or pistachios for garnish
1. Boil the milk
2. Add the sugar, bottle gourd, saffron and boil on a medium flame for about 10 minutes till the bottle gourd has cooked very well
4. Allow to cool
6. Add the gulkand or fresh edible rose petals
7. Keep in the refrigerator to chill
Have it as dessert when you are fasting. It’s a healthy and delicious kheer.
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