Divya Pramil -Patience is what strikes to my mind when I hear this name in blogging world..This lady is super energetic and boss for an event called South vs North Challenge ..which is a lovely group of great bloggers all over India..I should seriously talk about her patience in any work she does.Be it posting a recipe or a round-up or conducting an event..you can see that patience and dedication..visit her blog You too can cook for yummy food and super clicks but make sure to come back to enjoy a little chat with her and a special sambar..
Siri: When did you start blogging and what made you to start it?
Divya : I started blogging on March 2012, my blog is 7 months old. I started a blog earlier that had relationship related advices and help which I deleted before starting my recipe blog. I had it just for 3 months and felt that I was too young to advice about relationships. Later I found out that cooking was my best and some of my friends would always ask me for recipes, so I felt my recipes were wanted and so opted to blog about them. It also helps me in making a collection of my own recipes so I keep posting. And also I update only my best recipes.
Siri : Tell us about you and how you manage your time to blog?
Divya:I give much time to cooking and blogging because it seems to be my friend, passion and stress buster. My hubby goes out to work and my blog keeps me busy. So there is no time limit, I hang out more with my laptop than my hubby.
Siri : Whats your favourite cuisine
Divya: Any cuisine with chicken as its main ingredient J I love chicken..
Siri : Share some tips to reduce the cooking time
Divya: Use a pressure cooker, plan what you are going to cook, try to adjust your cooking with the ingredients you have at hand, never risk trying a new recipe in large quantities, always plan what you are going to cook the next day. But I really hate short cut methods for cooking and refrigerating chopped veggies; I love to make them fresh and healthy even if its time consuming..
Siri : What type of camera you use and share some tips on food photography..Btw your pictures are very nice and especially the backgrounds..
Divya : Thank you Sirisha for all the appreciations. I used a Sony point and shoot camera until September 2012, and got my Canon Dslr on October 1, it was a gift from my hubby. When comparing both the cameras I found out I got more appreciations for pics shot with both of them. I would say camera is just tool it all depends on your creativity and patience. I even took bad pics with the same sony camera earlier. Like you can use a pencil to scribble and draw a beautiful picture. For backgrounds I take more effort I use anything that looks good as backgrounds for example, I even use a normal cement ground, my handbags, trees, wood and anything attractive and contrasting as backgrounds. Just try clicking with different backgrounds and you will get superb ideas of your own. I really loved my sony it was compact easy to handle, weightless and gave super clarity pics am still working on my dslr trying to take good pics.
Siri : Share some tips on making the blog more readable..
Divya :Am still not an expert when coming to blogging am just a newbie but I have learnt something all this way long. Update update and keep updating your blog and make it user friendly by sharing tips, and give a well described preparation method. Read your post or recipe and see it like a non-blogger would see it and clarify the doubts they might have. Explain the recipe for a beginner; don’t use tough English and difficult terms. Explain like you would explain to a child. Don’t think everyone knows everything so all I say is give more importance to the explanation part and Introduction.
Siri : How is my blog useful and give me one tip on how can I improve it.
Divya:I feel you are already doing an awesome job dear so nothing to advice about. And whatever it is do what you feel is comfortable and satisfying to you and your readers. Some may like a white template and some may like a colourful one it all depends on their taste so just do your best; my advice may be annoying to others or it might not suit their taste because everyone are so unique and best in what they do and your blog is also unique in its own way so, I really love your blog. J
Siri : Your blog looks amazing and especially the pics are my favourites and the steps you mention..Do you mind if I give you a small suggestion?
Divya: Thanks dear! Yeah my pleasure would love to hear suggestions. J
Siri : Please do not post such yummy clicks am getting jealous on you 😛 you have a wonderful space and no comments on it !!
Off to Divya for tasty yummy sambar..
Vendakkai Sambar – No Tomatoes, No Tamarind
First of all I would like to thank lovely Siri for giving me this wonderful opportunity. Thanks dear!!
Sambar is a very famous gravy lentil vegetable stew or lentils curry of Southern India. It is a very authentic recipe and made with vegetables. Okra, carrots, radish, beans, brinjals or eggplants, drumsticks, etc are some of the veggies used in sambar preparation, either all of them are added or any single vegetable is used. Today am going to discuss about a very simple Vendakkai or okra sambar using a pressure cooker. Using a pressure cooker saves time and also makes cooking easier, so you can either try this method or use a normal pan or wok to prepare this sambar, the only difference is the time taken for preparation. I haven’t added tamarind or tomatoes yet it tastes so good. Now lets see whats required and how to prepare this okra sambar.
1. Okra / Vendakkai / Lady’s finger – 200 grams
2. Big Onion – 1
3. Coriander leaves – A handful
4. Curry leaves – Few
5. Toor dal / Split pigeon peas – 150 grams
6. Sambar powder – 2 spoons (10 grams)
7. Red chilli powder – 1 spoon (5 grams)
8. Turmeric powder – ¼ spoon
9. Cumin seeds – 1 spoon (4 grams)
10. Asafoetida / Hing – 3 pinches
11. Sugar / Powdered jiggery (Vellam) – 5 pinches
12. Salt – As per taste
13. Water – 600 ml
14. Oil – 2 spoons
· Take a pressure cooker add dal, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric powder, salt and 300 ml of water (or pour water until the dal gets immersed well). Close the lid and pressure cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes on low flame.
· Meanwhile wash and chop okra into 1 inch long pieces and slice onions.
· Heat a pan and add 2 spoons of oil, after it heats up add mustard and wait until it splutters. Then add curry leaves sauté for a few seconds.
· Now add the chopped okra and sauté well.
· Then add sliced onions and sauté well until it turns translucent. Add the coriander leaves then and sauté for a few seconds.
· Add red chilli powder, sambar powder, salt, turmeric powder and sauté well.
· Cook and sauté occasionally on a low flame for about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from flame and set aside.
· Now after 10 minutes remove the pressure cooker from flame open the pressure cooker after pressure releases and mash the cooked dal well.
· Now to this dal mixture add the sautéed okra, sugar/jaggery and mix well. Add 300 ml of water
· Close the pressure cooker and place on flame. Wait until the steam/ pressure oozes out of lid’s nozzle and place the weight.
· Cook for 5 minutes and remove from flame. Open only after all the pressure releases on its own.
TIP 1: Instead of big onions you can also use shallots (pearl onions)
TIP 2: You can also add one tomato while sautéing to give a mild tangy taste.
TIP 3: You can add tamarind if you wish. Add 5 grams of tamarind to 50 ml warm water mix well extract juice and discard pulp. Add this to dal while adding the cooked vegetables.
Delicious Vendakkai Sambar is now ready serve with rice, some vegetable stir fry (poriyal) and papads!
Siri is a full time IT professional interested in cooking,travelling and photography .She believes in eating freshly cooked meals that are simple and easy to prepare.She aims to present such simple recipes with detailed instructions for you! Thanks for visiting!