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Local food blogs going hi-tech

india Updated: May 20, 2012 14:09 IST
Bhairavi Jhaveri
Bhairavi Jhaveri
Hindustan Times
Food

It needs to be quick, seemingly simple and urban,” says food blog reader and blogger, Salonee Gadgil, 24, referring to recipes posted on local food blogs.



This amateur cook only experiments with recipes from blogs that offer something appealing — photographs, illustrations or videos — and make her want to step into the kitchen. “For instance, when I watched the video recipe for Orange Panna Cotta on Myjhola.in, I knew I had to try it out. I loved the no-frills, no-talking format of the video,” she says.



Saee Koranne, who is behind the popular blog Myjhola.in, launched video recipes and a YouTube channel for these videos


just few months ago. She is already enjoying 41,000-plus views.



Shruti Kulkarni, 26, a freelance editor of scientific research papers, now experiments in the kitchen thanks to Koranne’s video recipes.



“I have been following the blog for two years, but it’s only recently that I decided to experiment with the recipes. The videos made cooking seem simple,” she says.



Koranne is not the only food blogger in the city to have introduced a new, technologically-advanced and creative


element to her blog. Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal of the food blog a-perfect-bite.blogspot.in, was one of the first in Mumbai to introduce illustrative recipes. Another food blogger, Nikhil Merchant of Nonchalant gourmand.com recently introduced an app for his blog for all smartphones, so you can read it on the move.



“You have to engage the reader and find a way to tell your story. Since I didn’t have professionally shot photographs, I decided


to do illustrations,” says Munshaw, a qualified animator who uses the stylus on her Samsung Galaxy Note to create


illustrative recipes. Munshaw introduced the #365PerfectFoodles project in April, where she posts one recipe doodle


(foodle) a day. These include four-five ingredients and two-three steps.



“These doodles are very attractive; in fact they would be perfect as an app on the phone. They have got me to experiment with


simple salads and juices,” says Gadgil.



Engaging the reader through slick presentation has become top priority for bloggers today. “I want to know what the dough looks like after a certain point; I want to know if I have got the consistency right. I am just a hobby cook,” says Haem Roy, 25, conceptualiser at a radio station, who regularly follows Purplefoodie.com.



Merchant of nonchanlantgourmand.com, whose blog has photographs and innovative recipes, still felt the challenge of retaining readers. So he launched an app for his blog that makes his content accessible even when on the move. Now traffic on his blog has shot up by 40 per cent and he has received approximately 16,500 views. “It’s very simple; you need to be there when they need you,” says Merchant.



That’s how it works for Goa-based Vanessa Fernandes, a follower of Merchant’s blog, after installing the app on her iPhone. “The other day we were at a relative’s house, and we were going to order in. But since I had the app on my phone, we quickly whipped something up using Nikhil’s recipe,” says Fernandes. The 26-year-old school teacher has started experimenting with her dinner menu since she downloaded the app. “It’s so convenient; I can just carry the phone to the kitchen and refer to it step by step. I don’t have to worry about print outs now,” she says.



From blogs to apps


The Indian consumer may be just warming up to the world of apps, but Aneesh Bhasin, 26 and Shiladitya Mukhopadhyaya, 27, who have launched the Indian Wine List app for the iPhone, are convinced it is the way forward.



“We considered a blog first, but we realised an app will be more like a handy guide while you are dining out,” says Aneesh Bhasin, blogger, photographer and wine aficionado. With categories that offer food and wine pairing, a wine catalogue and monthly


selections of food and wine pairings from specific restaurants, it made sense that you can access this information when you go out.


“Bloggers have been early adopters and influencers of technology. Many influential bloggers globally have turned professional, either by turning authors or consultants, or behaving like a media platform, so it’s not surprising that we are seeing the same trend in India,” says Gaurav Mishra, director, digital and social media, MSL Group Asia.



Tech on a plate


Myjhola.in launched video recipes a few months ago. The most popular video is a regional recipe video for Undhiyu with 14,700+ views since it was uploaded in Jan 2012.


A-perfect-bite.blogspot.in launched illustrative recipes using the Samsung Galaxy


Note (SMemo) in the last week of April.


Nonchalantgourmand.com launched an app for his blog for smartphones four months ago.


The Indian Wine List app for iPhone users is India’s first wine app and a one-stop place for all about Indian wines. It has also been launched for Android users now.