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Via blogs: arrival of online recipes

Cook books still exist but good photographs and exceptional cooking skills are taking online food to the next level, writes Ruchira Hoon.

india Updated: May 30, 2009 23:03 IST
Ruchira Hoon

Forget about rummaging through your great grandmother’s legacy to find that nostalgic recipe of nariyal ki burfi. Or even sifting through myriad cookbooks to locate the perfect butter chicken. The best, tried and tested recipes are only a click away.

Food blogging has finally come of age in India. It’s no longer just a bunch of recipes together, now it’s all about attractive photographs, exceptional cooking skills and recipes that are not only passed down from generations but also made out of trial and error.

Delhi-based food blogger Sid Khullar believes that the reason for this change is that expectations have also changed. “People from several different strata’s are accessing the Internet, that means it take more effort to lure them to our blogs now,” says this 32-year software professional whose blog Chef at Large draws over 14,000 visitors a month. “Which is why I strongly believe that the visual appeal has to be met to draw traffic to your blog.”

That apart, Indians are now finally realising the potential of food blogging, an industry that has already boomed in the west. Aparna Balasubramanian of My diverse kitchen stumbled upon food blogs only a year and a half ago. Based out of Goa, she was awed by the versatility that the world of food had to offer. “I began blogging only after I discovered food blogs. Initially the attempts were rather small — today I photograph the steps while I cook the recipes as well.” Today, she is baking Greek bread, pitas and even ciabattas. Something she would have not have experimented with otherwise.

While most Indian food bloggers are based out of the US, there are about 30 per cent out of that lot, who live in India. And now earning money too has become a challenge for several bloggers. US-based Food blogger Menaka Ramesh says that Indians are finally realising that they can monetise their blog by letting advertisements in and challenges that are hooked with various cookery shows or food brands.

And this isn’t the only way to earn money or post or search for the recipe of your choice. Website www.ifood.tv, which calls itself the youtube of food, provides a great platform for those who love their food. “We provide video recipes that show step by step cooking and have text recipes, blogs, feedback etc,” says Vikrant Mathur, one of the founders of the website. “We even cross reference ingredients and steps, just incase people from across the world don’t understand what they mean.”

With over 22 million hits a month, ifood.tv focuses on the fact that people eat through their eyes when online. “Which is why good food photographs matter so much.”