Lawyer by education to Food and Travel Blogging. The unique journey of Devashree Sanghvi!

  1. Hi Devashree, welcome to the interview session of Anamitra’s Blog. To start with, we would request you to tell us a few lines about yourself.
    Hey! My name is Devashree Sanghvi. I am the founder of Thecrazyindianfoodie a popular, award winning Travel and Food blog based in Mumbai with over 300K followers across social media and a website. We write about and post about restaurants, street food, hotels, destinations, events, recipes and more.

2. When and why did you start blogging?
I’m actually a lawyer by qualification and I started Thecrazyindianfoodie as a website way back in 2014 as a recipe based website. I love cooking, eating out, exploring new places and was pretty active on channels like Zomato. I started my social media pages in July 2015 out of a sheer passion for Food. I started making more and more efforts on my content and my page grew rapidly.

3. Did you ever think you would be successful when you started with Blogging and
Instagram?
No never in my wildest dream did I imagine I’ll be where I am today. Influencer
marketing was just starting to catch up in those days and there were very few bloggers in the industry. I never even imagined making this my full time career at that time.

4. Please tell us more about your cooking and blogging schedules. How do you plan your posts?
I make sure I post twice a day without fail. Content can vary and sometimes it’s a last moment decision on what I want to post. However a lot of times depending on the campaigns we are doing and how the response is to recent posts we plan it out weeks in advance. I make sure I’m shooting and editing at least two videos a week whether they are travel or recipe or street food.

5. What are the biggest challenges you face as a food blogger? Tell us about how you overcome them?
One of the major challenges is the increasing competition and the struggle to maintain good, high quality unique content that gets a large number of engagement. We strive to bring better content to our audience everyday. Content is king.

6. How much does website traffic matter to you? What do you do to ensure that people visit and revisit your page?
Having a good and strong website is extremely essential. It also shows brands that you’re serious about your job, and adds value to your profile too. Plus it’s the only platform that’s truly yours compared to social media that can change algorithms anytime. Make sure you post good and regular content and also cross promote it on your social media.

7. Your blog is an interesting mix of food, travel, lifestyle, and recipes. What gave rise to
this combination?
Food and Travel both go wonderfully together and are my two major passions. Every place has a unique cuisine and culture and that’s reflected in my posts. I always make sure I add a personal touch to my posts and that’s where the lifestyle bit comes in. Recipes was and always will be a way of showing my audience how to make those dishes I taste all around the world.

8. In a world full of food bloggers, what sets Thecrazyindianfoodie apart?
Our unique and engaging content. You can find everything from street food to luxury hotels to destination videos to simple home cooking recipes there. There’s something in it for everyone. Also Thecrazyindianfoodie isn’t just another page, it’s the connection I have with my audience by always giving my personal touch to my posts and stories. After so many years people trust and respect our recommendations.

9. Narrate some of your success stories.

The fact that I get to travel to beautiful destinations, try different cuisines and meet amazing people everyday makes me feel lucky all the time. I have had amazing opportunities like giving a Josh talk on my journey and being able to inspire others to pursue their dreams.I was part of an international Travel Bloggers Conference where I won a Sri Lankan Airlines award for Travel and Food photography which made me one of the world’s 30 most influential travel bloggers. Winning a global award was a dream come true. I have also been featured in various International and national publications like Ceylon Today, Andros Now (Greek website), The Hindu, Sakal Times, etc.

10. Your advice to those who want to start a food blog?

Post regularly. Generate unique and engaging content and have patience. Don’t start if you only want to do a business out of it. You can do it and be successful only if you have a pure and natural passion for food. The benefits come years later.

Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/thecrazyindianfoodie/

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/thecrazyindianfoodie/

 

 

From being a corporate HR to Baking The unique story of Samantha Lazaro The founder of Sweet Affair

  1. Hi Samantha, Welcome to the interview session of Anamitra’s Blog. To start with, we would request you to tell us a few lines about yourself.

My name is Samantha Lazaro. I come with around 20yrs of corporate experience with HR expertise. I found my hidden passion when I was trying to bake a mug cake and it has been a pleasant journey to where I have reached today.

2. How did you get started with baking? At what age did you bake your first cake?

For someone who had not entered the kitchen in 35 years A Baker is surely not what I ever envisioned myself as. At one point of time when I was trying to find a way to keep my mind occupied after I lost my mother I came across a mug cake recipe. Considering I had a basic microwave at home I decided to give it a shot, the satisfaction of it rising into a perfect little sweet treat was unbelievable. There has been no looking back after that.

3. How did you learn baking?

Most of my learning was online and through Facebook. While I started taking small orders, my appetite for this baking bug was not satisfied! With the support of my husband I decided to take the plunge quit my corporate job, completed a Diploma in Bakery & Patisserie at Bangalore affiliated to City & Guilds, London in flying colors. While the course did add value to understand the science behind baking, my learning has been and continues to be through social media mediums such as Facebook and training videos.

4. When did you decide to become a professional baker and start your baking business? What was the inspiration behind the decision?

Baking is an addiction it’s like breathing life into food. I haven’t been able to think of anything else other than baking from when I started. My husband was the driving force behind this huge plunge to follow my dream and my mother was the inspiration. She had a massive sweet tooth but was restricted because of health reasons. I am inspired every day to create a dessert that can caters irrespective of food restrictions/preferences.

5. Please tell us about your baking company Sweet Affair.

Food is an integral part of the Indian culture ~ food is celebration, food creates communities,  food is comfort in time of an unpleasant event and most importantly food is personal. And thus the name came to be because Sweet Affair is an affair between you and your taste buds!!
Another aspect of Sweet Affair is it’s aim provide desserts, irrespective of a person’s restrictions/preferences (eg: vegan, gluten free, keto etc.)

6. What are some of the challenging cake ideas that you performed till date?

Each cake comes with it’s own highs and challenge. However, a 5 tier wedding cake that I made last year would be one of my challenging yet exciting cakes to put together.

7. What are some of the signature products of your company? Which one is your personal favorite?

Banana Walnut Tea Cake, Brownies and Chocolate Truffle Cake would be my signature desserts and most selling too! I am a coffee lover and any coffee flavored cake/dessert would be among my favorites.

8. Being a baker, you must have had to overcome challenges. Please tell us about them.

Transportation of cakes continues to be a challenge. I am still working my way around them.

9. Narrate some of your success stories.

For someone who never entered the kitchen for 35 years, every cake that leaves my kitchen is nothing short of a success story.

10. What plans do you have to scale your business operations ?

My primary focus would be to increase customer base and focus further on customization.

11. Your advice to those who wish to take up baking as a profession?

Firstly and more importantly, if you moved from a corporate job, get used to not receiving a monthly salary. Secondly and most importantly, keep practicing its the only thing going to take you places.

12. If you have had one wish ?

I am already living my dream so all wishes have been fulfilled.

Facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/thesweetaffairshop/

Instagram Link: http://www.instagram.com/thesweetaffairshop

Raksha Bandhan Dessert Recipes from Toshin Patisserie, The Ritz Carlton Bangalore, TYGR & KODE!

Recipe- Beyond the ozone

By Toshin Shetty, Chocolatiet & Patisier

Vanilla Sponge

195 g all purpose flour


30 g cornstarch


1⁄4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda


200 g granulated sugar


1⁄2 cup melted unsalted butter

250 ml thick buttermilk


1 tsp. vanilla essence.

For mango cream cheese layer

  • 75 gms mango pulp
  • 300 gms mascarpone cream cheese
  • 125 gms  35% whipping cream 
  • 5 gms agar agar flakes soaked in 1/2 cup water

For Mango Pulp.

Cut fresh 6 alphanso mangoes

100gms Sugar (for 1 kg Puree)

For  mangoFilling.

50 gms mango pulp

50 gms chopped mango

Yellow chocolate spray

20 g white chocolate

20 g cocoa butter

1 g yellow food color

Method


Vanilla Sponge

Pre heat oven to 190 ° C. 


Sieve all dry ingredients in one bowl. Give it a quick mix. 


Mix all wet ingredients in another bowl. 


Now pour wet ingredients to dry ones and whip it until no lumps, do not 
over mix. 


Spread onto baking tray and baked at 190 ° C for 10-15 min. Once cool cut it, according to size of the mould.

Mango Cheesecake

  • Heat 25 Gms of whipping cream and add agaragar.
  • Fold the mascarpone cheese and mango pulp
  • Fold the mascarpone cream cheese and the heated whipping cream agar agar mix.
  • Whip 100gms of whipping cream,
  • Fold the Whip cream with mango cream cheese mix.

Assembly (fromtop to bottom) 


  • Pipe in the Mango cheesecake in half way and set it in refrigerator.
  • Spoon the mango filling in between of the cheese cake mix which is half set.
  • Pipe the Mango cheesecake till the top; lay the vanilla sponge at the Top. and set it in the freezer till it is rock hard.
  • Demould it and spray the yellow chocolate spray on top and place a desired chocolate garnish.

Dish Name – Cream Paris Brest

Paris–Brest is a French dessert, made of choux pastry and a praline flavored cream.

Ingredients:

Praline paste

  • 75 g whole roasted hazelnut
  • 75 g whole roasted almond
  • 100 g sugar
  • 30 g water
  • Pinch of salt

Choux pastry

  • 125 g flour
  • 200g milk
  • 10 g sugar
  • 2 g salt
  • 80 g butter
  • 4 whole eggs

Praline mousseline cream

  • 480 g milk
  • 4 egg yolk
  • 70 g sugar
  • 20 g flour
  • 30 g starch
  • 15 g butter
  • 200 g praline paste
  • 150 g butter room temp

Method:

  • To make the choux pastry, preheat oven to 340 degrees. In a saucepan add milk, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, and then remove from heat. Add the flour and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon. Return the pan to the heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat and let it cool for 2 minutes.
  • Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the pastry mix and whisk until smooth. Mixture should hold its shape when a finger is run through it. Transfer this into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip. Pipe 6 large balls inside each donut ring, making sure they meet up fully in a circle. Brush the tops with egg wash, and then bake for 25 minutes. Brush each pastry ring with egg wash again, and then sprinkle with almonds. Bake for another 5 minutes, and then place on a wire rack to cool.
  • To make the praline: Finely slice the hazelnuts and toast them for 5 minutes in a saucepan, then allow this to cool. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • In a saucepan, add the sugar and water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a fast boil, keeping watch over it until it turns a dark amber color. Remove from heat and stir in the toasted nuts, then pour onto the parchment paper and allow cooling. Once cooled, blitz half of the praline to a fine powder in a spice grinder or food processor. Chop the remaining praline into small pieces and set aside.
  • To assemble: When the pastry is cool, cut each one into two pieces by slicing horizontally through the middle. Whip the cream to soft peaks then fold in the ground praline. Whip the cream again slightly, if needed, to bring it to a firm piping consistency, and transfer it into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe rosettes of cream all around the bottom half of the pastry, and then add a sprinkling of chopped pralines before adding the lid. Top with sliced almonds, dust with powdered sugar and serve.

About The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore:

The first Ritz Carlton hotel in India, the Ritz –Carlton, Bangalore is situated in the central business district providing expansive city views featuring 277 luxurious guest rooms and suites, 6 contemporary food and beverage venues, city’s only luxury roof top bar, unmatched and dedicated wellness floor, exceptional meeting rooms for large and medium sized events coupled with the legendary Ritz-Carlton personalized service. To learn more, please visit www.ritzcarlton/bangalore

Chocolate Fudge

TYGR: Chef Sahil Singh

Dish: Chocolate Fudge

Following is the recipe for 10 portions of Chocolate Fudge from TYGR.

Ingredient

  1. Dark Chocolate 700 g
  2. Cream 500 g
  3. Thyme 5 g
  4. Gelatin 8 g

Method

  1. Melt Chocolate on a double boil.
  2. Heat cream in a pan.
  3. Add melted Dark Chocolate
  4. Add thyme sprigs  
  5. Bloom Gelatin separately in hot water
  6. Take cream off heat and add gelatin.
  7. Pour into mould and allow to set in the refrigerator.


Fake Scramble Egg

KODE- Chef Momin Faqi

·       Base – Brioche bun half – fried in butter
·       Fake Egg white – white chocolate ganache
– Fake egg yolk –
·       Mango fruit purée (tin) + gulco (strong calcium)
·       Drop in sodium alginate bath (ratio – 1 ltr water + 7 gm sodium alginate)
– Ice cream batch –
·       4 ltr vanilla ice cream
·       1 ltr heavy cream
·       350 ml peach syrup
Dry ice shaving –
For assembly
·       Place brioche bread on a plate
·       Pour white chocolate ganache
·       Place mango sphere
·       Pour ice cream mix from an empty egg shell in a bowl then gradually add dry ice shaving to freeze the ice cream mix
·       Plate the ice cream around the fake fried egg

Monsoon Guide by W and Aurelia!

Monsoon never fails to surprise us and its unpredictable nature probably makes us fall in love with the season each time.

With the beginning of monsoon, we are happily willing to bid goodbye to the scorching heat; keep the trend going when it comes to your fashion statements. This monsoon stay fashionable, choose from various styles and colors from the house of W & Aurelia.

Description

Blue round neck kurta with printed detail and mock placket on the front. Team it up white tights and ring-toed flats for a gorgeous look.

Brand and Price: Aurelia INR: 1499

Yellow round neck kurta with printed and tie-up detail on the front. Flaunt it with black pants and danglers for a chic look.

Brand and Price: Aurelia INR:1999/-

Blue round neck flared sleeve kurta with floral print detail. Up your style quotient by flaunting it with heels and danglers

Brand and Price: W INR: 2499/-

Black mandarin neck kurta with all-over printed detail. Pair it with black churidar and dupatta for that flawless look

Brand and Price: W INR:3999/-

Pink round neck flared kurta with floral print detail. This dress is perfect to flaunt with heels and danglers

Brand and Price: W INR: 2799/-

RC Bafna’s exquisite collection for special monsoon occasions!

RC Bafna Jewellers, one of the largest jewellery houses with a legacy of over four decades is known for its timeless craftsmanship, unique designs and exceptional product quality. This Monsoon, RC Bafna’s classic designs from across its collections embody the poetry, romance and elements the season stands for.

The rains in India are a perfect setting for breezy monsoon weddings, much-awaited proposals and ‘I Said Yes’ moments amidst the showers. Add that to the slew of festivals and family functions and you have every reason in the world for jewellery which is an expression of the season is memorable and adds to the beauty of the moment.

R. C Bafna’s creations feature striking colors like lush green, shades of blue and floral accents in diamonds and gemstones to spruce up each creation. The jewels are also intricately crafted based on nature inspired motifs including leaves, blooming flowers and the ever graceful-peacock.  Droplet designs and swirls depicting gusty winds are an excellent fit for the dreamy season and can be worn across attires right from traditional to contemporary wear. An array of designs is crafted out of purest of gold, finest diamonds and precious stones.


Mr. Sidharth Bafna, Director at RC Bafna Jewellers commented, “We always strive to offer creative jewellery designs that will appeal to our customers in every season and occasion.  Blending traditionalism with contemporary designs we are happy to present customers with designs fit for the monsoon and all the heartwarming occasions of the season.’’

RC Bafna has been able to carve its way and establish trust among the customers for generations.

About RC Bafna Jewellers:

RC Bafna is one of the most Trusted Jewellery brands in India. The wide array of choice combined with customer-first services, such as customization, jewellery cleaning & polishing and the karat meters makes every RC Bafna showroom one stop shopping destination for fine jewellery.

From being a Software Engineer to Baking the unique tale of Cook with Archi by Archita!

Hi Archita, welcome to the interview session of Anamitra’s Blog. To start with, we would request you to tell us a few lines about yourself.

I am Archita born & brought up in a small town of UttarPradesh. I am an electronics engineer by education, worked as a software engineer for quite some time before turning into a full-time baker.

How did you get started with baking? At what age did you bake your first cake?

I was always fascinated with the baking stuff. One of the main reasons is no one in our family or even relatives know anything about baking.

It was during my second year holidays of engineering studies, I had tried my first cake when I was 19. There is this friend of mine in college who used to bring few tea-time cakes after every vacation. So I got the recipe from her mom since I love her bakes it was a very basic vanilla cake recipe.

How was your first baking experience?

I tried the vanilla cake recipe shared by my friend’s mom. The cake rose nicely but sinked as soon as it was out of oven. When I tried to bake it again for some more time so that the center gets cooked, the cake got burnt on the sides.

How did you learn baking?

I tried few recipes from internet afterwards only to realize that my baking basics are all wrong. So after my elder son was born & during my maternity break from office, I attended my first ever baking class. I was in Pune during that time & it was a one day class with few basic recipes. I just fell in love with baking that very day. After that it was mostly practice at home for a long time & a few more advanced level classes later in Hyderabad.

When did you decide to become a professional baker and start your baking business? What was the inspiration behind the decision?

‘CookWithArchi’ (CWA) was founded with an intention to share the recipes related to both cooking & baking in a very detailed fashion. However, the blogging went on hold after my younger son was born. It was during this time that baking took a lead around 2016 & since then there was no looking back. The only inspiration behind this decision was my passion & love for this art. I am blessed to convert my passion into my profession.

Please tell us about your baking company Cook with Archi?

After baking for years, I had realized that in India very limited flavors of cakes are readily available. The knowledge of baked products is very little and there is this whole range of cakes both frosting ,non-frosting and healthy bakes which is completely unexplored. We at CWA focus a lot on this part of baking.

What are some of the challenging cake ideas that you have performed till date?

A Unicorn cake wherein each sponge layer has 3 different colors, frosted with three different color butter cream, has golden drip & last but not the least topped with assorted color macarons.

A whopping 2 tier – 5kg – all whipped cream – naked blackforest cake; all made from scratch without any prior knowledge of tier cakes.

What are some of the signature products of your company? Which one is your personal favourite?

I will tell you one in each category because we really have a big menu. Caramel cake under icing cakes, Fudgy brownies under brownies, Orange pound cake under non-icing cakes & Polenta budino with Plum Marmellata under dessert section. Each of these is different from another & my favourite but yes fudgy brownies anytime please .

Being a baker, you must have had to overcome challenges. Please tell us about them.

Having worked as a software professional for a long time to running my own business now, challenges are in every field. And I very strongly believe each challenge make you come out stronger & bolder.

The main challenge that I have faced initially as a home baker for most of my orders is the costing of the cakes & similar baked stuff. To overcome this I have started educating my clients on the reasons. I made sure to cover this topic at the end of my each workshop. Not just that, I have started writing detailed posts on my social media platforms so that the followers can relate & understand. It took me quite sometime though, but now I have a list of clients who order from CWA every time to celebrate any of their special days/ occasions.

Narrate some of your success stories.

I have always believed that ‘Success is a Journey & not a Destination’. With each achieved goal we set another goal, with each failure we acquire some skill & learn some lessons which we use further for our next goal.

What plans do you have to scale your business operations?

Currently my both hands are full with work. Raising two young kids & a full-time baking business is a lot of work and I really don’t want to compromise on any part of each one’s growth.

Having said that my final aim is to open a chain of nice picturesque baking studios across country where everything related to baking would be available. Starting with a workshop area, a baking products retail store, a production house etc. We are always going to work on pre-order basis & our product focus is and will always be to create healthy, innovative & high end baking products.

Your advice to those who wish to take up baking as a profession.

Cakes play an important role for making occasions even more special. So it’s important for people like us to not just make them look beautiful but at the same time they should taste great too. Irony is the focus of this industry is slowly shifting from healthy baking to only decoration.

How can all the customers stay connected with you as well as your baking classes?

I have an Instagram & Facebook page with name ‘CookWithArchi’ where I post most of my cake pictures, class details & even my daily life snippets. Follow & stay tuned!!

Facebooklink: https://www.facebook.com/cookwitharchi/

Instagram: CookwithArchi

Wardrobe Guide For The Festival Of Eid by Wishful, Aurelia & W!

One of the most popular tradition associated with the festival of Eid is dressing up in vibrant and colorful outfits.

From shimmering Anarkalis to Stylish Plazos, women want to look their best. There is a rise in demand for functional outfits that people can wear for ceremonial outings and Iftar dinners. As the holy month of Ramadan approaches its end, here are few wardrobe options that may make a perfect fit for the festival of Eid.

Beige Round Neck Embellished Kurta

This beige colored round neck full sleeves kurta from Wishful has an embellished printed detail all-over which gives it a rich look.

Yellow Round Neck Embellished Kurta Set

This set by W has a round neck embellished kurta, flared palazzos and contrast dupatta having tassels.

Green Round Neck Floral Print Kurta

This green round neck 3/4 sleeve kurta from Wishful has floral print detail and keyhole on the neckline.

A blue mandarin neck tie-up dress is Disha’s choice for special occasions. This blue dress by Aurelia is apt for an evening sortie as well as a traditional do. Flaunt it with a pair of jhumkas and ring-toed flats.

Pink Round Neck Embellished Kurta Set

This set from Wishful has a round neck kurta with embellished neckline, knitted churidar and embroidered dupatta.