Are you away from home this lockdown and are missing the home-cooked food? Worry not! Team Storiyaan pours in the affection and love of a mother by sharing with you, our chit-chat with the Masterchef Mom- Uma Raghu Raman. Uma is not only a chef but a blogger and a mother at the same time. Catch Uma in a conversation with Team Storiyaan talking about the gimmicks cooking and shares with us some fantastic and easy to cook recipes.
Questions and answers
How does it feel to be known as the Master Chef mom? What significance does the title hold in your life?
The title ‘Master chef mom’ is given to me by my children. It is truly special and precious to me, and it is something I close very close to my heart, and if you notice, I have used the title to name my blog!
Who inspired you to start your page/YouTube channel?
My husband Raghu and my children were the inspiration behind my blog Masterchefmom. My Instagram handle came alive after my cousin sister suggested that I start one. Many of my followers started requesting me to show recipe videos, and that led to the launch of my YouTube channel during Diwali 2019.
Can you tell us the story behind LFEGA?
I was thrilled to know that I have been nominated for this year’s Best Instagram Account by the Living Foodz Channel’s Epicurean Guild Award. That in itself was like winning for me. I shared this news with all my friends and followers on Instagram. I was overwhelmed to find out on the award’s night that I got the maximum votes and emerged the winner. All the credit goes to my friends, family, and followers who voted for me. I am grateful.
In your journey of being a chef, what are the difficulties that you have encountered, and how did you overcome them?
I have been bullied so much during my initial blogging/Instagram days for sharing ‘everyday’ food that too in steel plates, inexpensive earthenware, and leaves. But with the enthusiasm, passion, and strong belief in the food I cook, it is soul-satisfying. I think I have gained more hearts and put my bullies at rest.
Indian mothers are always in the quest to cook something different and to provide their families with wholesome meals. Any suggestions/tips that you would like to give to them?
Most of us take for granted the food that we eat at home. Behind every meal, a mother and a wife are slogging in the kitchen from morning to night, preparing three to four nutritious meals every single day. Though it takes a lot of time and effort, they ensure everyone in the family gets the food and taste of their choice. They do it day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. They are able to do it because of two reasons, love and passion. This passion for cooking, combined with unconditional love for your family members, make you transform every day basic cuisine into “tasty and nutritious” meals. Few tips I would like to share with them are:
– Stock up on a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits. That gives you the motivation to try a new variation.
– Use more whole grains and legumes for enhancing nutrition content.
– cook in a happy mood, listening to music, etc. that makes you enjoy your cooking and
– finally, present and serve the food in a neat, clean, and elegant way. When food is appealing for the eye, it enhances the eating experience significantly.
Tell us about one of your most liked recipes, and what, according to you, made it extraordinary?
I am grateful that my readers like a lot of my recipes. If I have to name one dish, then it would be “PROTEIN DOSA.” The reason – Simple, Yummy, and Wholesome. I have had more than 100 plus followers who have tried this recipe and shared their pictures with me and the comments from their family members who loved it.
Which cuisine is your personal favorite to cook, and why?
It’s very difficult to pick one. I love to cook Indian, Italian, and Mexican food a lot.
It is said that you have 900 original recipes of your own, is it true. Can you elaborate on the same?
That’s very much true. There are 1000 + recipes on my blog :www.masterchefmom.blogspot.in, and a few hundreds more on my Instagram. Some of the recipes are heirloom, some are from different cuisines, some I have learned from friends, and some of them are the result of my creativity.
What, according to you, are the special ingredients that can spice up any Indian recipe?
I personally love cumin, coriander seeds, dry red chilies, fennel seeds, and turmeric.
A lot of students are stuck in their apartments, and they do not know how to cook. Can you tell us some simple, healthy, and easy to cook recipes that can help them sustain this lockdown?
Here is the link to easy and yummy recipes that you can try during the lockdown.
Some of the most popular ones are:
No Yeast Pizza https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWDyyQ8Q0wg,
Golden Pasta – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R87KDKV11Ws
Tomato Dal/Masiyal – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC4YMmxYtCI
Protein Dosa – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQTknDvHsRA
Eggless Chocolate Cake – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gumKkeT-fSQ
After tasting your food, what is the best compliment that you have ever received until now?
During the days when my kids were growing up and when they love what they are eating, they would call me “Masterchefmom” getting this name from my Kids was the best compliment I have received until now.
What are the gimmicks that you would like to suggest to all the young chefs out there?
No Gimmicks. It is easy if you learn to do it the right way: Practise, Patience, Passion, and Hardwork.
Lastly, if you were asked to define 'cooking' in a few words, what would it look like?
Cooking is like meditation to me. I get so involved that I forget everything else. It keeps me young at heart.