about me: my name is dassana which means “search for insight” ( many readers ask me the meaning of my name and hence i have mentioned it).
i have done my post graduation in education. after working as a high school teacher, i quit my teaching career and joined the corporate industry where i worked as quality analyst & trainer for some years. web development happened when i quit my corporate job and i took a keen interest and learnt a lot about it.
i have developed this blog along with my husband. i have been cooking from a tender age of 10 and it is one art that is deeply instilled in me. the first recipe which i cooked was a sindhi dal from a cookbook… and from there i started cooking and sometimes helping my mother in cooking. as i have done my graduation in home science, i got professionally trained in cooking as well as baking & confectionery. we were trained both in indian as well as international cuisines.
whatever i know about cooking, baking and confectionery is thanks to my training in food science, food technology, nutrition & dietetics as well as the cooking classes we would have every week. i left my full time corporate job before i got married and a year later, i started to blog, not because i wanted to, but due to a lot of insistence from my husband. he encouraged me so much and this blog was born.
initially i just wanted to document the family recipes, but later the blog paved for me to try various recipes from different regions of india, different countries and i got completely hooked. i also develop recipes. am also a meditator & spiritual seeker on the path. spiritual masters who inspired me from childhood – gautam buddha, osho, raman maharshi and jiddu krishnamurthi.
i get a lot of emails, that i am from which caste or religion or which part of india. i personally don’t believe in caste, creed or religion. for me humanity is the religion. however, tracing my roots… i am half buddhist, half keralite hindu, half sri lankan, half goan christian, half portuguese married to a punjabi. raised in a multi ethnic and multi cultural family in a very cosmo multi mumbai. and the only language i know is humanity.
about the blog: this blog is a vegetarian blog with vegetarian and vegan recipes. mostly indian but some world cuisine as well. there are some baking recipes as well. i have a passion of baking, especially baking breads.
most of the recipes are in step by step pictorial format. they are easy to understand and relate too. all the recipes are tried and tested in my kitchen. the recipes in this blog are taken from my family. some are traditional indian recipes. some recipes are adapted from cookbooks, my home science notes, magazines, internet etc. some recipes are the ones which I have created and developed. i am experimental in my ways of cooking and always go for innovative ideas.
whilst i work on creating the content, taking the pics and on the design front, my husband works on the server, maintenance and technical aspects of the blog.
on vegetarianism and veganism: i was born in a family where fish was cooked almost everyday and goat’s meat or chicken on sundays. not that we did not make vegetable dishes. there would always be vegetable dishes or sambar or dal along with fish fry or fish curry. at 14, i started to have vegetarian food and stopped eating chicken and fish. i never had meat even though it was made in the house. i had a strong aversion to meat from the time i was a kid. i went through a lot of ridicules and laughter from family, friends and colleagues just because i was a vegetarian. thankfully, i got married in a vegetarian family and it was a blessing. i also cook sattvic no onion and no garlic recipes on some days.
beginning toward the end of 2012 till the end of august 2013, i was on a vegan diet. i had to resume a vegetarian diet due to some hereditary health issues. i also have a family which is not vegan and i cook vegetarian food for them. i do make recipes with organic dairy products like organic milk, organic paneer and organic cheese. still i do make our everyday chai or tea with cashew milk or soy milk. for rest of the drinks like smoothies or indian desserts, i use almond milk or coconut milk or cashew milk. since yogurt is also used a lot in indian cooking, i used to substitute cashew yogurt with milk yogurt. but for now i make yogurt with organic milk.
about food practices & habits: even before i started to blog, i would buy organic and this habit has stayed even today. all my grocery stuff is organic produce from grains to sugar and flours. now i have even started buying organic vegetables and fruits. i cannot get all the vegetables organic. but i do buy whatever i can. hence you will see fewer gourmet fruits or imported vegetables recipes on the blog. i buy local vegetables and fruits to ensure that this supports the farmers who work and produce and help in feeding this country.
about cooking: cooking is an art. there is science too. a perfect cook combines the art of cooking with the science of food and add his/her love to the food… right from the preparation to the finale…i eyeball the ingredients that are added to the food. the inner feeling also guides me in the process of cooking. the colors, texture, flavors and aroma also inspire and fuel my creativity when i cook.
the recipes on the blog are good as well as tried and tested and may be sometimes unique as well. if you are looking for something new, than this website is a place you should visit again.
about indian food: indian food is diverse as well as vast. there is so much variety that i bet one cannot find such a massive variety in any country. from simple everyday recipes to complex recipes, from a basic dal to a heavy biryani, from a light meal to a full thali meal. there are thousands of varieties of food that one gets in india. not to forget the sweets and desserts too. yet another indian culinary delight is the indian street food.
the recipes are also markedly different pertaining to the different regions. the north indian food is different than the south indian food. then there is the rajasthani, gujarati, maharashtrian, goan food – which forms the western belt and the central belt – the bihari, agarwal, awadhi and lucknowi cuisine which is again very different. in between there are parsi, east indian, sindhi and iranian flavors too. not to forget the north eastern states as well as kashmiri cuisine. so welcome to the land of indian food.
about photography: the styling and photographs are all done by me. till the mid of october 2011 i was using my nikon camera for taking the food photographs. i brought my first dslr camera – canon eos rebel t3i in october 2011. i use EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens & f 50mm f/1.8 canon lens for all my food photographs. by now i have learnt the basics of food photography. i don’t say i am a pro but i do a decent job. i am not a professional food stylist and this part does get reflected in my photos. hence some of my food photos are weirdly or “differently” styled than what is generally the norm or what you see in the web or magazines. thats the creative side in me.
initially when i started the blog, i used to take the pictures from my mobile phone. already, i have updated some of my older posts with new pictures and i keep on updating the older mobile photos with the new camera pictures. so the updation of pictures on previous posts is an ongoing process on this blog.
comment policy: you can share your experience related to a recipe or give your suggestions or feedback. i reply to most of the comments or queries i get on the blog. if you leave a spam, rude or offensive comment, they are automatically deleted. the comment system has been enabled this way.
food bloggers, please don’t add events and promotional links in your comments.
advertising & revenue: my blog is monetized for ads. so your views and the clicks help me earn some money which eventually help me in running this blog in terms of server costs (which is very expensive) and the cost of other programs/softwares. the blog receives 2,006,469 pageviews and 821,048 unique visitors per month (as on Sep 2013). to keep such a high load of traffic going, i pay for expensive servers and programs. other reason being i have a lot of pics hosted on my site and they take up considerable bandwith. also not to forget all the hard work that goes in selection of ingredients, recipe testing, developing, photographing and writing the content.
promotions: please do not send me any promotional or marketing emails for your product. i don’t do any product promotion or advertising.
copyright: all the content and images on my blog are copyright protected. please do not hotlink to my images or content. also please do not republish my content or use my pics. in case you want to use my images, then write to me at the email address mentioned below.
social media: you can subscribe to the recipe updates here . if you are more used to using social networking sites, then you can subscribe to veg recipes of india’s facebook page or google plus page or twitter or pinterest.
You can contact me by writing to me at vegrecipesofindiaATgmailDOTcom