Meet Alamelu Venkatesh a security consultant and a food blogger, perhaps a rare combination of being a professional and to pursue a hobby. Yet it shows that women and mums are good at managing many interests. Alee, as she is known to her close friends is based out of Brisbane, Australia.
This Diwali, she talks of her journey on food, being a mum and sharing recipes for the festival.
“I am from Bangalore to my loving & caring parents – Gayathri & Venkatachalaiah. Mum was a stay at home parent and dad was working for a banking and financial institution.
One of my best memories from my childhood days is walking to school with my little brother, holding hands while mum watching us crossing the road carefully and the other best memory – waiting for dad to come home from work who use to bring Iyengar bakery products from the local bakery to me and my brother.
Before marriage, I didn’t know how to cook as I never had to enter kitchen because always my mother cooked. After completing my degree, got engaged, I had to slowly start learn cooking simple food such as rice & dal, making coffee and tea.
To me, cooking is an ART and it happens to be my passion too; so when time permits would like to try new recipes and make delicious meals for my family. I am an author who has published few security related articles for one of the institutions for their monthly newsletters.
Friends who had read my articles, suggested me to start blogging as my writing skills are great. Few other friends and colleagues who had tasted & loved my food that I use to carry to work, once casually suggested me to start a food blogging site and since 2011 and my page – AV’s Vegetarian Kitchen© – a food blogging site which I have built to stay connected with those who may share similar interests in baking and cooking.
Every food blogger is different and stands out in their own way to share their authentic recipes. Some are good in providing information about their recipes while others are great in presenting such as making good videos, capturing beautiful food images and so on….
There are so many recipes that I have learnt from my mother and my best I can say is – making of Kodubale, coconut burfi & mysorepak and whenever I make it always comes out very well & tastes delicious too.
I like to cook both Indian and continental meals and my food blog is about Intercontinental cuisine with a mixture of sweet & savory dishes including baking. It’s called “AV’s Vegetarian Kitchen©” (previously known by different names – Alee’s Kitchen, AV Rasoi, AV Rasoi Intercontinental. It is now known as AV’s Vegetarian Kitchen- https://av-vegetarian-kitchen.blogspot.in/
When ever I make Indian food, especially my mum’s South Indian recipes, I think of her, if I need any information about a recipe, I ring her and check out her methods, correct ingredients to add and the right quantity to get that perfect taste & texture.
My daughter is studying at a university and she is a great fan of my cooking (who happens to be good with her baking skills). Likewise I am a great fan of my mum’s home cooking. Also making authentic and tasty dishes is very important because every human being is fond of good food.”
Alee shares two recipes from Karnataka which she has learnt from her mother.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE DOUGH
Plain flour – 1.5 cup (Maida)
Ghee + oil – 1/4 cup
Soda – 1/2 tsp.
Plain Yogurt – 1/3 cup
Sugar – 1 tsp.
water to make dough
oil for deep frying
SUGAR SYRUP INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
2 pinch of cardamom powder
3/4 tsp. lemon juice
Make a soft dough using dough ingredients (except oil for deep fry)
Allow this dough to rest for 30 mins to one hour
Prepare sugar syrup to thread consistency
Make small balls out of dough, flatten them and press in the middle. Fry this on very low heat until golden brown
Soak the fried badusha in sugar syrup for 5-10 mins by turning them over at regular intervals
Remove badusha from sugar syrup and place them on a paper towel and let it rest till the sugar syrup dries
Follow the above method with the remaining badushas.
b) MYSORE PAK
1 cup besan flour,
2 cup sugar (+ enough water to make sugar syrup),
Ghee (clarified butter) – 15 dessert spoon (big size) Or 2 cup
Sieve the besan flour, roast it for 2-3 minutes, and keep aside.
In a separate pan, put sugar and enough water to make sticky syrup, to this add roasted flour and ghee and keep stirring (on a low flame).
Cook till the mixture becomes porous and spongy like bread.
Transfer this mixture to a greased plate; let it set for a minute or two; then with a sharp knife cut into your desired shapes.
“ In 2009 due to hectic family commitments, I had to quit my full-time job as an accounting professional in order to focus on my daughter’s busy high school commitments.
I also enrolled at one of Sydney universities to study a degree and completed my Master’s degree in order to pursue a career within the security industry.
Since 2011, have been busy with my career and also food blogging when time permits.”
We thank Alamelu to have shared her journey with Mums and stories and wishing her all the very best in life. It is lovely to see mums like her who are retaining Indian cuisne tastes through food blogging.