Monika Manchanda on food, career shift and memories



Monika Manchanda from Sinamontales, is a known food blogger, baker, food consultant, recipe developer, a mum who shifted from IT to experimental cuisine – an entrepreneur and more. Monika shares her journey, her choices in shifting careers and even shares a recipe for Easter.

“I grew up in a household where food was celebrated. Food wasn’t a means to fill stomach but it was meant for soul. Dad is probably one of the earliest foodies I know, as much as I hate the word. The definition of it fits him to the T. My mum is a stellar cook and makes delicious food, I have very fond memories of her making a tutti fruity cake and we sitting next to her, helping her a bit and then licking the bowl cleaning. But the strongest influence around food in my childhood was my grandmother, whom I fondly called “Badi Mummy”.

As cliche as it sounds, she was one of the best cooks I have known. She taught me how to appreciate good food. But inspite of this experience,  my cooking experiments and experiences were pretty limited till I moved out of home and set up a small bachelor pad for myself. That is when I truly started to cook and put in action when I learnt. Which was taken to the serious level, when I took a break from work after my son was born. That is when the blog saw the light of the day.

From a hard core techie to a food as my profession, it has been an interesting ride. A ride that I never really anticipated coming. I was on a break when my son was about 1.5 yrs old. Partly I was just exhausted with many time zones, coordination. Partly the industry was going through a slump and the company I was working on had a job cut down. A small break I decided to take stretched to years. I did a couple of baking and food courses and jumped into what felt right at that point – home baking. From personal to corporate orders to workshops, it was very a hard working profession. Eventually I found my niche in food consulting and recipe development along with workshops and I can’t be happier.”

Talking on managing daily schedules including cooking at home, Monika shares, “ Let me tell you a little secret. I have a cook for everyday requirements. I hired her almost an year back when I realized that the everyday cooking is actually draining me and taking away my energy for experimentation. Now I make 4-5 meals a week myself which are usually experiments and not our regular food and then there is a recipe development which happens too. I have a separate studio, which is a fully equipped kitchen with ovens and induction cooker to do the recipe development.

Not to forget mentioning, that I have had blocks that have lasted days sometimes. When how much ever you think, a new recipe, an inspiration just doesn’t strike you. Reading more about food helps at that time. But mostly it is interesting and exciting, learning, picking up a technique or even getting ingredient obsessed.

I am Punjabi who lived pretty much in Delhi before I moved to Bangalore. I am married to a part Telegu-part Tamilan my son feels he is a Kanndiga. We are as mixed as it can be. I see this as an opportunity to introduce my child to the diversity we have in India, to its food to its culture and more.

What better than hot cross buns for Easter!-  http://www.sinamontales.com/a-is-for-apples-recipe/

Monika finally wraps mentioning, “ Blogging is as much as hard work as any other career so if you are serious about it, know that there is hard work involved. Once you are committed to it, are honest, ready to put in the hard work then be assured sky is limit! Go for it.”

 

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