Happy Makar Sankranti to all of you and as usual BestOfGuru(BOG) brings you another fascinating blogger Interview/chat in the form of Srividhya Gopalakrishnan on this Special Occasion.
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan also know as Srividhya Manikandhan is one of the few bloggers I come across in blog world who is so passionate about cooking. I admire how she can do so many varieties of food in single category. Vidhya is a Software Developer and a Food Blogger. Apart from cooking and coding, she enjoys music.
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan is also Co-founder of Indian Moms Connect where she helps with app design and development and also writes for IMC. She also shares her thoughts and ideas for website improvement and content management.
Gurunath: The first question although formality, please introduce yourself to our Best Of Guru(BOG) readers.
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan: I am Srividhya. Sri without H and Vidhya with H 🙂 I am Software Engineer and a Food blogger. Basically, I love to code and cook. I am from Tamilnadu now living in California.
Gurunath: What was the inspiration behind starting a food blog although you are a software developer by profession?
Basically, I started the blog to record my mom’s recipes. When my mom visited us in 2009 and I was asking her to write down the recipes for all chutneys, thuvaiyals, and other traditional recipes. Then I thought, why not add them as blog posts and put it out. That’s how vidhyashomecooking.com was born.
Gurunath: Who got you interested in cooking? And whose cooking style is your biggest influence?
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan: Food has always fascinated me. I am amazed by the fact that how we can prepare different recipes with same ingredients in different ways. I would like to thank my mom who is my inspiration for cooking and now my kiddo and my husband. Most of the recipes are handed down by my mom and my MIL. I love all our traditional recipes and I learned about the Pathiya Samayal / Postpartum recipes for lactating moms from my MIL.
Gurunath: How do you manage your blogging regularly? How are you balancing the time between blogging and family?
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan: Actually, I started to blog regularly only from 2013. Till then I was on and off. With the toddler at home, I don’t have any set routine. I just go with the flow. Pretty much all my blog recipes are day to day simple recipes. I prepare the not so regular ones or if I am trying something new I do that over the weekend and schedule my posts accordingly.
Gurunath: What were your biggest challenges faced in blogging so far?
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan: With food blogging, the biggest challenge is the food photography. Capturing inviting and bright pictures and editing them to fit across different social medias is always a big challenge for me.
Gurunath: I have noticed that the web design of your blog is awesome also the snaps of recipes look professional. What is the secret behind that?
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan: Thanks 🙂 I went with the one of the professional themes from Creative Market and modified and extended it according to my needs. My web development skills helped in that aspect and coming to photography, I am still an amateur. I am learning photography with every single picture that I take. I have a long way to go to become a food photographer. Some days I am lucky enough to capture some good clicks and that’s about it.
Gurunath: Which part of blogging excites you most: the recipe development, the post writing, or the photography?
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan: Errr.. actually I would say all the three. Cooking is like a therapy for me. I don’t mind if it turns out to be a disaster. You know, failure is the key to success. I have a separate category called my kitchen disasters. 🙂 When my husband and my kiddo approves and compliments the recipe, I feel elated and I feel a sense of accomplishment. Recipe development is fun and post writing helps me to share the same and it helps me to weave the story behind the recipe. Photographs are the integral parts of the food blogs. Setting up the props and creating the scene is always fun. During weekends my family also helps me with photography and my food photography session becomes a family activity.
Gurunath: You are always known to come up with innovative/creative recipes. How can you do that?
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan: Thanks again. I would like to thank my kiddo for this. When I plan my meal the first question that comes to my mind is,
Will my kiddo like the food? Then comes next question.
How can I modify the recipe to make him love that food? Then comes the next question.
How can I make it healthy? Then comes the next question.
How can I prepare it fast?
That’s how I ended up with slow cooker recipes, fusion foods. I always modify my recipes to satisfy the taste buds of my family.
Gurunath: Tell us about an instance when you surprised your family with a really well turned out dish?
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan: Quinoa Puttu is one of the recipes that turned out pretty well. We all know the health benefits of quinoa and I wanted to incorporate into our meal as much as I can. We all love Puttu and I prepared the Puttu with Quinoa flour instead of the regular Puttu flour. I didn’t tell the family that it’s prepared with Quinoa. Both son and hubby enjoyed and later when I mentioned it, my husband was completely surprised.
Gurunath: You are living outside India, How much influence did that have on your cooking?
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan: It has a huge influence. I got a chance to try all the different cuisines in the US. I learned some of these recipes and it also helped with the fusion cooking. I love to research about food and the ingredients used in each and every cuisine. This exposure to other cuisines easily paved a way for that.
Gurunath: When a kid comes to you and wants to start his/her blog on cooking, what tips/advice you will give?
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan: I don’t have any big advice or tips. Just enjoy and have fun blogging. One thing I would say is to organize all your food photos which I missed to do initially.
Gurunath: As this is an Interview Series in the category of Important Occasions, Which recipes you plan for this Makar Sankranthi/Kanuma festival?
Srividhya Gopalakrishnan: It’s a working day for us here. So keeping it simple. 🙂 Of course, Sweet Pongal and Sambhar will be there for sure. For Kanu, we usually prepare variety rice. As it falls on Saturday I am planning to make Chittrannam / Puliodarai , Coconut Rice, Lemon Rice and Rice Kheer.
Gurunath: Do you like to share anything more with our readers at BOG?
Happy Pongal/ Sankranti to all. I would like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity. Happy Cooking 🙂
You can reach Srividhya @ :
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