phut ographs CHANDAN AHUJA
produced by RAGINI SINGH
The Joys of Baking
• Simplify baking by using seasonal produce. They are full of flavour and easily
avai lable. The desi in-season apples make a better apple pie than Washington Reds.
• Make everything at home includingyour pizza bases and breads. There is
noth ing better than makin^usingyour own pastes and sauces.
• Baking at home isafavouryoudotoyourandyourfamil/s health. You’ll love the
health benefits of it.
She has no formal training, but
her passion and talent for baking
has made Deeba Rajpal a highly
followed and revered blogger.
Deeba Rajpal, a stay-at-home mother of two
in Gurgaon, who cooks (especially baking), and
documents her cooking experiences in a very
Deeba’s blog has a large and steady fan following
worldwide including Singapore, US, and Canada.
t h e b e g in n in g
“After quitting my job with
British Airways I was at home and started baking
for my children. My husband bought me my first
digital camera eight years ago and that gave me
the idea to collect my recipes and click their
pictures,” says Deeba. A passion for baking
coupled with a fascination for photography gave
a head start to the blog some three years ago, and
there has been no looking back since.
AGONY AUNT fo r COOKS
On Deeba’s blog, readers
ask her not just for recipes and tips, but also for
solutions to kitchen problems such as how to
organize shelves, where to buy specific utensils,
food substitutes etc. Plus, Deeba routinely
receives ingredients as gifts from fans because
they know she loves it and will use it (she’s
received raisins from Nasik and dried lavender
from the UK)! She also blogs with
The Times of
and is currently writing recipe booklets for
food brands (the ones you get for free).
“I love food and trying out recipes with
new ingredients. My family too loves my food, so,
a ‘Mama your cake is much better than the one
from that pastry shop’ makes my day,” she says. In
fact, her enterprising 11-year-old son often ‘trades’
his tiffin at school for other coveted goodies!
A COOK’S t ip
“Cooking is like art. Enjoy it and do
it from scratch—not only because it makes your
food taste better but also because you can avoid
all the unnecessary preservatives and chemicals
found in outside food.” c5)
'Though immensely gifted,
most Indians are not
comfortable with baking.
wantto simplify bakingfor
them so that more of us bake
and eat at home.”
1 3 8 JANUARY 2011 BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS