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Tisa Jacob's interview

Interview by Gitanjali Interview by Gitanjali

We interviewed Tisa Jacob!

Visit the blog: Blessings From My Kitchen.

See profile page and recipes

Discover Tisa Jacob's favorite recipe: Upside Down Sticky Toffee Pudding with Kumquats and Salted Cashews

"Food brings people together, and ultimately is a blessing in every sense of the word. Thus, you see how and why my blog grew into its name, Blessings From My Kitchen."

Hello Tisa Jacob, so tell us...

When did you begin your blog, and what inspired you to start it?

I actually saw the movie Julie and Julia and my hand was itching to do something of the sort. It wasn't until much later, February 2012 to be exact, that I acted on the urge. I took out my battered food journal that I'd been reenacting recipes onto, edited some of it onto Blogger's techno-bright screen and there you go!

Are you involved in the blogging community - how do you attract new readers?

I am involved to a certain extent, but not to the fullness that I'd like. I have my close-knit circle of foodcrazy buddies, all foodbloggers, sweeter- than- pie individuals and now good friends. I rely on them to tell me if a particular recipe needs improvement or is commendably rank. Readership feedback is key, my readers are the gold of audiences. I often receive questions, comments, encouraging hints and much inspiration in messages on my personal FB page, email and comments that prompt me to get right back at it, perfecting what I know and working on aspects where I need improvement ( yes, I can sometimes be the ultimate slacker). I have yet to entice people with contests, giveaways and the like. I'm sort of the blogger snail, finally, now just inching towards giving BMFK its very own FB profile .

Who are your culinary influences?

I have many influences, places where the kitchen became an absolute best haven for me. An aunt I stayed with in college who had a very small, appliance- less kitchen. That tiny space had a major impact in birthing my culinary mind. In helping her I found out that correct dosa (savory South Indian rice- lentil pancakes ) flipping not only requires much practice, but with perfection a much desired crisp- soft and most beautiful dosa-round can be achieved, a wonderment both to the eyes and nose. Of course, with marriage came the need, where my mother-in-law furnished me with ample recipes and, more importantly, an unrivaled, no-take-back, love of food, particularly that of the Kerala table ( Kerala, being the State I am from). She taught me much of what she knows- herself being our town's socialite chef of the time. True, she didn't want her son to go hungry, either!

If you could be a contestant or guest on any cooking show what show would you choose?

I love Bobby Flay. Besides being an Iron chef, it's his throw down episodes that are so over-the-top. I would love to be overwhelmed in that way. But first I will perfect the biryani, then bring it on, Chef Flay! And so I shall dream.

In your 'About Me' section, you say that your food is 'swathed' in memories and stories. What is your earliest food memory?

Let's see, the first year in college boarding, making noodles with my roommate, we had no burners or electric plates. Our only means of cooking flame were two candles. Thus, 2 minute noodles took over half an hour, but they were the absolute finest. Fast forward to several years later, pregnant with my first child and hankering for a redder- than- red fish curry ( Kerala style). In urgent need, I shot over to JZ's (my husband) aunt's home, who lived nearby. Not only did I learn to cook the popular preparation in less than 20 minutes, she also created a pot great enough to sustain me for the week. Ahh, those memories will never fade.

Do you have a secret ingredient, a product you use a lot that is unexpected?

I really don't have one. Then again it could be many. Maybe, just this once, I'll share that I use a lot of the prepackaged Indian spice mixes. Shhh, though,it's a secret!

Is there any dish, ingredient or type of food you refuse to cook? Or anything that you refuse to eat?

Other than alligator, monkey brains, and like-minded things that I don't consider food, nothing else fazes me.

Thanks to your Indian origins, you claim to have perfected curry. Could you share you secret with us?

Curry is an art. It is beautiful. It is also not one thing. It can be dry, gravy-like, elemented with 2 ingredients or 20. It flatters many a meal, even the ones you think couldn't use that sort of flattery. Want to learn more? Read my blog.

What are your goals for your blog? Where would you like to see it in the next year? Five years?

I want to get, or at least appear, a wee bit more organized or maybe just start a page labelled "the unorganized blogger"- ha, ha. Perhaps, delve into more healthful solutions/options. I don't have too much dedicated to unhealthy preparations. But in today's world, we could use a little betterment and purity in the things we put into our bodies. That and of course, near future plans should be to start that BFMK-FB page. Would you like me, please?

Anything else you would like to share?

Thank you Ms. Gitanjali for being such an accommodating hostess and Gourmandize for inviting me over. The pleasure was all mine.

Thank you Tisa Jacob for answering our questions and see you soon!
Published by Gitanjali - 03/07/2014

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