Anjana is from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh and have been living in Dubai since 28 years. She is a housewife and a mother of 2 grown up kids. When Anjana is not busy in blogging, she loves to read and listen to old Hindi songs.
Her blog 'Maayeka' is about vegetarian saatvik cooking (cooking without the use of onion and garlic). She is interested in cuisines from across the world, but specializes in authentic and traditional Indian recipes.
1. NS: How or why did you come up with the name maayeka for your blog
Anjana: The meaning of maayeka is a girl's maternal home. Initially I started this blog for my daughter who was married recently and needed my tips and recipes, so maayeka was an apt name for my blog.
2. NS: Who is your motivating force behind your success?
Anjana: My daughter was married recently and she always needed my recipes and tips and a lot of times she wasn't able to contact me for one reason or the other. So it inspired me to build an entire blog on all that I know about cooking - so that it could serve as a ready reference for my daughter and all the young girls and brides out there who are not able to get tips from their moms in times of need.
3. NS: How did you develop a love for cooking and food? Did you cook with your parents while growing up?
Anjana: I started cooking when I was a teenager. I have seen my mother and grandmother cooking delicious food and I used to help them in simple chores, but I guess it's just by having an opportunity to observe them in the kitchen made me a nice cook
4. NS: Who are your favorite chefs?
Anjana: My mother and grandmother are my favorite chefs, and if you are asking about TV personalities then yes I love Sanjeev Kapoor's style of cooking.
5. NS: Do you promote your blog? What promotional techniques work best for you and why?
Anjana: I don't know much about publicity and promotion. I am just doing my work with love and dedication and thankfully people are appreciating that.
6. NS: How important is it for the blogger to interact with their readers? Do you respond to all the comments that you receive?
Anjana: Yes it is important to get involved with your readers. Though I am not able to reply on all the comments but I absolutely love and make sure that I answer their cookery queries every day.
7. NS: What do you find to be the most gratifying aspect of blogging?
Anjana : The most gratifying aspect of blogging is the wonderful response and appreciation received from the readers and my family!
Mayeeka’s favorite recipe:
Cashew pieces-2 cup
Oats or Milk powder-2 tbsp
Cardamom powder-1/4 tsp
Saffron paste-1/4 tsp
Gulkand (Rose Preserve) -2 tbsp *
Crushed Nuts -1 tbsp
Saunf Powder (Fennel Powder) -1/4 tsp
Cardamom powder-1/4 tsp
Grind the cashew pieces and make a powder (do this by gently pulsing it in the mixer, avoid over doing it, else the cashews start releasing their oil, and the mixture becomes sticky).
If using oats then dry roast them in a pan or in microwave for a minute and grind to make a fine powder .
Prepare the sugar syrup - In a heavy bottom pan add sugar and 3/4 cup water and cook to make a sugar syrup of 1.5 thread consistency. Keep stirring the syrup while cooking.
Bubbles will start appearing all over the sugar syrup when its done. Check and switch off the flame and then add cardamom powder to it.
Now add cashew powder and milk powder to the sugar syrup and mix well.
When this mixture cools down to room temperature - knead and mash the dough to make it smooth, and then make small balls from the cashew dough.
Stuffing - In a bowl take gulkand (rose jam), crushed mixed nuts, fennel powder, cardamom powder and mix well. Then make small balls of the stuffing (smaller then the cashew dough balls).
Take a cashew ball and flatten it on your palm and stuff the gulkand ball in it and close it from all the sides and make a smooth and neat ball.
Stick silvar foil (silver vark) on the balls and make a ring of saffron paste by dipping a small bottle's cap in the saffron paste and gently pressing it on the top of cashew ball.
Garnish with a pistachio slice on top and serve.
music-Old Hindi songs
For mouth watering recipes visit Maayeka
-------------Interviewed by Laxmi Khalap Bhatt, Editor, www.narisakhi.com
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