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About me

At Lake Bled, Slovenia

Who am I ?

Kia ora (Maori greeting that means ‘be well’) !

I am Manasa and I have always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen. Some things go wrong, some go right, but in the end, the whole process makes me very happy. Cooking is my unwind at the end of a working day most of which I spend analysing genetic data from cancers trying to ascertain what is wrong with them. The hope is that ultimately, these data can be used to improve the diagnosis and treatment of the spectrum of diseases called cancer and that’s all I will say on my blog about this matter.

How did I learn to cook ?

The knowledge I am sharing with you on this website wouldn’t be possible without the following people and I thank them all for passing on their knowledge and wisdom to me.

Firstly, my mum’s mum (Papa) –  She is an awesome and inspirational woman who has achieved so much despite several hardships. Until she had a stroke 3 years ago, she was a very successful yoga teacher in Bangalore. Can I say that she is now seventy-eight and taught yoga for 20 years. I was amongst her first students and will always look up to her. My favourite dish from her kitchen is Bisi Bele Bhath and I have shared this recipe with you more recently.

Secondly, my mum – Watching her cook is how I learnt to cook. Little tips she would give me while she cooked have taken me a long way in the kitchen. It is very unusual to have precise metric measurements for ingredients in any Indian household. It is all done by feel and smell. That’s right – no tasting. With this in mind, she gave  me all my spice mix recipes as I left home to the nearest cup measure and they all work like charms. I still go back to mum’s house to eat certain things like “Thayir vada/Mosuru bajji” because I’m not confident I can produce the same results as her. Thank you for making me the cook that I am mum.

Thirdly, my dad’s brother (Cheenu mama) – He is a pretty amazing cook and a talented gardener. He grows his own okra, chillies, curry leaves, slender egg plants amongst other things on Australian soil quite successfully. My favourite item from his kitchen is the fudge-like dessert called ‘Mysore-Pak‘ and I’m sure this will feature on the site sometime.

Fourthly – my dad. Had it not been for mum’s monopoly in the kitchen, he’d have quite easily taken over. He too loves gardening and has green fingers like you won’t believe it. My favourite dish made by him is ‘Kakarkai palya’ or Cooked bitter gourd and maybe I will share the recipe with you sometime.

Fifthly – Sanjeev Kapoor – India’s first (at least in my memory) TV chef and one I used to spend many-a-Sunday afternoon watching when I was a teenager. He has a website www.sanjeevkapoor.com which has been the source of many successful ventures in my kitchen. I will post links to some of my favourite recipes from his site.

Finally, the countless recipe books I have, ones that have been made for me, bought for me and of course the world wide web with its multitude of foodie sites many of which I troll through on a daily basis.

Why do I blog ?

I’d thought about joining the “food-bloggers” community for a little while but it is a bit pointless replicating efforts and I’ve been scratching my brain trying to come up with a twist to a regular index of recipes. What I did notice on food bloggers’ websites is that everything is pretty and picture perfect. Very few websites highlight so called “kitchen bloopers” which seems strange to me. Much like experiments in a laboratory, things don’t always go right and I want to highlight this in all the food posts I write. In addition, if I have a solution for any calamities, I hope to share them too.

I have been wanting to work on my writing style and develop it into something I can call my own. It would be greater still if people could sit through my writing without falling asleep, especially when I write about my science. Since I like talking, reading and writing about the food I make, I thought it would be a perfect platform to explore and mould my writing talents (if any).

This blog is born out of my love for cooking, my eagerness to share the wisdom and mishaps of the kitchen with whoever is willing to read my posts and to improve my writing skills.

If there is anything you like or dislike about this site, please do to write to me at miceinmybelly@gmail.com

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