Thas is one of the sweetest and down to earth foodies we’ve spoken with. It’s no wonder the community selected her blog “Cooking with Thas” as one of the top 50 Food Blogs of 2011. She came to love cooking later, I think this is part of the reason why foodies love her blog so much. She has none of the pretense and shares in her mistakes and successes. I love reading her posts and I think you will too. In the mean time, get to know her a little better. Thasneen took a little time out of her busy schedule to chat with us and tell us more about her life and blog.
FriendsEAT: What inspired you to start “Cooking with Thas”?
Thasneen Naina: When I first entered the cooking world, I only made the food that I had while growing up. After having the same food over and over, I got bored of it and found myself losing interest in cooking. To keep myself entertained in the kitchen, I started exploring different cuisines and slowly was able to be out of my comfort zone. I then started uploading the food pictures on social networking websites. I got the following question a lot from my friends and family: “Did you make this?”. I had to share the recipes with them through emails and over the phone. Around that time I started reading food blogs and that inspired me to start one of my own. My husband, a techie created a website for me, through which I am able to share my recipes with my family, friends and everyone out there.
FE: For those who are not familiar with your blog, how would you describe it?
TN: I would describe it as a fusion food website. I put my best efforts in to providing a step-by-step visual guide to effortless cooking. Being a health conscious person, I give a healthy twist to most of my recipes.
FE: When did you realize that food was more than just sustenance and more of a passion?
TN: Starting my blog has encouraged me to try new recipes and new ingredients that I’ve not tried before. When I started exploring the fun and artistic side of cooking it turned into a passion for me.
FE: You talk about how cooking came to you later in life and discuss your husband’s patience with your mistakes during the learning period. What was the worst cooking disaster you had?
TN: During my initial cooking stages I had a tough time making pizza crust. I still remember my husband trying to cut the hard pizza crust with a steak knife and failing.
FE: What is your favorite dish to make now?
TN: Indo-Chinese Chilli Chicken.
FE: While you were learning, what was the most helpful tip you got and who was it from?
TN: While making the dough for making flat breads, combine the flour with warm water or warm milk. This helps in making soft dough. My mom shared this tip with me.
FE: What advice do you give someone who is just getting into cooking to make their journey more pleasurable?
TN: 1) Start small. 2) Cook often. 3) First get comfortable cooking simple recipes with fewer ingredients. 4) Avoid making the same food over and over.
FE: What are your three favorite kitchen tools?
TN: Wok, Stand Mixer, Peeler
FE: What is your favorite cookbook?
FE: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a food blog?
TN: Just go for it, keep it original and be consistent.
FE: Is there any technique you have not mastered yet?
TN: Cake decoration.
FE: What has been the most exciting thing that has happened as a result of you starting “Cooking with Thas”?
TN: The most exciting thing has been the opportunity to befriend with total strangers from around the world. It is a great feeling to see my readers leave great feedback constantly. This has motivated me at several levels and has helped me to connect with my readers quite well.
FE: What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?
TN: Hmm, that’s a tough question. Well, I love saffron and love to cook with it too.
FE: How do you feel about Foodtertainment?
TN: Being a food lover, I definitely love Foodtertainment. It has helped me to explore the fun side of cooking. While flipping through the channels most of the time I end up watching food network. I am a huge fan of Iron Chef America. It shows that cooking is not something that happens just within the kitchen but there are so many creative streams to showcase your talent and inspire people.
FE: If I say honey, you say?
TN: Pour on my pancake
FE: Where do you see food and wine blogging in five years?
TN: New technology will emerge but food and wine blogging will still be around. I would say more and more people will start blogging. It’s going to get very exciting as each year goes by.
FE: And where do you see “Cooking with Thas”in ten?
TN: Ten years is a long time to predict anything. I would like to see it evolve in to a community where people hang out to talk about food. I hope to see “Cooking with Thas” to be among the top food blogs offering thousands of recipe ideas.
FE: What do you see as the most important issue facing foodies today?
TN: A lot of people are ignorant about the food allergies they might have which could eventually lead to many health problems. It’s very important that foodies should be aware of it and avoid having such food.
FE: Tell us about Dinner365.
TN: I made a crazy New Year’s resolution, which was to photograph my dinner every day for 365 days straight. So far, I have kept my New Year’s resolution and this has encouraged me to make fresh and different dinners everyday.