Radhika Subramanian : She is the one behind this fantastic vegetarian blog www.ticklingpalates.com. I had gazed upon her website several times, referred to her recipes but never got an opportunity to interact with her. Somewhere in mid 2014 I started following her on Instagram and got to know more about her personality. Apart from being a highly talented blogger, she is such a positive,warm & friendly person too.
She never follows the crowd, she has her own unique style be it food photography or documenting her recipes. There is no fakeness in her posts, straight forward person who voice out her true opinion on food related queries. Thats what inspired me the most.
If you see her food pics you will be definitely tempted to lick that “sambar vadai” from your mobile screen
Here is the fun Q&A with the dearest Rads (thats how I call her). Read & get inspired!!
1. How did the idea of blogging came to mind and why did you choose this name ‘Tickling Palates’
It was in 2008 I got my own laptop and until then we had only a PC at home and I started inputting all the recipes that I collected over the years in the idea making my own personal digital cookbook. Blogging naturally seemed a better idea and a better platform that I not only get to achieve what I started but also I get to share it with like minded people.
I was eating a very sour mango sprinkled with chili powder and salt while I was pondering over a time and “Tickling Palates” just sort of struck me and I kept that name itself. Thanks for the reminder, coz just now I remembered that I completed 8 years of blogging as of last month.
2. Managing kids,helping out in husband’s work, daily chores and on top of it how is it possible for you to keep creating new recipes,update it on the blog? Time management is something I lack.. Share your tips :
I have never had a maid to do the household chores. So, I try to complete all the work by 9 in the morning so that I could be free to do my husband’s work or whatever that needs my attention and time. In between time, I blog about the recipes that I cook and click. I blog whatever I cook, so that obviously helps. I do not cook separately for the sake of blogging.
Moreover, I am not really that good in time management too Rekha. It is because I still have pictures taken 2 years ago that I are waiting to be edited and blogged about.
3. Who is the inspiration when it comes to cooking in your family? Any interesting childhood incidents related to food to share with us? It could be your first kitchen disaster or something which you couldn’t forget till now?
Ever since I was a baby, I suffered from chronic wheezing that made me lose consciousness and go blue all over. While the Doctors were pondering about its cause, they put me on a diet, which was biscuits with milk, bread slices soaked in milk for breakfast, paruppu sadam for lunch, paal sadam for dinner. Apples, pears and dates for snacking. I ate only this from the day I started solid food till I turned 7 or 8 yrs old. I never knew the taste of anything else. So no happy incidents there.
So whatever happy moments related to food happened only after being treated with heavy steroids. However, all my healthy problems seemed to vanish whenever I visited Trichy, my birth place. Even the Good old Doctors seemed to be surprised by this medical miracle. So on the day my holiday starts, I would find myself on the train to Trichy and would come back a fortnight later after the school starts every term.
My Grandfather believed in Naturopathy and because of him I believe that Food is Medicine. When it comes to cooking, my Grandmother and my Mil are my inspiration.
My Grandpa used to buy me padhaneer daily as it is a natural body cooler. My grandma will insist on resting it before letting me drink. But one day an overenthusiastic me, gulped it down as soon I bought without their knowledge. It made me so giddy that I fainted which made them all go into panic mode. Got a good scolding from them when they came to know of it and never again I went behind their back and did something to cause them worry or grief.
4. Cooking for teens is bit difficult. They are hyper active always and they need nutritious food. At times you can’t forcefully avoid junk foods too. So how do you plan your meals for your sons?
5. Who is the best critic in your family? Is it the better half or the boys?
When it comes to South Indian food, especially from TN, hands down my better half. But for other cuisines, it is my elder one. He is “THE” foodie of the family.
6. Hands down I can say that you are an expert when it comes to texture. Your ‘karakuzhambu‘ has that right color & that ‘biryani‘ Can’t get enough of your ‘busu busu idli‘,vadai too. So how do you achieve that perfection? Though we can find these recipes in your blog, is there any secret tip would you like to share with the readers?
7. The first thing that attracted me in your instagram feed is that scrumptious homemade food.I hardly see any ‘takeaway’ food pics or store bought readymade/frozen stuff. How often do you guys eat out?
We rarely eat out. Outside food does not sit well with hubby. He always manages to fall sick. My younger one faced few healthy related issues as a kid whenever we ate out. So he is literally scared to eat out. To me food is medicine. Eat it right and proper, you will always be healthy.
8. Most of your day to day cooking & food pics reflects a typical tamizh family’s.I really like that simple,no fuss hearty meal. What is your family’s favorite cuisine
9. What is your take on the latest diet fads? What according to you is healthy eating?
I don’t believe in dieting. I deep fry often at home, despite being a lacto vegetarian, I bake with eggs, butter which I think are good, nutritious and healthy for growing up boys. I do not skip them.
I come across many parents stating, “Oh its all purpose flour”, “so much butter”, “isn’t it supposed to be unhealthy?”. I literally lived on samosas, puffs, cakes (making up for lost time) during my teenage years and I’m still alive and not on life support. Healthy eating is not supposed to be restricted to eating alone. It is important to have a healthy lifestyle as well in order to be overall healthy.
Having said that,I would never subject my kids to eat baked samosas or dense muffins or cakes baked entirely with wheat flour, by never deep frying, all in the name of healthy eating. I mean if you can’t eat at this age, then when are you supposed to. I want them to enjoy and appreciate a good samosa, a softer, fluffier, crumbly cake, a good busu busu poori. Once again its not the eating alone but the happier moments they create which they can reminisce about in their future.
10. What is your source of learning rads? Do you religiously follow recipes from cookbooks or take inspiration from other websites/blogs?
My inspiration is from all the good ladies whom I had the fortune to meet during my growing up years. I’m a listener who also happens to forget things quickly, which made me write down about things that I found interesting. So I have a several folders of recipes collected across the years.
I definitely do not follow recipes to the T when I cook from a cook book. In my opinion, they will most probably turn out bland like restaurant food as they are catering to the general audience. Every family’s requirement differs and spice levels need to be adjusted accordingly. Tarla Dalal ji’s website, Menu Rani Chellam and Mrs. Revathi Shanmugam have always been a huge inspiration for me.
11. Be it blogging or instagramming, there is so much of competition & sadly there is plagiarism too. How do you cope up with this? What is that one driving factor which keeps you going? For newbie bloggers,instagrammers what is your tip to march towards success
There is no magic potion for success. It is the journey, the friendships you make along the way and the interactions that you have, makes Blogging or Instagramming interesting and alive. Take all these out of the picture, it becomes just another chore, an empty day from which you don’t get any joy or happiness.
Thank you Radhika for your time and for those fantastic answers. Keep inspiring us and keep sharing those droolworthy pictures everyday. On my next chennai visit shall visit your house for that ‘karakuzhambu’ & ‘kesari’..Wishing you all success in your future endeavours too.
You can follow radhika in any of the below social networking platforms to get instant updates
Instagram : www.instagram.com/ticklingpalates