We had a chat with the home chef Nivedita Gangay and she shared her journey as a food enthusiast, her summer treats, and memories since the season is around the corner.

Food is a divine element in our life that can make any sad soul happy. It is poetry that is served on the plate. India-based management professional Nivedita Gangay is an aspiring food connoisseur who expresses her emotions through the art of cooking. She decided to follow her passion for food and to stay committed to creating something tasty, healthy and easy. Her love for food and the art of making it can be seen in her life. While working on a full-time corporate job, she spent more than a decade perfecting her culinary skills and creating recipes that can be replicated and relished by everyone.

She always found herself inspired by her parents and their skill to whip out excellent delicacies from the simplest of ingredients that have inspired her own unique culinary style. She believes that food is that one common denominator that brings people together – Irrespective of the different walks of life they come from.

Nivedita also wrote a book called the HOMEMADE GOODNESS which promises to be a complete guide to healthier, quicker, and simpler homemade food. From stocking up one’s kitchen with the right ingredients to preparing healthy and easier alternatives for some traditional and otherwise not-so-healthy cuisines, the book has it all. We had a chat with the home chef herself and she shared her journey as a food enthusiast and summer treats.

When did you realise your love for food and when did your journey as a food blogger begin?

“Food has always had a special place in my heart. Growing up in a family surrounded by master cooks, food was always the core of every celebration for us, and cooking was our way of expressing love and care. I always enjoyed cooking right from the time I used to assist my mom and dad in the kitchen as a kid. But it was only a couple of years earlier that my family and friends encouraged me to take my passion for food seriously. It was then I realised that I can actually turn this into a side hustle, something that I can do in addition to my full-time corporate day job.
I have always been a fan of home cooking and have always advocated eating home-cooked meals over store-bought
on any given day. So I took it upon myself to show the world that even on the busiest of workdays – we can put together something homemade – which is simple, healthy, and delicious without spending an eternity in the kitchen. And that’s when the idea of my cookbook “Homemade Goodness” was born. Thanks to the 2020 lockdown, I got more time to experiment with no oven, eggless baking, and started posting my recipes on Instagram which became a huge turning point for me.

What according to you makes your food content stand out ?

“In my opinion, I don’t just share my recipes, I share the experience. I don’t just share the ingredients’ measurements, but the art and emotion that went into creating it. Every time I post a recipe, I try taking my audiences on a beautiful journey with me. So that even if they don’t end up making what I shared, it would just make them smile after a long tiring day. I take time to answer each and every question that my audiences either post or DM.I stay authentic and honest with my audience. That connection, that authenticity I believe, is what makes my content stand out. It’s something that makes my Instagram account more than just a recipe microblog.

What kind of cuisine do you like to prepare ? Do you have any favourites ?

“Oh I love Indian food – hands down! But I am really getting a hang of baking lately. Especially eggless baking! I love creating eggless variants of those infamous and quintessential egg-based recipes. It’s actually exhilarating and surprising – all the same time, as I am NOT a vegetarian so to speak. I love eggs and meat, and yet somehow, I am loving this whole experience of creating eggless recipes. Strange, isn’t it ?”

One instance or experience that made it all worthwhile

“Every time I get a DM or a comment from my anyone – saying that they tried my recipe and it turned out well, and that everyone loved it, it makes me feel that I am on the right path. That I am, in some way, being a tiny part of all those lives. That I am speaking to them , through my food. It makes me feel as if I am bringing everyone together, making them happy – even if that is for a briefest moment. It’s something that makes all those tireless kitchen experiments, photoshoots and content creation hours, worth their while!”

Where do you find your food inspiration from ?

“I honestly consider myself very lucky that my friends, my sisters and my parents are all either exceptional bakers or cooks or both! They inspire me every day to put my best foot forward in every recipe that I create.”

Summer is almost here- do you have any fond memories of summers that you would like to share

“Those who know me, know how much I dread summers lol! But yes, growing up, summers were all about those long summer vacations that me and my sisters used to eagerly wait for so that we could visit my grandparents on their quintessential village farmhouse, surrounded by homegrown organic produce. Getting fresh vegetables from the farms , fresh eggs from the in house poultry every morning were one of the highlights. I really miss those good’ol days!”

What is that one recipe that always reminds you of summer and childhood?

“For me, summer and childhood could only be summed up in a combination of recipes – simple and yet extremely fulfilling Indian Thali Spread – with Moong Dal Tadka, Green vegetable, yoghurt, raw mango and mint chutney and fresh salad. Finishing it off with home-brewed cane sugar juice with fresh mint and lime. Nothing can beat that!”

The recipe that people should try this summer

“I always associate summers with something light, vibrant, and citrusy. So, I would strongly recommend my lovely readers to try out my Eggless Citrus Crumble Cake recipe and brighten up their day!”

Nivedita’s Eggless Citrus Crumble Cake recipe:

Yields one 8*8 inch cake

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CAKE

2 cups All-Purpose Flour (Maida)

1 cup Oil/Melted Butter (Salted or Unsalted)

1 cup Yogurt/Curd

1 cup Granulated Sugar (Regular Sugar)

2 Tbsp Lemon+Orange Zest combined

1/4 Cup Orange Juice

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 Tsp Salt (Only while using unsalted butter and oil)


FOR THE CITRUS CRUMBLE

1 cup of All-Purpose Flour (Maida)

100 gms Cold Butter (Salted or Unsalted)

7 Tbsp Brown Sugar / Granulated Sugar

1 Tbsp Lemon+Orange Zest

A pinch of salt if the butter in unsalted

DIRECTIONS:

PREPARING THE CRUMBLE

  1. Cut the cold butter into small cubes
  2. In a bowl – mix all purpose flour, sugar, salt and zest
  3. Add the cubed cold butter and start mixing it using your fingers – gently incorporating all the butter till a crumble like texture is achieved
  4. Keep the crumble mix in refrigerator till further use

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PREPARING THE CAKE

  1. Finely grind the sugar
  2. In a bowl – Sieve all purpose flour, salt , baking soda , baking powder – mix well
  3. In another bowl – combine oil/butter , sugar and yogurt – mix well
  4. Add this into the flour mix and whisk till well combined

5.Add the zest and juice

  1. Mix till everything is well combined

——-

BAKING THE CAKE

Pre heat the oven at 180 Degrees for 10 Mins

Transfer the cake batter in a well-greased cake tin

Sprinkle the crumble on top of the cake batter evenly

Bake the cake at 180 degrees till 35-40 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean

Let the cake rest and cool down completely before serving!

Also Read: LetsKetchup: Pragya Piparsania of Yum Curry shares her cooking journey and more