Thursday, 18 December 2014

Meet... The Spice Adventuress

I want you to meet Dhanya who blogs at The Spice Adventuress, a gorgeous blog with a bit of a focus on Indian food but with exploration of other styles of cooking as well. I am a big fan of Dhanya's blog because she cooks food that is so outside my comfort level. I am in awe of the way she combines all of those spices and ingredients to create magical flavours (check out her recipe for Biryani). Dhanya also writes about trying new wines and is really getting into the local wines now that she has so much choice (since moving to Australia)- a topic close to my heart.

So without further ado, let's get to know Dhanya...

You've been blogging for almost a year and a half and recently rebranded- tell us a bit about your blogging journey so far.

My blog was a random decision that happened on a lonely afternoon in August last year. But I believe destiny was at hand as it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Though I had initially christened my blog as ‘Skinny chef de cuisine’, I ran into a bit of legal trouble with another company who had already registered a similar name (blame it on my lack of blogosphere knowledge!)

And that’s how ‘The Spice Adventuress’ was born. It has been an exhilarating and joyous journey so far. I have learnt so much about global cuisine, culinary cultures, discovered new ingredients, re-ignited my love for spices and met so many wonderful people along this journey.

Initially I had a bit of scepticism about making this my career, but the past one year my blog has got nominated for so many national and international awards which reinforced my belief that this was all meant to be. Blogging has also opened so many creative doors for me; the opportunity to be a journalist for a leading Indo-Aus community paper and several writing offers for leading websites.

If your afternoon suddenly frees up, all your jobs are done and there is an opportunity for some me-time, how do you spend it?

I love reading and most likely, you will find me with a book and a cup of coffee. 

What is the thing you are most proud of?

It would not be wrong to say that I am most proud of my son. Call it a mother’s vanity, but I am one of the proudest moms around simply because Adi is the most adorable and friendly 5 year old. He is a happy child, a sensitive and caring individual; and I am happy I made the life-altering decision of throwing away my career to raise him (I was a medical scientist in my previous professional life!)

What is the thing you would most like to do or learn?

I would love to travel more, especially to the lesser known places of the world. I would love to use my love and knowledge of food to transcend cultural barriers in some form or the other. But speaking of short term, I would love to take my photography knowledge forward.

You're originally from India, how is your life different in Australia and what would you like people to know about India?

My personal life really hasn’t changed much between both countries. But from a culinary perspective, the biggest difference has been the availability of all kinds of ingredients and produce in Australia. It is quite difficult or expensive to source many ingredients when it comes to International cuisines in India but here in Australia, I could find all kinds of ingredients so easily.

A myth that has existed about India for the longest time is that it is the land of curries. The cuisine of India goes much more beyond curries and I wish that people would experience the real Indian food.

What is your most memorable food and/or wine experience?

Oh! This would be hard. My most beautiful and memorable experience around food and wine was on my 13th birthday for which I asked my parents for a terrace party and a bottle of wine to welcome my teen years. I was living in Dubai at the time; we had a pent house and my parents threw a grand party for me inviting all my friends. I did not drink wine then but I wanted a bottle of sparkling to shake open as I had watched innumerable times on television.

When I was little I always wanted a treehouse where I could escape from the world and fill with my favourite things. Name five things you would have in your treehouse?

Hmmm...I would have my pen and diary, maybe a blanket to snuggle in, books, coffee and of course food!

For more from Dhanya, make sure you check out her blog and keep up with her adventures on her Facebook page.

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