Food is a passion that is shared by most Indians. With the rise of scattered families, busy adults and the craving for that perfect home-cooked dish, many are resorting to the Internet, for culinary guidance, on a daily basis. This has given birth to numerous internet food celebrities. In India, Hebbar’s Kitchen is definitely hitting a high note in the domain.
The short 30-60 second videos on making yummy vegetarian dishes, like palak paneer, sambar and malai-kofta, look so easy and uncomplicated, it gives me the confidence that I need to try it out. And I am not the only one. As per a report, last year, Hebbar’s Kitchen’s Facebook videos alone, have garnered approximately 55 million views. That is 55 million times that these videos have inspired someone to make something tasty for him/herself or their friends/family, or just for the love of making food!
Here we share a glimpse of the person and her venture behind those simple yet delectable dishes: Archana.
The story of humble beginnings
Archana moved to Australia, to join her husband Sudarshan, post their wedding. The difficulty in landing a stable job in her forte, Software Testing, prompted her to start a food recipe blog on WordPress. And like many other beginners, the numbers were not exciting. It was around then that Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos caught her eye, and she decided to try out Indian recipes in a similar format.
“Buzzfeed Tasty videos were creating a lot of buzzes, and their videos inspired me. Also, there weren’t any well-circulated Indian channels showcasing the Indian recipes, with short videos on Facebook. I tried them out, and the response was amazing.” confesses Archana.
Many of you probably know, it takes just one viral post to turn around your blogging career! Last summer, around June, her video of Rava Dosa made over a million views. “It crashed our website (we were on shared hosting), and we were overwhelmed with the response/messages and queries.”
Archana adds that the initial videos looked amateurish. But, a determined Archana decided to work even harder and act on her areas of improvement. In fact, she shot her earlier videos using an iPhone camera on a selfie stick, and edited them on her personal laptop. Sudarshan is the perfect partner, and gifted her a DSLR camera, professional video editing software and high-end desktop machine to shoot and edit higher quality videos.
As if that wasn’t enough, she learned how to edit and create professional-quality videos.
How many times does she cook before she can finalize a recipe?
The familiar ones like sambar and rasam get done at once, but harder ones take 5-6 times before they can be uploaded for everyone. Although, Gulabjamun was one of the most requested recipes, paneer recipes are her favorite. “Because it is paneer!”
And while most of the attention her website receives is positive, there are fake pages and people who try to piggyback on her hard work. She has requested Facebook to take notice, but nothing is done till now.
Simplicity is the Key
“Winners don’t do different things; they do things differently” – Shiv Khera.
Archana has proved just that. Food blogging is not easy. I can personally vouch that all recipes on the internet do not yield good results. What I love about Hebbar’s kitchen recipes is that they convince me that cooking is easy and doable. A lot of times I even manage to replicate. Most of Archana’s videos use only one pan and a stove. No fancy equipment, no unpronounceable ingredients, no “blanching, instead of boiling.” It is straightforward, home food; The food of comfort for most of the Indians. And add to that her dedication to excel, even at the technical aspects.Within one year, she has become the known name in the overcrowded Indian food blogger community, and that gives hope for many people out there, who are deciding to pursue their passion. There are bigger plans to be unveiled. And this humble (yet amazing) leading lady is in no mood to slow down.
The most important question: Who gets to eat the food?
Archana cheekily replies, “Typically its me and my husband. I try to include them in our daily meals. However we both avoid the desserts, and I usually pack them for my husaband’s office colleagues.They really enjoy it. According to my husband, his colleagues always look forward to the delicacies from Hebbar’s Kitchen :-)”
I sure wish I worked in that lucky office!
Team Blank Slate wishes Archana, Sudarshan, and Hebbar’s Kitchen all the best. Here is a sweet video for the rest of you out there!
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