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Meet the Instagramer: @masterchefmom on traditional South Indian dishes

We’re following Uma Raghuraman, a full-time food blogger based in Gurgaon, near Delhi.

By National Geographic Traveller Food
Published 9 Apr 2019, 00:01 BST, Updated 26 May 2021, 16:52 BST
Posts from @masterchefmom
Posts from @masterchefmom.
Photograph by @masterchefmom

What was the food like that you grew up with?

I grew up with traditional South Indian food cooked by my mother: fresh, seasonal ingredients, spices, sun-dried vegetables and condiments, all of it homemade. Mealtimes were always enjoyed as a family, sitting on the floor, with the feast laid out on a large banana leaf from our backyard.

Why did you start your food blog?

I started cooking after marriage, having married a foodie, and then I began posting pictures of the dishes I cooked on Facebook. Friends and family would ask for the recipes, so it struck me: why not create a repository for them and share the link? That’s how the blog started. I share uncomplicated recipes that encourage the younger generation to cook from scratch at home.

Who are your culinary heroes?

I’ve seen both my grandmothers, my mother-in-law and my mother cooking delicious, wholesome food every day with the same passion and attention to detail. I try my best to do the same, and my favourite cookbook is a collection of recipes handed down to me by my mother-in- law, Prema, and my mother, Prabha.

What have you learnt from your travels?

I travel quite a bit within India, and I’m always amazed how, using the same ingredients I use, people can churn out dishes that taste so different and so good. And sometimes you discover similarities between the cuisines of two different cultures separated by thousands of miles, such as Thai and South Indian.

Where’s on your foodie hit-list?

I’ve been surprised and delighted with the vegetarian food in America both times I’ve been, but now I want to explore the veggie possibilities in different countries. On my list are China, France, Italy and Mexico.

Three to follow: Uma's favourite Instagramers

1. @mamaktreats
Kanan Bala’s soulful Punjabi food is clearly cooked with loads of love for her family. Not only that, but it looks fantastic too.

2. @shaanthram
Ex-banker Shanthi Ramachandran now puts her energy into cooking delicious-looking South Indian dishes.

3. @insta_aunty
Well worth following for shots of Uttrakhand/Pahadi food, plus her stories of everyday life in the mountains.

Follow Uma on Instagram

Published in Issue 5 of National Geographic Traveller Food

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