Food is emotional. Two tablespoons of turmeric or a pinch of asafoetida are not the stars when it comes to documenting flavors and recipes. Instead, stories reveal the journey of a dish from one generation to another.
Meet Suguna Vinodh, a talented food blogger, who celebrates this vibrant link. A former financial analyst, Suguna, is a real example of how unexplored certain food recipes are! With over a whooping 1 million followers for her blog named “Kannamma Cooks”, Suguna has cemented her place in the minds of people across the world who eagerly wait for her special stories on the blog.
Grishma Raj finds out more about blogging journey in a freewheeling chat with food blogger Suguna Vinodh.
What inspired you to start “Kannamma Cooks”?
I hail from Coimbatore, but I did spend a good amount of time in USA with my husband and son. That was when I fell in love with baking. I apprenticed at a lovely bakery in San Diego for some time, and slowly started looking at it professionally. After returning to India, I started a bakery in Bangalore which unfortunately didn’t do well. I was dejected but that didn’t stop my passion. My blogging journey began when my husband randomly asked me to write about recipes that my relatives shared. I am a foodie at heart and experimenting new recipes have always been something I treasured to do right from my childhood. Coming for a huge family, a lot of my cousins and relatives used to make food from recipes that were passed on from my ancestors. And they always had something in kitty to offer whenever I visited. I thought it would be great to bring back all those long-forgotten recipes within my family through this medium.
For those who are not familiar with your blog, how would you describe it?
Every recipe in my blog conveys a story. I connect it with how it came into being and the journey. 70% of my blog mostly includes recipes that are fondly shared within families and so the major difference is that I am not inventing anything new rather documenting existing ones. Thanks to my family and friends circle, I have a lot of people sharing their favourite recipes with me.
Majorily, my focus has been on traditional cusines like Kongunadu cuisine. Especially, my aunt, Saraswathi, has played a major role in influencing and giving me so many intriguing Kongu recipes that are not known to many, yet still it is made by our elders in the family. There are many who have tasted and known chettinad but not Kongunadu. That’s when I decided to write about it, and luckily, it became a big hit.
When did you start looking at blogging professionally?
One of my friends, Srikanth Reddy who also runs the blog named “Relaksh.com” encouraged me to start looking at professional blogging. I loved his idea because personally it would be fulfilling my passion and professionally it would be a good earning. He guided me on the backend works like – SEO and Keyword monetization. In the first year, not much happened, yet still I continued documenting the recipes. Gradually, many people started viewing, sharing and even commenting. Because of my experience in baking, I also began helping restaurants by weaving about their special recipes and that made my blog to get even more readers. I even had viewers asking for day-to-day cooking and tips.
How did you come up with the name?
My father and everyone at home calls me “Kannamma”.When I was thinking of a name, suddenly this popped my mind. I wanted something that would give a south Indian feel to the audience as most of my recipes are from this part of India. And luckily, everyone automatically connected to it and I am happy that it still gives a personal tamil touch.
Has there been any memorable comment or feedback that you cherish?
There have been a lot of lovely comments from readers. Even people living abroad have been kind enough to share their family recipes. However, a lady named Lourdes Tirouvanziam from Pondicherry, who is the famous author of a cookbook named “Pondicherry Kitchen”, contacted me to write about one of her recipes as she loved my blog and my way of documenting. That made me grateful and delighted.
Do you add videos or photos to your recipes?
Whenever anybody shares their recipe, I first make it at home and taste it and then go for writing about it. As of now, I have mostly added only photos. There are few videos, but I have not concentrated on them as such. Eventually, I do plan to introduce videos in future.
One post / recipe that got the maximum likes?
Well, trust me, even this got me by surprise. A post on idili received the maximum response. I just wrote intricately about the art of making idli (mixing urad dal and rice) and that literally got more than 200 thousand views on my blog. Even now, when I check my routine analytics, I realize that day to day recipes are most often re-read and loved by the audience.
What are you working on currently?
I am doing a show with Travelxp channel in Mumbai which will be mostly releasing this Diwali and I am excited about it!
What advice do you give someone who is just getting into cooking to make their journey more pleasurable?
Be patient and have a niche for yourself. Find what you can convey differently in your blog – whether it is photography, baking or stories, make sure you love doing it.
Also, don’t think of money as a motive. For the first 2 years, your blog may not even get noticed, but don’t get discouraged, hang in there and keep doing what you love. You will get the result!
To keep in touch with Suguna Vinodh and her blog, connect with at www.kannammacooks.com. You are free to share with her some unique recipes and any cooking related questions!