Hi there, welcome to my food blog Raks Kitchen. I am Raks anand, author and photographer of this recipe website. My real name is Rajeswari Vijayanand. It has been almost 15 years of blogging and I thought if you want to know more about me, I should introduce myself to you all…
How it started?
To begin with, let me tell you I am also like most of the house wives, who learnt cooking only after marriage. Due to my Husband’s (I mention him as Vj in my posts) job, I came here to Singapore, from Chennai. I was left alone in the kitchen as zero in cooking. Zero means really I don’t know ABCs of cooking.
I have neither entered the kitchen before marriage not helped my mom even in little things around kitchen. My mom and dad never complained.
Even After marriage, I was not cooking until I was with a great cook, my Mother-in-law(MIL). I am always impressed by her high standard cooking and used to be around her in Kitchen.
This is where I learnt some basics in kitchen from cutting vegetables, small cooking techniques as well as started to learn the basics of cooking. She is the one who seeded the interest in even chopping vegetables.
My Mom and MIL does everything in kitchen in an organized way and maintains a routine, keeps the kitchen neat always, I always have admired and try to follow as much as possible.
For each and every appreciation I get regarding cooking, I owe to my Mom and MIL who taught me the art of cooking and some treasure-able recipes! No cooking schools, professional lessons can give such knowledge shared through experience.
I learnt south Indian everyday cooking only through them and later through my experience. After coming here to Singapore, I used to call my mom and MIL to take down the recipes, be it day to day recipe or on a special occasions like the festive we get every now and then.
How it goes
Also I made use of the free time I got, made use of the technology and started exploring the virtual world of blogging . I used to explore a lot in different cuisines, be it our very own traditional, regional or world. I should thank Vj for giving me the technical knowledge that is enough to explore these things.
And then I started cooking and developed interest in cooking. One of my friend Sangeeta encouraged me to start blogging and you can see a lot of recipes that was shared by her in this site.
She is the one, who insisted me to do stepwise pictures, which I believe hooks many of the readers to this site, as it is very useful for them to refer quickly at a glance.
I started blogging and thought of recording all my experiments, authentic recipes from my mom and MIL so that it will be easy for me in future. Some times, we try a dish once and it comes out nice.
Then forget for a while and if we want to try again, we won't be able to recollect exactly what we did last time. So this blog posts, help me a lot to record exactly what I do.
Gears I use
I started clicking my pictures in a point and shoot digital camera, but then my man bought me a DSLR, even before I asked him or I even don't know what that mean when he bought that for me.
Then its been a learning process till now and I can say I have come a far distance since then and if you are admiring my food, its also because that I picture it as it is, delicious! 🙂
If you want to know which camera and lens I use, it was Nikon D40X, with 18-55mm lens and some times 55-200mm firstly.
Then, Vj bought me a 50mm lens and a new camera Nikon D7000 as well.
After that, I uses Samsung smart camera and Sony A7C for video shooting and photos.
Now, latest, I use Sony A7C mirrorless camera for both pictures as well as the videos.
My pictures, video are processed to look good, though I would say not much. I do edit my pictures to brighten, sharpen and look professional. I used Photoshop Elements for editing photos and Filmora for video editing initially.
Now I use Adobe Premiere pro and Photoshop for video and photo editing respectively.
How I create recipes
I take special care about the recipes I post. Honestly post only if it turns out good, not just for the sake of creating a post. I never fall under the pressure of posting just to be productive and I only post if my recipe works best.
Most of the time, I plan instantly according to the available ingredients and brownie points, if it helps with the day's meal purpose.
I do have a list of 'To-try' recipes and choose from it. In my weekly grocery shopping list, I include if any of the ingredient is needed.
While cooking, I take note (or remember) of any important step or something one should know. Since I have time stamps in the photos / videos, I refer it for estimated times. For Indian cooking, a rough estimate goes a long way in helping to give you an idea.
Though I do not give photo for each and every step, I give vital steps that is not to be missed with relevant steps. Since all my cooking are done with gas stoves in a practical kitchen just like yours, you can be sure about the guide and results.
If it makes to the blog, firstly it should satisfy me in taste basis. I also make sure the presentation also justifies what I prepared. Otherwise I never post half heartedly if it is not up to the mark.
I must say a few words about my kid (I mention him as Aj in my posts). He is the best critic for my cooking. And his criticism will mostly be truthful and I agree with him most of the times 🙂
He knows that I blog here and will check with me whenever he likes any dish I prepare for him, if it is published here asking me 'Are you blogging this? / have you posted this?'
Vj too stays honest in his thoughts about the taste of the recipes I cook for blog. So you can know it does passes few criteria's to appear in the blog.
Baking & Oven details
Baking is my new venture. As I am a vegetarian, you will be able to see only eggless bakes here. Still I am learning in baking. Just trying out the recipes without any changes, still not into any experimental baking.
I used to have a combination oven for all my baking . Its a built in oven (National Panasonic, Dimension 4) which was there when we moved here to our home.
Though it is a combination oven of microwave, convection and grill, I bake in "convection" mode. So do not confuse it with microwave baking. And obviously, the recipes are not suitable for microwave baking!
Latest I have been using Techno oven (Local brand here in Singapore). Ditched microwave oven and only using convection one.
Besides my blogging, I have lots of love towards music. I love any type of music if it is good to me.
Basically ARR fan, but don't hate Illayaraja songs for that reason, heeheeh. Good Hindi song, Malayalam song? I do listen. Filmy/ Carnatic music, western songs, cover songs, anything that is good for me. Coldplay, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, JP Saxe are recent additions.
Movies - we never miss any movie that gets released in out near by Cathay Ciniplex, even if its a OK kind of movie! 🙂 I love fantasy in movies, am Marvel fan!
I never can rate or judge a movie if its good to watch or not, I just want to laugh and enjoy the movie, that's it.
Latest obsession Netflix, Youtube.
Connect with me
Comments and feedback are precious to me. Nothing can brighten my day when I hear a positive feedback about the recipes the readers/ friends tried.
So let me know if you feel I deserve an appreciation through mail. You can contact me at [email protected]. Even if you have any doubts regarding any recipes here, you can ask me through mail, I will be glad to help you.
Please do show your support by subscribing to my Youtube channel.