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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

About Delectable Victuals

What is Delectable Victuals about?

Food, health, fun, life.

What drives you to cook?

It's a Zen thing.

Cooking is more than just following a recipe and setting food on the table. It is a meditative practice and a creative outlet.

It is about exploring, experimenting with, and appreciating not just different ingredients and cuisines from around the world, but also the whole range of cooking methods, kitchen tools/apparatus, and scientific reasoning behind some of these.

It is the challenge of opening a cupboard and finding only a few things handy, and still managing to present a wholesome meal for the family!

It also gives some semblance of control over what we put in our bodies, gives the power to eat healthy.

What sort of recipes do you post?

Ummm... many kinds.
Mostly Vegetarian.
Mostly Healthy.
Mostly Indian, Asian, Ethiopian Central & South American, Italian, Mediterranean, African... still exploring.
Fusion Cuisine - my personal strength and preference.
Usually Quick & Easy to make.
The ones my family seems to relish...

Having grown up on Palakkad Cuisine, thanks to a very talented mom, my personal favorites still remain the mouth-watering wholesome south Indian traditionals.

However, Fusion Cuisine is my passion that drives me to try new things and enjoy the whole experience.

I believe healthy, wholesome foods need not be boring and bland.

Many of your recipes talk about "home garden vegetables". Are you an avid gardener?

Oh, by no means am I a savvy or expert gardener, but every year I get to dabble in home gardening as a learning endeavor. It is a rewarding yet humbling experience.

Over the past 15 years, from Spring until Fall every year, I try to putter around the small patch of backyard tending to whatever I managed to plant that year.

Besides the handful of fruit trees and flowering shrubs, there is a modest patch of shade-free garden where I grow the "home garden vegetables": a random selection that I get from a local nursery, mixing up the varieties each year.

It is extremely satisfying to harvest the handy vegetables and try to come up with interesting ways to make a delectable meal out of them. And, post those "home garden vegetables" recipes here.

Do you cook all the meals for your family?

Yes. Cooking is my own version of mindful meditation.

Sure there are days when I am too sapped to make a gourmet meal, when I just serve a bowl of quick and simple oatmeal porridge. What and how much I cook may vary from day to day, but, pretty much 99% of the time I prefer to cook with what's handy at home and what the mood calls for.

Do you always present food in a fancy way at your table?

Food presentation in my mind is not just for fancy.  I believe we eat as much with our eyes and nose as with our mouths.

While nourishment is the primary focus of food intake - to keep the body and soul together - the sight and smell of food adds to our feeling of fullness and satisfaction.

Of course, I don't always indulge in presentation details with every meal, but, I like to try... The Art of Food Styling and Presentation is fascinating and I am always learning.

Kids keep me busy enough which possibly explains why I haven't spent enough energy and time on taking beautiful step-by-step styled food photos that I so admire in other blogs...

How do I find recipes I might be interested in?

There is a dedicated "Recipe Index" tab which is not comprehensive...

There is a dropdown recipe index on the sidebar, which is a work in progress...

Customized Google Search on the sidebar...

Hope this is a helpful start.

How can I use your recipes?

I am more of an intuitive cook than a by-the-book cook. So, feel free to adjust the ingredients and quantities to your taste. Most of the recipes where I post the ingredients list and quantities are tailored to my tastes, and can be used as-is. Sometimes, I just outline the general method and leave out the ingredients/proportions... sorry about that.

As I experiment a lot, and have this chronic inability to follow a recipe to the letter and do precisely as instructed, my recipes might have a non-traditional edge to it.

If I did follow a recipe closely from another source, I usually attribute it. Or, if another recipe was my inspiration, I allude to it. I'd appreciate the same, if any of my recipes inspired you at all.

If you like my recipes, and you tried them, I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment that I can share with other visitors, or email me directly for a more personal note.

This goes without saying, but, apparently it is a different universe and honor system fails in the anonymous blogdom: Please do not use my photos and my recipes without permission. Drop me a note and I'd be glad to help, if reasonable. Thanks!

More Later...
Ciao for now!

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  • At 5:25 AM, Blogger Purvi said…

    hi ,
    it would be great if you linked delectable victuals to facebook ..just a suggestion !


  • At 9:56 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Very good page..especially the food part. Was browsing the web for ideas for a restaurant page

  • At 12:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'd like to subscribe to your blog but there's no option to subscribe the same via email.
    subscription by reader is complex.
    pls give email option too.

    Thank you so much.

  • At 3:15 AM, Blogger Sarah Jones said…

    I appreciate your blog writing!
    We are a Sweden based social media company and have clients in India as well as in Europe. I am looking for blog writers to be members of Spot and Tell in India.
    Our members get an opportunity to stay in hotels, retreat and spa, attend food and wine tasting events for free and write about it on web and share feedback. Their blogs are linked to our European and Indian websites.
    Check out our current contest :

    If you would like to know more or be a membrer and attend our events in India, please reply to me at
    Looking forward for your reply,
    Sarah Jones

  • At 6:17 AM, Blogger Mythreyi said…

    Hi Sheela,

    Come across your blog form a recipe search and I have loved it so much. Glad to follow you from now on.
    I love the way you cook healthy and with fresh vegetables.

    Keep coming all those good recipes.
    Yum! Yum! Yum!

  • At 11:16 AM, Anonymous manjusha said…

    Excellent writing and photography Sheela. Great work!

  • At 9:40 PM, Blogger Anna the Intern said…

    I work with a CSA farm and we like to provide our customers with fun recipes. I was wondering if I could possibly post one of your squash recipes on our blog if I reference your blog?


  • At 8:49 AM, Blogger Sheela said…


    If you could email me with a link to the recipe you are interested in, I'm sure we can work something out about sharing my recipe on your site.


  • At 7:22 PM, Anonymous zenbelly said…

    Just came across your blog - love the photos and great looking recipes! I am excited to try your vegetarian dishes, Well Done!

  • At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow....there is so much to read and try on your blog. Fantastic stuff. Thanks for sharing...Happy Cooking

  • At 11:31 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Thanks, Mythreyi! So glad you took the time to leave me a note :)

  • At 11:32 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Thanks, Manjusha, So glad to read your note :)

  • At 11:32 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Thanks for reaching out to me with this opportunity, Sarah!

  • At 11:33 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    It should be on the sidebar now. Thanks so much for your interest in subscribing!

  • At 11:34 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Thanks, Prakash.

  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Good idea, Purvi! Just laziness and inertia to be active on FB is my hurdle, I think :)

  • At 11:36 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Thanks Zenbelly! Glad the veg recipes interested you!

  • At 11:37 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Thanks, Prateeksha! Glad to know you are enjoying the recipes!


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