Aarthi Vivekanandan: Cooking Yummy for a Tummy

Aarthi is the owner of multiple blogs and also has a full time job with a reputed MNC company at her native place Nagercoil, Tamilnadu. She has a loving family of two siblings with whom Aarthi shares a lovely relationship. Her siblings are her food critics and food testers. Aarthi is blessed with a beautiful and caring mum who is a complete vegetarian and eats only the vegetarian food that Aarthi cooks. Aarthi is engaged to her sweet heart that is caring and affectionate. Apart from this, she has a cute and friendly doggy named Joe, which waits at the doorstep till Aarthi, is home.

Let us read what Aarthi has to say about herself and her blogs.
Yummy Tummy (http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com) is a food blog. I update it daily. If you are beginner in cooking, then my blog will be so helpful to you. YUMMY TUMMY has recipes from all over the world with step by step pictures. So anyone can cook with it.

Colors of my life (http://coloursofmylife-aarthi.blogspot.in/) is a blog which I started to write about my life. I update it once a week.

Aarthi’s Collection (http://aarthiscollection.blogspot.in/) is again a food blog. I started that to store all my family member and friends recipes. Most of the recipes in that blog will be my mothers. You can see a recipe along with a picture of it.

1.NS: What motivated you to start blogging?
Aarthi: My Passion towards cooking started only three years back. I started cooking during my college days and used to take food for my friends in college as well as at work. Everyone started asking me for the recipes and I was planning to put all my recipes in one place where it can help everyone, Hence Yummy Tummy was born.

2.NS: You own so many blogs, how do you manage to update and keep up with all the blogs.
Aarthi: Even though I have a very tight schedule, somehow I manage time for blogging. My love toward blogging makes me to do that.

3.NS: What are the few qualities needed to be a successful blogger?
Aarthi: Listen to your viewers, answer your viewers and love your viewers.

4.NS: Which is your favorite electronic item in the kitchen and why?
Aarthi: A Good Coffee Blender for grinding spices. A Good Food Processor for grating and mincing stuffs, this gadget makes your life easier. If comes to baking it has to be my Hand Held Blender.

5. NS: Any tips on cooking for Sakhis.
Aarthi: Cooking is not Rocket Science, anyone can cook if they have the passion and love in it. If you know how to cook you can do anything.

6. NS: What is most important ingredient in cooking?
Aarthi: Indian Whole Spices, Indian Powdered Spices, Ginger, Garlic, Onion, Tomato, Curry leaves and Cilantro. I think they are the basics for Indian cooking.

Aarthi’s favorite:
Cuisine – Indian, Chinese, Italian
Movie- Romantic and Humorous Movies
Book- All sorts of Cookbooks
Color- Pink & Red
Writer- Nigella Lawson, Anjum Anand, Rachael Allen, Nita Mehta, Sanjeev Kapoor
Music- Melodies

Aarthi’s favorite recipe:

Chicken tikka Masala

Ingredients for chicken Tikka pieces

Chicken Breast- ½ kg

For Marinate:
Curd-1 cup
Red chilli powder-1 tbsp.
Garam masala powder-2 tsp.
Turmeric powder-1 tsp.
Ginger Garlic paste-2 tbsp.
Cardamom powder-1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Lemon juice-2 tbsp.
Red Food Coloring-a pinch

For Basing:
Lemon juice-2 tbsp.
Oil-2 tbsp.
Chat masala powder-1 tsp.

Method for chicken tikka

Mix the marinate ingredients together. Now add in chopped chicken pieces and mix well.
Let this marinate in the fridge overnight.
Preheat the oven to the highest temperature. Mine went to 250°C (500°F)…
Take the chicken out of the fridge before 30 minutes so that it comes to room temperature and cooks evenly
Arrange it in a foil lined baking tray.
Place the tray in the top rack and grill the chicken for 10 minutes.
When 10 minutes is over take the chicken out and apply the rest of the marinate over this and place it back in the oven.
Now mix lemon juice, oil, chaat masala powder together for basing the chicken
After 10 minutes take the tray out. Turn the chicken over and base it with the lemon liquid and place it back in the oven.
Cook the chicken for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked and gets a little charred around the edges.

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka Masala

Onion-1 chopped finely
Tomato-3 pureed
Ginger garlic paste-1 tbsp.
Garam masala powder-1 tsp.
Red Chilli powder-1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Cilantro for Garnishing
Milk- ½ cup
Butter- 4 tbsp.

Method:

Heat butter in a kadai. Add in ginger garlic paste, onions and salt. Cook this till golden brown.
Add in Red chilli powder and garam masala powder and mix well.
Pour in tomato puree and cook till oil separates from this.
Add in chicken tikka pieces and pour in some water.
Cover this and simmer for 10-15 mins until all flavor gets together.
Now add in milk and simmer for 5 mins.
Garnish with cilantro and mix well.
Serve with rice or roti.

————————Interviewed by Laxmi Khalap Bhatt, Editor at www.narisakhi.com

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