Experimenting with heirloom recipes that are not just delicious but picture-perfect! Meet Uma Raghuraman
A self-taught baker and mother of two youngsters, Uma Raghuraman worked as a school teacher for five years before she found her calling with food. Today she is an avid Instagrammer and her passion for food is reflected through her drool-worthy posts. We catch up with Uma to find out what makes her so popular with foodies.
It all began with Uma’s search for nutritious yet delicious food for her children. Rising to the challenge posed by the picky eaters that they were, she would rustle-up dishes that were healthy and appealed to the eye. Over the years, she documented hundreds of these recipes to help young mothers who were going through similar challenges every day.
With over forty-seven thousand followers on Instagram, @masterchefmom originally started using the social networking site when her teenage children encouraged her to do so. Her technique is surprisingly simple – she has her phone with her as she cooks, and just records everything she makes, without any special styling or even recipes - just everyday food for the family. In May this year, Netflix lauded her as Official Instagrammer after winning a contest that was held for the launch of Chef’s Table 3, the third season of a series that profiles famous chefs from all over the world. The contest invited food Instagrammers all over the world to participate with the hashtag #MyChefsTable. The best entries would travel to restaurants across the world and interact with well-known chefs. Uma presented her famous Strawberry Chutney, and it was chosen as the All India Winning Picture. And her grand prize was a visit to Osteria Mozza in California, which she described as nothing short of a dream.
Being original and creative has always been Uma’s mantra while taking photographs. “We first eat with our eyes, right?” she quips. Uma tries to bring a personal touch and warmth to all her pictures. She attended a couple of photography workshops where she learnt about lighting, props and how to use the cell phone camera effectively.
“After all, an appetising picture tempts one to try a recipe.”
More than an Instagrammer
With a belief that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, her adventures in the kitchen started only after she got married. She is passionate about cooking and an enthusiastic experimenter. Her grandmothers, mother and mother-in-law, who cooked through the day and produced wholesome meals for large families without losing their cool or their smiles are the greatest source of inspiration.
Facebook photos of what she cooked every day led to friends and family demanding the recipes. As the circle got wider, it became difficult to share each one individually. To overcome this challenge, she started a blog www.masterchefmom.blogspot.in. She shares her experiences in her blog, with step-by-step methods and easy-to-get ingredients for her delectable recipes. Her audience is young people who want simple recipes, which remind them of home and their mother’s cooking.
Photography was a logical extension for Uma.
Fusion foodie with the healthy goal
Uma shares a lot of authentic, traditional and heirloom recipes on her blog. Often she provides vegan and gluten-free options for traditional recipes so that most of her followers can try them. She also creates fusion recipes to satisfy her creative juices. These have been appreciated and loved by her readers. Uma’s favourite food is Rasam, and she has different variations of it in her repertoire - like Orange Peel Rasam, Whole Gooseberry Rasam, and Beetroot Rasam. She aims to make Indian food popular and put it on the global map for everyone to appreciate its greatness, wholesomeness and variety.