In Mumbai she’s known as the OMG Bacon Jam girl. Amrita Rana was an RJ and then she discovered a love for food – writing about it, cooking it and teaching others how to cook it. Now she’s on a roll. She shares her passion in this interview.
How did your connection with food, and such a deep one at that, happen?
To begin with, I’m from Indore. And if you know the place, you know what a food-loving city that is. So my fondness for food is innate. And yet, there was nothing you could describe as exotic there. My introduction to the world of food exotica happened later, when I moved to Delhi.
There, I began to explore food like never before. I discovered the street food, the local favourites, the gourmet places. I was on my own at the time and food became my best friend. I would easily have said ‘let me just marry a cheesecake’. I realised I’d formed an emotional connection with food.
What was the inspiration for Lifekirecipe, your blog, which has just turned five?
I got married and moved to Mumbai. My husband is a DJ and we’d do a lot of entertaining at home. With my innate love of food, I began to cook for guests – lots of canapes, finger foods, nibbles. My friends who tasted the stuff egged me on to share recipes. That’s how I started the blog. I was also eating out a lot and decided to put down my experiences; this was long before food-blogging became so trendy.
And the cooking workshops – how did they come about?
Once I went home to Indore and a bunch of friends asked me to conduct a cooking session. I was surprised by the number of people who turned up and they weren’t all my friends. That pave the way to a new business idea and now I conduct workshops for groups, corporates, personalised ones and even in municipal schools. I love the workshops because I enjoy talking so much.
Talking is something you must have done a lot of when you were an RJ
Yes, absolutely. It was the coolest job. But now I get to talk and indulge my love of food, so no regrets whatsoever.
You are now the Bacon Jam girl! What’s that signature creation all about?
Yes, it’s my claim to fame. A friend of mine who was in London called me at an unearthly hour to say, ‘You’ve simply got to taste this stuff.’ Of course, I’d never eaten it and started researching on the Net. I found some recipes and came up with my own version, going through various types of bacon, experimenting with spices and condiments. Everyone who tasted it said ‘OMG!’. So that’s how the bacon jam got its name. It was a big hit and I began to sell it commercially. I think I’m still the only person making this stuff in Mumbai.
What are the biggest highs in what you do right now?
Of course, it’s great when people eat my bacon jam and say ‘OMG!’ The other most rewarding thing is to be able to share my joy of cooking with others. It’s wonderful to hear from a young bride who’s attended one of my cooking workshops writing in to tell me that her family loves the food she’s been able to make since I was doing a workshop in a municipal school the other day, and that was deeply fulfilling, too. And how can I forget the Twitter DM I received from Genelia D’Souza who’d tasted my bacon jam, heard about my workshops and wanted me to do one for her. So, I went over to her place and did a private session for her. That was a big high for sure.
Advice for those who want to chase their passion?
I’m a Buddhist and believe that you should start off with the intent of doing something good. Do it with conviction and all your heart. It’s important to find that conviction, that path you want to take. Also, be full of gratitude and you will be rewarded.
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Image Credits: dnaindia.com, lifekirecipe.com
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