Sites We Love: The Purple Foodie

Gorgeous photos? Check. Engaging writing? Check. Seriously inspiring recipes, tips, and culinary curiosity? Check, check, and check. The best food blogs all seem to have a lot in common—but what separates them out are the strong personalities behind them. In our Sites We Love series, we sit down with some of our favorite bloggers to find out how they do it—and why it’s as much fun for them as it is for us._

Today's site we love is The Purple Foodie, where Bombay-to-Paris transplant Shaheen Peerbhai shares her skills and passion for cooking in general and baking in particular. Here's what Shaheen has to say about her site:

Live since: September 2007

Posting rate: Once a week

Geographic location: Started in Mumbai, India, and then moved to Paris in August, 2011.

Why is the site called The Purple Foodie? When I was looking for a .com for my blog, everything I seemed to enter into my browser was taken, so then I just stuck my favorite color and the word 'foodie' and that's how was born!

What's been your most popular post? The Garlicky Baked Fries and Cheddar Cheese Biscuits have been the most popular posts by far.

What's your favorite post? The one where I wrote about my life updates over a plate of roasted chestnuts. It's close to my heart because a whole bunch of things had happened one after another: getting married, moving to Paris, winning culinary school scholarships—all of my emotions wrapped up into a post along with my new favorite snack: chestnuts that grew downstairs from my apartment in France.


Credit: Sheena Dabholkar

What's something great that you've learned or that's happened to you since starting your blog? Only good things have happened since I started the blog—whether it was the offer to work as the food editor of BBC's Good Food or having my baking classes booked within hours of announcing them on the blog. I've made so many friends from all over the world, exchanged care packages with folks in Spain and China, live-chatted my way through a baguette baking session with other fanatic bakers and just in general learned so much more about food and culture. It's been an amazing journey, and I can't wait to see what lies ahead.

What's the usual process for developing one of your posts? There's no fixed process—the recipe posts usually take shape when I am craving something, want to experiment with what I find at the local market, or simply want to replicate something I've eaten at a restaurant or patisserie. It's then down to writing down the recipe, making modifications as I go along, photographing it and finally blogging about it. The travel posts are more structured - before I visit a new place, I research the food and culture of the city and have a Google Doc with a corresponding map ready with all the places I want to go to and then from that list, the ones that I truly like make it to the blog post while new places and foods that I discover along the way get added to the list.

What are your favorite ingredients and tools? Favorite ingredients: It begins with the best basic ingredients for me—so I'll buy the best sea salt, milk, eggs, and butter I can. I'm also very particular about my olive oil. If I'm luckily I'll get my hands on unfiltered olive oil. And garlic—lots and lots of garlic. Favorite tools: My Wusthof knife kit that I got from school and my KitchenAid. Books: The Flavour Thesaurus, Nigel Slater's Real Fast Food, my little notebook with all my grandma's recipes. I'm currently enjoying cooking from Jerusalem and need to to get my sourdough started from Tartine Bread going. Stores: Mora and E. Dehillerin for cooking and baking equipment and G. Detou for baking ingredients.


Credit: Shaheen Peerbhai

What photography equipment do you use? I'm not fussy about the camera I use—I have a basic dSLR (Canon 450D) that my husband gifted me a few years ago which I usually use with a 50mm lens. I also take loads of photos on my iPhone and instagram my favorites.

Where else can we find your work? BBC Good Food Magazine, Times of India, Conde Nast Traveler, and a few other Mumbai based newspapers and magazines.

What food blogs do you follow? Loads of them! Some of my favorites are: 101Cookbooks (an obvious choice, but I love Heidi's work), Like A Strawberry Milk, and A Tale of Two.

Do you know a blog or blogger who deserves to be featured in this space? Email a nomination—including a link to the site and a few sentences on why they're worthy of love—

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